Your heart is the most vital part of your body when it comes to your overall health and wellness. And while heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, there’s good news, too: heart disease is preventable with lifestyle choices.
Simple changes — like learning your cardiovascular risk factors, eating healthier, managing your weight, exercising and taking care of your emotional health — can have a huge impact on your heart health.
Also knowing your 4 numbers for your heart health can be very beneficial:
Heart Screenings, Education and Whole-Person Health
Count on your AdventHealth Well 65+ provider to help you keep your heart health in check. You already know that your heart is at the center of whole-person health, but it’s especially critical if you have certain cardiovascular risk factors — like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, certain diets or a sedentary lifestyle.
If you’re at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, your AdventHealth Well 65+ primary care physician can help guide you toward a healthier lifestyle to help you prevent heart problems in the future.
Know Your Cardiovascular Risk Factors
The more you learn about heart health and heart disease prevention, the more empowered you'll feel to take living healthy into your own hands. While age and family history certainly play a role in your cardiovascular disease risk, your body also sends you signals when something isn’t right. At AdventHealth Well 65+, we’ll help you learn the warning signs that mean you could be considered high risk for heart disease, including:
- Family history of cardiovascular disease
- Lack of physical activity
- Mental health challenges
- Overweight or obese
- Poor nutrition and eating habits
Each of these is an important factor in keeping your heart healthy and strong with preventive measures. It’s our goal to help you learn to manage your heart health as part of your lifelong wellness journey. Here are eight tips inspired by CREATION Life that you can include in your healthy lifestyle to keep your heart beating strong for life:
Get Enough Rest
Rest is an often-overlooked factor that plays a big role in your cardiovascular health. The better night’s sleep you get, the healthier your heart will be. According to a study by the American Heart Association, poor sleep quality is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, a potential cause of heart disease. Most adults need six to eight hours of sleep per night for optimal heart health benefits.
Eat Healthy as a Habit
Make vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish the focus of your diet. Make healthy choices like limiting simple carbs, processed meats and sweetened drinks. Use the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods to cut back on sodium, added sugars and saturated fats. Avoid trans fats.
Moving more is one of the best ways to stay healthy, prevent disease and age well. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. If you’re already active, you can increase your intensity for even more benefits. If you’re not active now, get started by simply sitting less and moving more. Try to get outside to exercise whenever possible to reap the benefits of being in nature as well.
Be sure to check with your Well 65+ provider before starting any new exercise routine so you can get the best results, safely.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Stay at a healthy weight for you and try to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Start by eating fewer calories and moving more. You can check your body mass index (BMI) with our calculator. If you need help, talk to your Well 65+ provider about a customized weight loss plan.
Make Healthy Choices
If you don’t smoke or drink alcohol, there is no good reason to start. If you do and quitting smoking or drinking is a challenge for you, ask your team for support and they will be glad to help get you on a healthier path.
If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or any condition that puts you at greater risk, it’s very important to work with your health care team and make lifestyle changes. Many conditions can be prevented or managed by eating better, getting active, losing weight and not smoking.
Take your Medicine
If you have a health condition, your doctor may prescribe medications to help control your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Take all your medications as your provider tells you, and do not take aspirin as a preventive measure unless your doctor tells you to.
Cultivate Healthy Relationships
Research shows that those with a higher number of healthy relationships in their lives tend to be healthier and live longer. And by forming a strong relationship with your health care team at AdventHealth Well 65+, we can help you reduce your risk of heart disease so you can live the abundant life you were made for. By working together and treating the relationship between you and your provider as a solid partnership in health, you won’t miss a beat when it comes to living whole for life.
Learn more about how we can help you live life to the fullest at AdventHealth Well 65+.