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5 Things Senior Women Can Do to Enhance Their Heart Health

By , 9:00 am on

As women age, they shouldn’t neglect their cardiovascular health. Heart disease is one of leading causes of death among senior women, and it often manifests differently in women than it does in men. To optimize cardiovascular health, senior women need to make the following lifestyle choices.

1. Exercise

Everyone knows exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. However, sticking to a fitness regimen is easier said than done, and many senior women aren’t active enough. When women engage in cardio and strength training exercises for two to three hours a week, they can lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and minimize the risk of heart disease. Women who haven’t exercised in a while should look for senior-friendly exercise options like yoga or chair aerobics. There are plenty of DVDs and videos available for seniors who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own home. Many women prefer group exercise classes, as they provide one-on-one guidance and a motivating atmosphere. After a few weeks of attending a beginner’s yoga class, weekly exercise will become a habit, and your loved one will be on the way to better cardiovascular health. 

Your senior loved one may need help exercising and making healthy lifestyle choices. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Naples, Florida, senior care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Stop Smoking

The connection between smoking and heart disease is well known. Smoking damages the arterial linings, allowing fatty material to build up within the arteries, which inhibits healthy blood flow and can cause strokes, heart attacks, and more. Women are more susceptible to the damaging effects of smoking than men, so it is crucial for senior women to end their smoking habit. While it’s never easy to quit, this doesn’t mean your loved one shouldn’t try. Nicotine substitutes and motivational therapy are often effective. 

3. Eat Heart-Healthy Foods

Women at risk for cardiovascular conditions should eat foods proven to boost cardiovascular function and avoid foods that don’t have health benefits. Encourage your loved one to swap white bread and pasta for whole grain alternatives and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Instead of snacking on chips, your loved one should eat protein-filled nuts like almonds and walnuts. Lean protein is also essential, and fatty fish like salmon should be a dietary staple.

If your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices that promote longevity, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Naples, Florida, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Get Rid of Stress

Constant stress and feelings of depression increase the risk of heart disease. Senior women experiencing these feelings need to find a way to mitigate their anxiety or depression. Your loved one could seek help from a therapist or psychiatrist or seek other methods of stress-relief like meditation, a healthy sleep regimen, and regular exercise. 

5. Know the Symptoms of Heart Attacks

When men have heart attacks, they have difficulty breathing and feel pain in the chest, arms, and back. When women have heart attacks, the symptoms may be less obvious. In the weeks before a heart attack, women often experience unusual levels of fatigue, sleep disturbances, and breathing difficulties. When they’re experiencing a heart attack, they may feel short of breath, weak, tired, dizzy, nauseous, and sweaty. Senior women often don’t realize they’re having a heart attack, which means they don’t receive the proper treatment. By staying informed, your loved one can get the medical attention she needs in the event of a heart attack.

Encourage your loved one to incorporate these strategies in her routine so she can stay active and independent for longer. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Naples, Florida, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver. Call Home Care Assistance at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.