According to the CDC, heart disease is the number one cause of death among men and women in the United States, killing over 600,000 people each year. That equates to approximately one in four deaths! Only American Indians and Alaskan Natives have a lower percentage at one in five deaths.
Although some heart disease is genetic, over 80 percent of deaths caused by heart disease are preventable. Just think what those almost 500,000 people who die each year might be doing today. Although prevention can start at any age, it is best if it is practiced when we are young. By having good habits throughout our lives, we may reduce our risk not only of heart disease other deadly diseases like strokes and cancer.
With World Heart Day falling on September 29th, we thought we would call attention to heart disease and some prevention tips:
- Have a healthy diet. Eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods is a good rule of thumb. By avoiding processed foods, you are also limiting added sodium and sugar in your diet, which will help to lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Get regular exercise. Whether you walk, run, bike, swim, or cross-train, it is important to get 2 to 3 hours of physical activity every week. Talk to your doctor before starting any type of exercise regimen.
- Don’t smoke. If you don’t smoke now, don’t start. If you do smoke, stop. There are a variety of products and programs that can help a person quit smoking. If you tried to quit and it didn’t work, try again until it does. You can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease (and other diseases) by not smoking.
When you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, you should be able to maintain a healthy weight. This will help you reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, all of which are contributing factors to heart disease. It is not too late to make some simple changes to your diet and exercise routine so your senior years are happy and healthy ones!
At Assisting Hands® Home Care, our skilled caregivers will make sure the seniors in our care are eating and exercising appropriately. Whether you need someone to be with your loved one during the day, in the evening or overnight, our at-home care can accommodate your needs. You will have peace of mind knowing that they aren’t home alone when they need help with medication, fall prevention, personal care, eating or other needs.