SENIOR HEALTH

WINTER SEASON

2017

Heart Health for Seniors

 

By Logan Hawkes

 

We have heard about it. Many of us have suffered through problems that have made the term personal. But what really is heart health, and how does it apply specifically to seniors? In simple terms, it is a term given to a group of different health conditions that affect the heart and the heart's complex system. The most common form of heart disease is called coronary artery disease (CAD), which is often yje cause of serious cardiovascular events like heart failure, chest pain, arrhythmia or, yes, even a heart attack.

 

Heart disease is a major concern for everyone, but especially to seniors. As the year's go by, age takes its toll, as does work, stress, over-exercising, foods we eat, lifestyles and environmental forces.

 

It has been estimated that nearly 85 percent of all seniors age 65 and above die of some form of heart disease. If that wasn't enough, another 20 percent or more life limited lifestyles because of serious heart-related problems.

 

If you are a senior and do not know the current health status of your heart and circulatory system, chances are you are terrible risk of a surprise heart-related event. You should know already that check up with a qualified physician are critically import to your health. This is certainly graduated when we talk about heart health.

 

SYMPTOMS OF HEART DISEASE

 

  • Feeling weak or faint
  • A sensation of light-headedness or being dizzy
  • A hard time catching your breath
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Feeling very full or having indigestion
  • Pain in the chest or an uncomfortable pressure in the chest area
  • Sweating
  • An irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in the back or shoulders

 

REDUCING THE RISKS OF HEART ATTACK

The first step to being heart healthy is living healthy. What you eat, exercise, other health conditions - all are important to increasing heart health. Your blood pressure, your cholesterol level, and remaining active play a key role as well.

 

But it all starts with a heart check up, and you don't need to delay! There are medications that can help treat the various aspects of heart disease, but only your doctor will know which medicines, how much and how often to take them, if you can correctly evaluate your overall condition.

 

Some things that might help if you are suffering heart deficiencies: Nitrates, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers may be recommended, and the doctor may also suggest taking a daily aspirin to help reduce the risk of a heart attack. But it's important to remember only your doctor can make those decisions. If you want to be heart healthy, it all starts with a good doctor!

 

HEART DISEASE PREVENTION

It should go without saying, but if you are a smoker or consume alcohol regularly, especially daily and/or in moderate to large amounts, you need to consider a lifestyle change.

 

Sure, changing old habits is hard. But heart failure is harder! Give up the tobacco and live longer - and better. Slow down on the drinking as well and keep it in check. And if you are a couch potato, get up and get out, because there is nothing as good for you as exercise.

 

In fact, exercise is probably the most important aspect of heart health. Provided your health condition forbids it, you should get a half hour of exercise everyday. Don't push it beyond your limits. Even long walks can help you keep the ticker ticking. But exercise is a must, but only after a doctor tells how much and what kind!

 

Also at the top of the list is healthy eating. Yes, that means eating those vegetables and greens, and more importantly, cutting back on the foods that are not heart healthy, and you can bet there a lot of them. Saturated fats, high salt intake, fast food and processed meats are not heart healthy, so limit these foods, and the same is true with your sugar intake. If you are otherwise healthy and diabetes-free, a little sugar is not going to hurt you. But but a little goes a long way, and moderation is always the best medicine.

 

Finally, cut down on the stress in your life. It's a killer! Find a hobby, take a Yoga class, and chill out about the problems of the world or whether or not you csn solve them all, because you can't! Enjoy life, stop being a grump, and take a walk on the sunny side of the street. It's mot just the number of years we live that is important, but how we live them. Make someone else smile and you might be surprised. It's contagious!