Heart disease is considered the most dangerous disease killing people at age from 65, according to the statistics in 2013 of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a chronic condition, heart disease afflicts 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women over the age of 65. As people get older, they’re increasingly susceptible to risk factors, such as insulin resistance or diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol that increase the risk of suffering a stroke or developing heart disease.
However, heart disease risks are not inescapable at old age. In fact, there is a bunch of ways to keep your heart healthy. Here’s how to get started:
- Follow a heart-healthy diet
|Eat More||Eat Less|
|Healthy fats: raw nuts, olive oil, fish ( especially oily fish), flax seeds, or avocados||Trans fats from fast foods; saturated fats from red meat, whole-fat dairy products, and egg yolks.|
|Nutrients: colorful fruits and vegetables—fresh or frozen, prepared without butter||Packaged foods, especially those high in sodium and sugar|
|Fiber: cereals, breads, and pasta made from whole grains or legumes||White or egg breads, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice|
|Omega 3 and protein: Fatty fish like salmon, trout salmon, mackerel, and sardines; poultry||Red meat, bacon, sausage, fried chicken|
|Calcium and protein: Egg whites, skim or 1% milk, low-fat or nonfat cheeses or unsweetened yogurt||Whole or 2 percent milk, whole milk products like cheese or yogurt, or yogurt with added sugar|
- Do regular exercises
Your heart is a muscle, so it gets stronger and healthier if it works regularly. Try to get at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular (heart pumping) exercise each week. Frequently keep track of your plan on a calendar by counting your weekly minutes.
Yoga and tai-chi are examples of exercises that support you to focus on breathing, patience and quieting your mind. Also, you can walk 30 minutes per day, most days of the week to keep your heart in prime pumping shape. If you find it boring, try other ways to be active that are fun and engaging like walking the dog or gardening to easily make them habits. You can find a companion to exercise with to help you stay on a regular schedule and become one of your enjoyments.
Remember that muscular adaptation and elasticity generally slows as you age, so start getting exercise at a low intensity and take more time to warm up and cool down while exercising. Make sure that you stretch slowly enough.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
If you drink too much, this can lower health conditions that make you more vulnerable to heart disease, including high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
- Don’t smoke
Smoking and using tobacco is one of the leading risk factors developing heart disease. According to the CDC’s findings, smoking heightens your risk of stroke and heart disease by up to four times. On average, smoking can take 10 years off your life while quit smoking, your risk of heart disease fall significantly just within a year.
- Reduce stress in life.
Stress can result in many heart disease risks for seniors, steering them to an unhealthy lifestyle. Relax, take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” said psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD.