Heart health critically affects the overall health of your body and even your mental outlook. In fact, heart health every day is your recipe for healthy aging. You’ve heard the saying, “60 is the new 40,” right? Or, “70 is the new 50?” Essentially, the reference about age has to do with people being more heart healthy as they age.
In today’s world, more resources are available to help people improve heart health. More people live longer, and more physicians understand that cardiovascular disease is a lifestyle illness. Poor lifestyle contributes to poor heart health. That’s why heart health IS every day health.
As you age, heart disease may creep into your life. Throughout your life caring for your heart should be something you do with lifestyle choices.
7 Ways To Improve Heart Health At Any Age
No matter how old or young you are (isn’t age just a number?), your heart health measures your future health. Here are seven ways you can improve heart health so you can live longer:
- Maintain normal blood pressure. If you live with high blood pressure, from stress, a sedentary life, or obesity, then your heart pumps harder to compensate and your blood pressure becomes a problem. As you age, blood pressure ticks up several notches. Importantly, measure your blood pressure regularly so you know what your body says.
- Remain active. Research exists on the importance of an active life with exercise. Those who incorporate daily exercise in their routine are doing themselves a favor. Daily walks at a brisk pace help the heart. Take the dog for a walk around the block each day. Walk in the swimming pool. Conduct low-impact aerobics or have fun with yoga. You can even park your car farther away to clock more steps while on your daily errands. When you exercise, you promote lower blood pressure, weight management and reduced levels of stress. Your healthier aging benefits from exercise, and your heart will thank you, too!
- Choose plant-based nutrition. Too many people eat animal flesh daily. The body cannot digest animal proteins well, and we recommend plant-based foods in your daily nutrition plan. We don’t recommend plant-based foods with a lot of carbohydrates that turn to sugar and then to fat. Plant-based nutrition means vegetables and fruits in moderation. Because fruits have natural sugars, they must be consumed early in the day and not before bed.
- Smoker? Stop smoking! And, by all means stop vaping. Vaping now causes serious lung disease, and smoking causes cancer. You poison your body with smoke, a toxin, and your heart and lungs suffer as a result.
- Lose weight. With aging comes more trouble about weight loss. The older you are, perhaps the less active you are. Perhaps you are purchasing foods in a box instead of making your own plant-based meals and this contributes to higher salt content and other additives. Losing weight becomes challenging; however, a healthy weight contributes to a heart health.
- Screen your body. To know the status of your heart health, you must know your body’s numbers. By numbers, we’re talking about sugars, blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, water retention, resting pulse, temperature, and other numbers revealed in a complete blood test. Go ahead and purchase a blood pressure device for the home. You can screen your blood pressure daily and then begin to understand why your blood pressure goes up and down after certain life events.
- Listen to your body. Certainly, after screening your body for a variety of vital signs and indicators, you should listen to what your body tells you. This means that when you are short of breath, you stop and rest. If you get dizzy, then perhaps you dehydrated. Tired all the time? Perhaps you should get your thyroid checked, for starters. Strange pains in your left arm? Check to be sure your heart is functioning properly!
Your body provides signals all day long about overall health. Take notice and begin to mark down what you experience in a daily health journal. You can write about the foods you eat, the screening numbers you take (like daily weight), how many glasses of water you drank, and your blood pressure, of course.
Aging gracefully is a journey each of us must focus upon. With the best heart health we can provide our body every day, your opportunity to age gracefully improves, too.