February is officially American Heart Month and there’s no better way to celebrate than to adopt heart-healthy habits. Your heart is at the center of your circulatory system, pumping blood throughout your body to help your organs receive the oxygen and nutrients they need. To put it simply – your heart is what keeps you alive!
When your heart isn’t functioning properly, you can encounter various health issues, such as heart attacks, cognitive heart failure and heart disease. In order to live a healthy, long life, it’s important to make your heart health a top priority.
5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Knowing that your heart is necessary for your overall well-being, here are some tips to improve your heart health:
- Consume a Heart-Healthy Diet. What you eat is crucial to how well your heart can function. You should make an effort to control your portion sizes, eat more fruits and vegetables, and consume more whole grain foods. You can also limit the amount of unhealthy fats you eat, reduce the amount of sodium in your food and make sure to eat a decent number of healthy proteins. You can find heart-healthy recipes here from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
- Get Regular Physical Exercise. Incorporating regular physical activity into your weekly routine can help keep your heart healthy. You can simply start walking every day or practice yoga for a low impact exercise experience. Consistent physical activity can help you lose excess weight, improve your physical fitness, lower heart disease risk factors such as bad LDL cholesterol levels, manage your blood pressure and lower stress.
- Manage Your Stress Levels. Speaking of stress, research has shown that stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. Learning healthy ways to cope with anxiety and frustrating situations can improve your physical and mental health and, in turn, keep your heart healthy. You can manage your stress through physical exercise, meditation or by simply talking with friends and family.
- Get Enough Sleep Every Night. Sleep plays a major role in your overall health, as it gives your body time to recuperate after a long day and support healthy brain function. Sleep also helps heal and repair your heart and blood vessels. So, when you consistently don’t get enough sleep, you inadvertently increase your risk of experiencing heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
- Practice Self-Care. One way to ensure your heart stays healthy is by taking care of your entire body. You should make a point to have an annual physical with your doctor so that they can assess you for any health concerns. At your physical, you can have your blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels checked. Keeping up with your health can help your doctor identify any concerns and mitigate any serious future illnesses.
Episcopal SeniorLife Communities Helps You Live a Healthy Lifestyle
At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, we understand the importance of taking care of your whole self, including your mind, body and spirit. That’s why we offer health and wellness programs, nutrition education and other programs that help seniors stay well. Our Virtual Neighborhood Program allows seniors, regardless of location, to participate in all our programs and join the fun.
Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options, Neighborhood Program and everything we have to offer at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities.