Protecting the Heart When Older

Getting old in age forces a lot of changes to one’s lifestyle, but most importantly, it also brings the realization that one has to spend a bit more time being careful and avoiding the conditions that push the heart beyond what it can handle. As the old saying goes, you’re not a spring chicken anymore.

Healthy Thinking and Living

Thinking, eating, living and behaving healthy makes a big difference for longevity. Dr. Ian Weisberg points out it can add decades to one’s life instead of a short-lived stint in retirement before a heart attack or stroke. And it doesn’t start at a particular age like 50s or 60s, or even earlier in one’s 40s. Just taking the right steps in any of those age periods significantly reduces the damage of heart disease. It also helps with a number of other problems too, like Diabetes 2 for example.

Differences in a Senior Approach

Heart health in one’s senior years is very much about preservation and protection. Every step taken with what one eats, the amount of sleep obtained nightly, the amount of activity moving around that occurs all make changes towards the positive and increase the heart’s resilience. That allows it to continue to take on challenges, even as the heart ages along with the rest of the body. While it won’t automatically prevent other conditions from happening with age, reducing the risk of heart disease goes a long way towards avoiding heart attacks, stroke, cholesterol and arterial plaque as well and more.

The first place to start is a doctor’s visit. Not only does the same provide a clear understanding of where one’s health is at, the doctor can also confirm what a person is capable of when starting to exercise again. There’s no point in ramping up and then getting seriously hurt. Diet can be an issue too; a doctor can help with food allergies as well as craft a safe diet for those who have to watch what they eat.

Focus on Metrics

The body gives off a number of measurements that are key indicators of concerns about the heart, and those indicators change over time with age. For example, a midrange blood pressure measurement should be under 120 systolic and under 80 for diastolic. Above those standards, high blood pressure as well as concerns with heart risk and stroke begin. One of the best ways to reduce blood pressure back to a normal range involves fast walking 20 to 30 minutes every day. Most seniors can do this if they don’t have mobility issues.

If you smoke or drink alcohol, it’s time to stop. Even a few months of no longer smoking results in huge positive effects as the body heals itself quickly.

Making the Right Choices Saves Money Too

The healthier one is going into their senior years, Ian Weisberg notes the more it saves in avoided medical costs too. Even with Medicare, health costs for pharmaceuticals and treatment can rise quickly. By staying healthy, eating right, and protecting one’s heart, the differences can be huge, both for living longer as well as having one’s retirement savings for retirement versus paying for health costs.