Three Heart-Healthy Tips for Seniors

Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States with the American Heart Association estimating nearly 64 percent of CVD deaths occurring in seniors 75 years and older. To increase awareness about heart-related diseases, Lutheran SeniorLife is proudly participating in American Heart Month with these three heart-healthy tips for seniors.

1. Stay Active

Most of us already know that obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of developing heart-related diseases such as CVD. A recent study performed on older adults not only confirmed this but also revealed overweight elders with low physical activity are at a significantly higher risk for CVD as well. Just twenty-one minutes of light exercise each day is enough to help seniors stay heart healthy.

2. Limit Your Salt Intake

As we age, our bodies become more receptive to salt. This increased sensitivity leads to damaging effects on the older population through complications such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart failure. Reducing the amount of salt added to food while cooking or at the table can lower seniors’ chances of developing these complications dramatically.

3. Quit Smoking

Smoking leads to disease and harms nearly every organ of the body, especially the heart. A 2015 study further concluded that smoking increased cardiovascular mortality in seniors by more than five years. This was accompanied by the finding that smoking cessation in this age group is still beneficial in reducing the excess risk.

As the older population continues to grow, the importance of self-monitoring heart health becomes of utmost significance. Use these three heart-healthy tips for seniors to create the best disease management plan and make a heart-healthy difference in your community.