Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States of America. This leading cause of death resulted in over 650,000 deaths in 2019. Almost half of the adult population in the United States will be diagnosed with heart disease, but it does not have to be a death sentence. Once diagnosed, there are ways to take control of your health and your life to lessen symptoms and increase quality and quantity of life.
The best way to control heart disease is to control blood pressure. Blood pressure is affected by what we eat. Foods high in sodium and cholesterol have been shown to increase blood pressure. Also, in general, eating out is not as healthy as what you would make and eat at home. Eating home cooked meals that are properly balanced and not overly high in sodium or cholesterol is a large part of managing heart disease.
Living in an assisted living facility, in most cases, provides you with three home-cooked meals each day. Many facilities will cater to specific diets, allergies, dislikes and are very familiar with dietary needs associated with disease such as diabetes and heart disease. For this reason, it may be wise to consider assisted living or having meals delivered if you are no longer able to shop and cook for yourself. In-home care is also another option. Both assisted living and in-home care are offered by The Gables in Idaho Falls.
Smoking is not good for any aspect of physical health. Research increasingly shows evidence of the detrimental effects of smoking. Cigarette smoke can permanently damage the heart and blood vessels in the body. Each time you smoke a cigarette it instantly increases blood pressure and will likely cause a long-term blood pressure problem. Cigarette smoke can also cause plaque to build up in the arteries.
These kinds of damages will directly affect how the heart functions and increase the risk of getting heart disease, and increase negative symptoms and could lead to quicker death in those who have been diagnosed. It is in any smoker’s best interest to quit smoking as soon as possible.
A sedentary lifestyle can exacerbate problems related to heart disease. The best way to keep your heart healthy and strong is by working it and getting it pumping. Performing heart pumping exercise for just thirty minutes per day is enough to lower blood pressure. Depending on age, the type of appropriate exercise will differ.
Although more vigorous exercise will have better results for strengthening your heart, you should not overdo it and getting moving will be better than the alternative. Walking your dog, weeding a garden, cleaning the house, all of these will get your body moving and increase blood flow to muscles. Every little step to a less sedentary lifestyle will be beneficial. Most assisted living facilities offer some form of exercise at least a few times a week. Some gyms offer silver sneakers programs specifically for those over the age of 65. As always, consult a doctor before beginning or changing your exercise routine.
When it comes to something as severe as heart disease, even the smallest baby steps should not be overlooked. Any attempt to increase your overall health and wellbeing will be appreciated by your heart and should result in prolonged life expectancy. Start small and work up from there. Eat out less, and cook at home more. Cut back on smoking with the hope of quitting entirely. Get moving even if it is just a walk around the block. If you think assisted living could help you with any of these things, you can contact the professionals at The Gables to answer any questions you may have for you or a loved one that suffers from heart disease.