Improving Cardiovascular Health After 50 with Senior Care
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, heart disease is the number one cause of death for older adults in both Wisconsin and the United States.
So if you’re in charge of caring for a loved one, heart health ought to be a priority.
With that in mind, today’s post details exactly what not to do if you want to improve cardiovascular health after 50, and what our senior care team can do to help.
- Keep smoking. It’s 2020 now and most smokers know they ought to quit,. Even the occasional puff can seriously increase your risk of heart disease, according to research by the American Heart Association (AHA). And don’t think vaping is much better.
If your loved one has not developed coronary artery disease, they can reduce their risk of heart disease to that of a non-smoker within two years of quitting.
Need help with smoking cessation? Tell your senior care team. We can monitor your loved one’s smoking, purchase quitting aids, and provide encouragement or distractions when cravings kick in.
- Skip your daily walk. The AHA recommends Wisconsin senior spend at least 150 minutes exercising each week, which works out to about 30 minutes a day for 5 days. A 2017 study cited by the AARP found that people with stable coronary heart disease could reduce their mortality rate by incorporating habitual physical activities like walking. The greatest benefits are seen in sedentary seniors, so if your loved one has been skipping their walks lately it’s all the more reason to get moving!
Not around during the day to accompany your loved ones on their walk? Our senior care team can keep them safe while they get active. Let us accompany mom or dad for a stroll. We’ll keep them company and provide any support that may be required along the way.
- Stuff your face. It can be tough to keep your diet in check through the various holiday functions. And while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself now and again at Christmas, it’s important to do so in moderation! “Weight creep” is one of the biggest heart health risks for adults over 50, according to the AARP website, and dietary control is a much more effective intervention for seniors. Rather than trying to burn off your excess calories at the gym with high-impact exercise, exercise some restraint instead. If you’ve got a big appetite, opt for “volume foods” that are high in nutrients but low in calories, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Need more accountability with your diet or more healthy snacks around the house? Ask our senior care team how they can help.
- Eat dinner out of a box. As a general rule, try to steer clear of foods that come in boxes or bags. In addition to being nutritionally bankrupt, most “dead” processed food uses emulsifies that can trigger obesity and metabolic syndrome. Emphasize fresh whole foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, nuts and legumes.
Ask our senior care team about how we can help with meal preparation, shopping, clean-up, and mealtime service!