Living a healthy lifestyle is something everyone aims to do, so in the interests of caring for seniors, the team at Home Instead have decided to share some tips on maintaining a healthy heart, based on information we have gleaned from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

As we get older, the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases increases, so making smart choices when it comes to our health and well-being is essential.

It’s important to keep vigilant about blood pressure. According to the Heart Foundation: “A blood pressure reading under 120/80mmHg is considered optimal. Readings over 120/80mmHg and up to 139/89mmHg are in the normal to high normal range.” Do you know what your blood pressure is? If not, see your doctor or pharmacist and find out.

A healthy lifestyle and healthy eating is vital in maintaining good health because when we get older, our digestions become less efficient, so eating the right types of food will help combat this.

Eating food high in fibre can lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and improve our overall health.

Things such as making sure we have a well-balanced diet and not skipping meals will all contribute to the health of our hearts.

The ability to exercise also declines over the years as our maximum heart rate declines, which means our body can’t pump as much oxygen and blood to our muscles.

This results in the length of a workout and the level of the intensity of a workout being reduced. However, by exercising twice a week we should be able to maintain muscular strength, a healthy weight and most importantly a healthy heart.

On this note, avoid too much sitting. Once again the Heart Foundation points out: “There’s evidence that shows adults who sit less throughout the day have a lower risk of early death, particularly from heart disease…and type 2 diabetes.”

A lack of sleep can also have an effect on our hearts. Research has shown that less than 5 hours per night can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, and we all should ideally be having around 7-8 hours most nights.

Additionally, emotional stress has a negative effect on the heart as stress causes it to beat faster, plus blood pressure rises and a stress hormone is released, which all affect the heart.

Even though it is nearly impossible to avoid all sources of stress, learning to manage it will help minimise stress levels and take some pressure off our hearts.

One of the things you can do to relieve your stress is to get a little bit of help around the home from a CAREGiver who will help you live independently at home for longer. 

For more information, call 1300 008 018 and you’ll be put in touch with someone from your local Home Instead office.