When you’re young, it isn’t uncommon to feel invincible. The choices you make don’t seem to have an immediate impact on your life, until you’re sitting in geriatric care in Chennai or another city in your senior years, nursing a weak heart. An extra sweet here or a few more fries there may simply add a few kilos in your younger years but these choices tell on your heart health in your senior years.
However, there’s no use fretting over the past and what could have been done. The silver lining here is that the risk of heart disease can be reversed by paying attention to certain risk factors such as BP and cholesterol. Here are five easy hacks to reclaim your heart health even as you grow older:
- Watch Less TV
Retirement can leave you with a lot of free time. While it may be tempting to sit in front of the idle box to catch up on years of entertainment lost to work and responsibilities, research shows that adults who watch about four hours of television a day have a 49% greater risk of heart attack and stroke compared to those who watch fewer than two hours a day. Moreover, sedentary behavior can also make you put on weight, which is another heart risk. Many facilities for Home Care Nursing in Chennai and elsewhere recommend that seniors find more physically-engaging activities like sports or gardening to improve cardiovascular health.
- Switch to a Plant-Heavy Diet
What you eat has a direct impact on your heart health. A plant-based diet is cardiovascular-friendly, with some reports suggesting that eating five or more servings of fruit and vegetables a day can lower heart disease risk by 20% compared to eating three or fewer servings. On the other hand, high saturated fat in red meat and processed food is a ticking bomb for your heart. Even if you love chip-and-dip, trade it in for vegetable slivers as you grow older.
- Drink More Tea
Experts who have studied heart health against the backdrop of tea- and coffee-drinking habits have found that habitual tea drinkers have better cardiovascular health and longer life. This is likely because of the organic chemicals, polyphenols, in herbal teas that improve blood vessel functionality. Replace your morning cup of coffee with a glass of green tea instead and boost your heart health.
- Laugh Deep and Often
The old adage, “Laughter is the best medicine,” didn’t come out of nowhere. A hearty laugh releases endorphins, increases blood flow, and reduces stress; this in turn improves your heart health. As you grow older, don’t forget to laugh deeply and more often. Spend time on fun activities with friends and family, get a pet who can make you giggle with their silliness, or go out for stand up comedy shows!
- Strike the Right Balance
Whether it is with respect to food and exercise, alcohol consumption, or sleep, balance is key to a healthy life. For instance, while too much alcohol is bad for your heart, consuming small amounts of red wine is actually healthy. So is dark chocolate. Just like tea, both red wine and dark chocolate contain polyphenols that boost vascular health. On the other hand, sleeping more than nine hours a night can increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, and stroke.
The Last Word
Age does not have to define your habits or your health. Simple lifestyle choices that you make every day can contribute to your cardiovascular fitness. If you are unsure of how to make these changes yourself, a trusted partner like Alserv can provide customized geriatric care in Chennai for elders, from diet planning to routine health checks. Our home nurses will help you monitor your BP, cholesterol, and diabetes, and plan exercise schedules that cater to your specific needs.