Heart Healthy Tips for Seniors this Valentine’s Day
Since Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th every year, it’s no surprise that many people associate the month with pink hearts, candy and love. What you may not know is that February is also National Heart Month, a campaign to raise awareness for one of the most common silent killers - heart disease.
The good news is, heart disease and its complications are often preventable with some simple lifestyle changes. This Valentine’s Day we encourage you to work with the seniors in your life to love their heart with these tips.
- Quit Smoking
Although most commonly associated with lung disease, smoking also contributes to the buildup of fatty substances in arteries. According to the Cleveland Clinic, smokers have up to a 70% higher chance of death from heart disease than non-smokers.
- Exercise Regularly
As we age it is more important than ever to get regular exercise. Seniors should make sure that they’re getting their heart rate up without putting too much strain on themselves - even a brisk walk every day is a great start to living a healthier life.
- Eat Healthy Foods
The key to a heart-healthy diet is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. You’ll also want to stay away from anything with too much oil, butter or sugar. Of course, everything can be enjoyed in moderation!
Prevention is the best way to avoid future issues with your heart. However, it is also important to realize the signs of a heart-related incident, as swift intervention and medical care can save lives. Here’s what to watch out for:
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Unusual pain in shoulders, arms or back
- Difficulty breathing
- Lightheadedness or feeling faint
- An irregular heartbeat
If you experience these symptoms or are with someone who is demonstrating that they may be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. The faster that someone receives treatment the better their chances are for survival.
With a combined approach of prevention and awareness, we can help the seniors in our life keep their hearts strong and healthy for years to come.