Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for about 800,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the 2017 report from the American College of Cardiology. If you or an older family member has been diagnosed with CVD, try to incorporate these heart-healthy lifestyle and diet changes into your life.

As we age, our risk of developing a cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases. Eighty-four percent of deaths  of people ages 65 and older are related to CVD. Thankfully, there are a few simple lifestyle changes that can help keep your heart ticking along for years to come.

Minimize Stress

Everyone reacts to stress in different ways, but for many people it can encourage dangerous behavior. Some deal with high levels of stress by consuming alcohol, smoking heavily or overeating. All these habits can lead to heart issues like hypertension. Finding positive outlets for your stress is the best way to prevent worsening your condition.

Exercise Regularly

You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym to see the benefits exercise has on heart health. In fact, research shows that just 40 minutes of moderate exercise four days per week can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. When compared to inactive people with heart disease, those who were active had a decreased likelihood of premature death.

Monitor Your Weight

According to a recent study, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. Obesity is a core factor in several health issues. This is especially true for CVD patients. Simply by being obese, you have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attack. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is the most efficient way to reduce these risks.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

High blood pressure, risk of stroke and cardiomyopathy are just some of the risks of excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking too much can increase fats in the blood known as triglycerides. Also, due to the empty calories in alcoholic beverages, excessive drinking can increase your risk of obesity, which can lead to a host of other cardiac diseases.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Diets can be difficult to follow, but unlike fad diets, a heart-healthy one will help you feel more energized and keep your heart beating properly. You can enjoy delicious heart-healthy foods like:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fat-free dairy products
  • Lean proteins like poultry and seafood

Follow Your Treatment Plan

Following your doctor’s treatment plan to a T is crucial no matter your condition. Take care to only take prescribed doses of medicines and remember that too much medicine – or too little – can have dangerous side effects.

Avoid Rushing Into Major Changes

Taking on too many changes at once will feel overwhelming. It is recommended that you begin your new heart-healthy lifestyle by easing into a few minor changes before tackling larger ones. In terms of exercise, you could begin with simpler activities like lifting light dumbbells before tackling a 30-minute yoga session.

Trusted Senior Care in Atlanta

If you or a family member has suffered from a detrimental cardiovascular event, the caregivers at A.G. Rhodes are here for you. For over 100 years, A.G. Rhodes has served Atlanta’s seniors with compassionate, high-quality short-term and long-term care. For more information about our services, contact us online or call 877-918-6413 today!