February Is American Heart Month
Know the Risk Factors for Developing Heart Disease
This month, the American Heart Association is challenging all Americans to learn more about heart disease and its risk factors, and to join its mission to promote healthier families and communities, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Heart disease is a major threat to seniors’ health. In fact, heart disease accounts for 84% of deaths of those 65 years and older. Therefore, seniors are especially encouraged to make those all-important heart healthy choices. In senior living communities, such as ours, healthy meals, exercise and an active lifestyle are incorporated into residents’ choices, making a difference in their lives.
Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions, says the American Heart Association. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
Key Risk Factors for Heart Disease
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) have at least one of these three risk factors. These medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease:
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
Healthy Lifestyle Factors
Seniors and others can help prevent and control many coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors by engaging in a heart-healthy lifestyle. A few risk factors—such as age, gender, and family history—can’t be controlled. However, many risk factors, like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity can be controlled, or at least made better, by developing heart-smart habits. Seniors should try and control each risk factor which include:
- Heart-healthy eating
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress
- Physical activity – at least 30 minutes, five times a week
- Quitting smoking
The good news is that making changes can help control several risk factors at the same time. For example, physical activity may lower your blood pressure, help control diabetes and pre-diabetes, reduce stress, and help control weight.
Make heart healthy choices this February.
To learn more about a heart-healthy senior lifestyle in senior living contact our community today!