February is American Heart Month, and for adults of all ages - including seniors - that means focusing on ways to improve your heart health. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for seniors. In fact, about 80 percent of people who die from coronary heart disease are over the age of 60, according to the American Heart Association. The good news is that there are ways seniors can lower their risk for the disease. If you provide 24 hour senior care, here are some lifestyle changes your clients can make for better heart health:
Treat your body well
The most important ways to lower blood pressure and promote healthy cholesterol and glucose levels are eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Focus on feeding your seniors plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbs, and have them avoid drinking alcohol excessively or eating a lot of sodium. Work on getting them into a regular fitness routine of at least 20 to 30 minutes of activity each day.
Excess weight can lead to diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, which means it's important for seniors to get down to a healthy body weight.
Smoking more than doubles your chances of getting heart disease, and the risk also becomes higher with age. It's important for everyone to quit smoking, but especially seniors.