Living a Heart Healthy Life


With age comes an increased risk for heart disease and all cardiovascular diseases, and it is important to make smart choices as you and your loved ones look to maintain health and wellness. The American Heart Association and Sunrise Senior Living are pleased to support your efforts in maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle.

According to Ralph Sacco, M.D., chief of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami and past president of the American Heart Association, “New studies have shown that the risk factors that can lead to heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity, also contribute to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and cognitive dysfunction."

Many seniors believe that heart disease risks are inevitable in old age. In truth, there are plenty of ways to keep your heart in great shape; start with these seven.

  • Get enough exercise. This means at least 30 minutes of exercise almost every day of the week.
  • Quit smoking. If you do smoke, it's time to quit.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting saturated fats, salt, and foods containing cholesterol, like fatty meats.
  • Watch your numbers. Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and make sure they’re under control with medication.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, like blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
  • Minimize stress in your life. Stress can compound many heart disease risks that seniors already face, steering you toward an unhealthy lifestyle. Find healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your heart disease risk.
  • Watch your weight. Too many pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk. To help prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy body weight for your size. 

These measures have one unique thing in common: any person of any age can make these changes. The steps are not expensive or difficult to take, and even modest health improvements will make a big difference.

These materials were developed with the support of Sunrise Senior Living to help you learn more about Life’s Simple 7 and the Support Network for patients, families and caregivers.

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