Despite increased awareness, heart disease remains the leading health problem in America. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular disease takes the life of more Americans each year than cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined. So what can you do to prevent it?
5 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health
While you can’t control genetics, your age, or your family history, there are still some important lifestyle changes you can make that will have a positive impact on your health. As an annual reminder to show our hearts some love, Eddy Senior Living is celebrating National Heart Health Month by sharing these top 5 tips for heart disease prevention.
Did you know that tobacco smoke (including second-hand smoke) is one of the top three risk factors for heart disease, and tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death in the US? For help quitting, check out these resources from the CDC, and remember, all of the Eddy Senior Living Communities are tobacco and smoke free. To protect the health and wellbeing of our residents and staff, no smoking is allowed on any of our campuses.
Regular physical activity is one of the most effective ways to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease. In addition, cardio and aerobic exercises, which increase heart rate, can actually strengthen your heart muscle. Start with walking 10 minutes a day, 3 times a day, or ask about the regularly scheduled fitness classes and wellness programs available at all Eddy Senior Living Communities.
Incorporate a Heart Healthy Diet
To lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease, choose foods rich in fiber and potassium, such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and stay away from processed or packaged foods, which tend to contain trans-fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. For help preparing healthy meals, sign up for nutrition classes and cooking demonstrations at the Eddy Senior Living Communities, or leave it to the culinary experts, and enjoy the heart healthy chef-prepared meals that are served daily on each of our campuses.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying extra weight not only puts added stress on your heart, making it harder to function, but it can increase your risk of developing other heart disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and hidden inflammation that causes plaque to build up in your artery walls. Your best defense against obesity is to stay active and be mindful of your diet. For help maintaining a healthy weight, or getting your weight back on track, take advantage of the Eddy Senior Living wellness programs.
Get Regular Heart Health Screenings
Annual exams and check-ups are the most effective way to spot a change in your heart health, so talk to your doctor about regular heart health screenings, including blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, body mass index, blood glucose and ankle-brachial index tests. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, make sure to follow your treatment plan, including any prescribed medications. If you’re having trouble remembering to take your medications or struggling to manage your health conditions, ask about Eddy’s supportive care services.
Leading a Heart Healthy Lifestyle in a Senior Living Community
At Eddy Senior Living, we are dedicated to helping our residents live happy, healthy, fulfilling lives, which includes maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle. To learn more about our Assisted/Enriched Housing and Independent senior living communities in Troy, Slingerlands, Niskayuna, Queensbury and East Greenbush, request information or call (518) 280-8385 to speak with a senior living specialist.