Your doctor must have told you so many times already that routine exercise combined with good diet can go a long way to keep your heart healthy. While this statement is true, there is much more into keeping your heart healthy than just exercising and eating well.
There are habits you must embrace and others you must drop to make sure you end up with a healthy heart. These habits apply to both the young and the old. So if you’re living with an elderly person, ensure they stick to these habits. Ensure too that you also stick to them. They include:
Consume Healthy Fats, Drop Trans Fats
For many years, researchers have considered saturated fats as serious health hazards. They have in fact, been linked with several cardiovascular as well as carcinogenic conditions. It now appears they are not as harmful as originally thought.
It turns out that trans fats pose more risks to your heart compared to saturated fats. To be clear, saturated fats are found in animal products while trans fats are man-made and are found in pre-packaged foods.
To demystify the health concerns associated with saturated fats, researchers conducted several studies on people who consume saturated fats often. They found out that there is no link between saturated fats and heart disease, risk of death and type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, there appears to be a correlation between trans fats and life threatening heart diseases.
Practice Good Dental Hygiene
It sounds strange but dental health is a good indicator of your overall health including the heart. You don’t have to study hard to prove this. Most people who suffer from periodontal disease often end up facing the same risk factors for heart disease.
While studies continue in this area, experts now agree bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for gum disease can easily move into the bloodstream. This can then cause sudden elevation in C-reactive protein, which is one of the most prominent markers for inflammation in your blood vessels.
Get Enough Sleep
This shouldn’t be a problem for seniors. Strangely though, most caregivers ignore this fact and see no harm in allowing the aging seniors they’re taking care of to stay awake for longer than usual. Truth is, it does not matter how young or old you are. If you do not get enough sleep, you are at great risk of developing life threatening cardiovascular diseases.
One recent study involving 3000 adults over the age of 45 proved how important sleep is for maintaining a healthy heart. The study found that those who slept for less than 6 hours each night were twice as likely to develop a heart attack or stroke compared to those who slept between 6 to 8 hours.
Do Not Sit For Too Long
Staying seated for long periods is bad for your heart. It doesn’t matter how often you work out. This is bad news for seniors who tend to sit for a longtime. It is also bad news for people with sedentary jobs.
To prove this, a research study that featured more than 800,000 people revealed that people who sat for long hours were associated with 147 percent increase in cardiovascular diseases. Take breaks if you have to sit for long hours then stretch your body as often as you can.
If you like the idea of taking care of elderly people and would like a caregiver job please see our page on becoming a professional caregiver here.