Heart disease is a leading cause of death in seniors. In fact, 84 percent of people age 65 and older die from heart disease. Some people assume that heart disease is inevitable with aging, but there are many things you can do to lower your risk. The best part is, it’s never too late! By focusing on a healthy diet, daily exercise and monitoring your blood pressure, you can take your heart health into your hands.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Keeping your heart healthy does require effort. As you improve your eating habits and make exercise a priority, they will eventually fit into your everyday lifestyle. Here are a few tips for preventing heart disease at any age.

  • Get enough exercise. It’s recommended to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you haven’t worked out in a long time, start small. No one expects you to climb a mountain or run a marathon. Walk the mall. Take a bike ride. Lift lightweight dumbbells. Dance to your favorite music.
  • Eat a healthy diet. You are what you eat. A diet that consists of fast foods and processed meals is not good for the heart. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats. The foods to keep out of your diet include saturated fats, high cholesterol foods and salty foods.
  • Monitor your numbers. Visit the doctor regularly to keep updated on your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. If you have diabetes, you will have to see the doctor more. These conditions can place additional stress on the heart.
  • Maintain your weight. Gaining weight can also put stress on the heart. Maintain a healthy weight for your body by eating the right foods and exercising. Being in shape will increase your motivation for staying active as well.
  • Stop smoking and decrease alcohol. If you smoke, quit. Talk to your doctor about the various resources available for this. Drinking alcohol can also worsen conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It’s best to limit alcoholic drinks.
  • Decrease stress. Stress can compound pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure. Find ways to minimize stress in your life such as by walking, meditating or writing in a journal.

Heart disease is not inevitable with age. There are steps you can take to prevent heart disease and lead a longer, healthier life. Fortunately, all of these changes will improve your health in other ways, such as combating depression, lowering the risk of certain cancers and more. You will never regret making these changes. Your health is a gift!