It’s National Heart Health Month, and these activities are the perfect way to celebrate.
©halfpoint via Canva.com
Heart health is a priority at any age. It’s important to continue doing activities that promote a healthy heart, as this impacts other areas of health, too. A healthy heart could mean a happier disposition, more energy, less stress, weight maintenance, and even a reduced risk of some cancers.
According to the CDC, 30.1 million Americans (or 12% of the U.S. adult population) have heart disease. It’s estimated that about 80% of all cardiovascular disease is preventable through proper nutrition and exercise, and can lead to a longer, healthier, happier life.
February is National Heart Health Month. Introduce your senior loved ones to these five heart-healthy activities and encourage them to become daily habits:
1. Take a Walk
While your senior family member might not be a marathon runner, a walk delivers similar heart-healthy benefits. Walking helps to increase the heart rate, plus it helps to stretch the leg and hip muscles. Even short walks are better than sitting inside, so encourage your loved one to walk as much as possible.
2. Eat a New Heart-Healthy Food
Maintaining good heart health means eating nutritious foods that are low in fats, bad cholesterol, and inflammatory properties. According to Healthline, some of the best foods for your heart include:
- Leafy greens, like spinach and kale
- Whole grains, like whole wheat, oats, and quinoa
- Oily fish, like salmon and tuna
- Nuts, seeds, and beans
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
Try incorporating some healthy recipes into your senior loved one’s diet. Also, remind them about the importance of “eating the rainbow.” Choosing a variety of colorful foods can help ensure proper nutrition.
3. Do a Dance
You’re never too old to dance your heart out! While your senior might not have a dance card to fill anymore, their heart can still benefit from showing off their moves. Many senior centers offer dance classes that are suited to older generations. Or, if your senior spends a lot of time at home, you can play Zumba videos on YouTube that are designed for seniors. They can dance at their own pace from the comfort of their own home and squeeze in a dance or two whenever they want.
4. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a versatile exercise that can accommodate any skill level. The gentle stretching and posing helps with balance, posture, and mobility. Plus, yoga has been shown to provide a number of mental health benefits, too. It may help to lower stress, reduce the risk of depression, and improve sleep, all of which can benefit your heart.
5. Go Outside
Fresh air can work wonders on the mind and body. Simply being outdoors has been shown to improve your mood and focus, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress. Encourage your senior to go outside at least once every day, even if it’s just for a quick walk or to watch the birds.
For more senior health insights, head back to our blog.