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Heart Health after Age 60: What you should know

Posted June 5, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is never too late to get your life (or your heart) on the path towards healthy living. Once you reach your 60’s, the risk of having heart issues can increase, but taking the proper steps and precautions can help to keep your heart healthy. Whether it means keeping a close eye on your blood pressure, increasing your daily activity, or visiting the doctor for frequent checkups, here’s what you should know about how you can keep your heart happy and healthy.

  1. Fix your Diet. Start including foods that are dense in nutrients into your diet. Add colorful fruits and veggies, whole-grains, and lean meats, these can give your heart the nutrients it needs to improve blood pressure and cholesterol.
  2. Know your Numbers. Take your blood pressure frequently and attend frequent checkups to ensure your cholesterol is monitored. Here are some numbers you should know:
    1. Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL
    2. HDL (good) cholesterol 50 mg/dL or higher
    3. LDL (bad) cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
    4. Triglycerides around 150 mg/dL
    5. Blood pressure around 120/80 mm Hg.
  3. Get Moving. Make some type of daily physical activity a priority. Whether it’s a brisk 10 minute walk or a quick swim, just 150 minutes per week of moderately intense activity lowers your chance of developing coronary artery disease by 14 percent.
  4. Put Down the Cigarettes. As smoking is the leading cause of heart disease, this one’s important. But we understand that it’s not quite that easy. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation to help guide your way through the quitting process.
  5. Limit your Drinks. As you get older it is important to drink in moderation, as heavy alcohol consumption can lead to obesity and high cholesterol.
  6. Stay Hydrated. By drinking more water than you are losing, you are helping the heart do its job!
  7. Get some Sleep. According to the American Heart Association, an irregular sleep pattern (one that varies from the seven- to nine-hour nightly norm) is linked to a host of cardiovascular risks, including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Getting the recommended 8 hours a night can help energize you and keep your heart healthy.

Although it might seem like a lot, remember, you can always start small and work your way up to bigger tasks. Start by incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet and then ease into exercise. Small steps can lead to big, healthy changes!

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