Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in senior citizens. However, even with a family history of heart disease, most steps to keeping your heart healthy are under your control.
Maintain a healthy weight with diet and exercise. A balanced diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Check with your doctor if you need to lose weight, but avoid rigid, restrictive diets. Balance is the key.
Start the day with a bowl of oatmeal and mix in your own fruit. Blueberries and strawberries have been shown to be beneficial in lowering the risk of a heart attack and can be used fresh or thawed from frozen. If you use frozen berries, make sure they have no added sugar. Eggs are a filling and healthy breakfast. If you have high cholesterol limit your consumption of eggs to four a week or try egg whites or an egg substitute. Combine a boiled egg with yogurt and an orange for a fast, tasty breakfast.
For lunch and dinner, make half of your plate colorful vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, and carrots. Substitute spinach for the lettuce in a salad or wrap. Use hummus as a spread. Hummus, made from chickpeas, olive oil and garlic, is high in protein, fiber and calcium and is a flavorful and healthier alternative to mayonnaise. The other half of your plate should contain whole grain pasta, bread or grains and lean proteins. Include two servings a week of an oily fish such as wild-caught salmon, farm raised trout or albacore tuna in your diet.
Limit your consumption of sodium. If you don’t already, make sure you read the labels on any processed food you eat. Canned soups and vegetables, tomato sauce, even bagels can contain a high amount of sodium. Homemade soup is easy to make, stores well and you can control the ingredients and flavorings.
If you’ve been sedentary, the easist way to get moving is to begin walking 5 minutes a day. Gradually work your way up to a 30 minute daily walk. The exercise is great for your heart and can help you deal better with stress. Activities such as gardening and raking are also easy ways to get in those 30 minutes of exercise.
Maintain regular sleep patterns. You may need less sleep than you did as a young adult, but you still need to sleep. Establishing and following a set routine as you prepare for bed will help your mind begin to relax. Eliminate as much ambient light as you can with shades and don’t let your pets sleep in the same room. If you are having trouble sleeping, consult with your doctor before taking over-the-counter sleep products as they may interfere with medications you are already taking.
All of these tips should help you feel less stressed which will help your heart. If you are having trouble dealing with anxiety, speak to your doctor. She may recommend counseling or other activities to help reduce your stress.
Finally, even the healthiest people can find themselves needing some outside help. For seniors, Home Helpers can assist you with a flexible plan to help you while you recuperate, whether you need 24/7 care, companion care, or personal care. To find out more about our services go to our website:http://www.cincinnatinewporthomecare.com