Did you know 42.2 million people over age 60 have cardiovascular disease? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with 610,000 people dying each year. Out of all cardiovascular disease deaths, 66 percent occur in people age 75 and over. Even though the statistics are sobering, it’s possible to keep your heart healthy throughout your retirement years. Follow these six guidelines to improve whole-body health and reduce your risk of heart disease:
- Commit to a Heart-Healthy Exercise Routine
Your heart is a muscle, and like all of the other muscles in your body, it needs regular activity in order to get stronger. Doctors recommend that adults aged 65 and older should exercise for 150 minutes per week at medium aerobic intensity. Whether you take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or attend a weekly yoga class, make sure you get your exercise time in.
- Quit Smoking and Reduce Alcohol Intake
Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits for your health. Even secondhand smoke exposure is harmful. In fact, exposure to secondhand smoke alone raises your chances of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent. It’s time to eradicate tobacco from your life.
You should also cut down on the amount of alcohol you consume. Excessive alcohol consumption negatively affects cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Your healthy is closely connected to your diet. Are you eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables? Cut out trans fats altogether. Eat whole grains, legumes, fish and low-fat dairy products. Make sure you’re eating the right amount of calories every day and drinking enough water to stay hydrated. Sticking to a healthy diet is one of your strongest defenses against cardiovascular disease.
- Monitor Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
If you have high cholesterol and abnormal blood pressure, don’t avoid your doctor. Make sure you stay on track with your appointments because regular monitoring will help spot health issues before they lead to a cardiovascular event.
- Make Dental Care a Priority
Surprisingly enough, the health of your teeth and gums is connected to the health of your heart. You can keep your heart healthy by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist on a regular schedule. Gum disease that goes unchecked can cause inflammation in your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart disease.
- Get Quality Sleep Every Night
A full, healing night’s rest is essential, no matter your age. Make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night. Too little sleep can raise inflammation levels and blood pressure – two factors that contribute to heart disease.
Are you covered for the medical care you need to help keep your heart healthy? Contact My Senior Health Plan today to compare plans and find the coverage that fits your personal health needs and your budget.