February is American Heart Month, and it’s the perfect opportunity to think about ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Along with maintaining an appropriate diet, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress, regular exercise is imperative for maintaining good heart health.
8 Tips and Ideas for Staying Active
According to the American Heart Association, each week you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both. Following are a few ways to stay active.
1. In the colder months, take brisk walks at an indoor location, like a mall or gym. In the warmer months, walk around your favorite park or the local neighborhood.
2. Sign up for exercise classes at your local community center or senior center.
3. If you are a resident of one of our senior living communities in Michigan, North Carolina, or Virginia, take advantage of the exercise programs that are offered. Our trainers can also help customize a fitness routine that’s right for you.
4. Participate in sports or games you enjoy, such as bowling, billiards, golf, or pingpong.
5. Sign up for a self-defense course for seniors, which can both improve your physical activity and teach you how to protect yourself.
6. Create a home gym. Choose pieces of equipment that you enjoy using and that are easy on your joints, such as a stationary bike, treadmill with customization options, and barbells of the appropriate weight.
7. Swim, take swimming lessons, or participate in water exercises at the senior living community, senior center, or local gym.
8. Take that dance class you’ve always wanted. You can improve balance, endurance, and heart health while accomplishing the goal.
Other Ways to Protect Your Heart Health
Each individual has different needs, but following are some suggestions your doctor might recommend.
- Practice stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation and yoga. There is a correlation between stress and cardiovascular disease, so reducing stress can improve your heart health.
- Quit smoking.
- Get the appropriate amount of sleep per night. Doing so can reduce your stress levels.
Maintain a healthy diet based on your doctor’s recommendations. This may include incorporating more of the following into your meals:
- Healthy herbs and spices
- A variety of healthy fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Skinless poultry and fish
- Nuts and legumes
- Follow a diabetic diet if needed, including reducing sweets and other added sugars
- Reduce saturated fat, sodium, caffeine, and alcohol consumption
- Limit your consumption of red meat, or selecting the leanest cuts available
How the Senior Living Lifestyle can Help You Improve Your Heart Health
Residing in a senior living community like Waltonwood allows you to take advantage of many planned exercise programs, swimming classes, special events, and more in order to stay active. Skilled dieticians and chefs also are knowledgeable about seniors’ dietary needs related to heart health or other restrictions. Visit our Waltonwood website to learn more.