Love Your Heart: Heart Healthy Habits for Seniors
Older adults who eat healthy and exercise are doing much more than keeping their bodies in shape … they’re keeping their hearts in shape, too. February is Heart Month, a great time to review tips and habits that promote cardiovascular health and help delay some of the issues associated with heart disease and aging.
Exercise Your Way to a Healthy Heart
The American Heart Association recommends that older adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. Check with you doctor to find the fitness program that’s best for you.
With a heated indoor pool and well-equipped fitness center, it’s easy for The Commons residents to reach their fitness goals and stay healthy and active. Whether it’s light weightlifting with a friend or personal trainer, taking a yoga class or other fitness class, or participating in water aerobics, there are activities and programs available every day.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Walk!
Researchers have long touted the cardiovascular benefits of walking. Like other forms of moderate exercise, walking can help lower risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. It also can help improve mobility and reduce stiffness.
At The Commons, there are plenty of simple ways for older adults to work walking into their daily lifestyle: take the dog out for a stroll (yes, we’re a dog-friendly community), park a bit farther from building entrances, use stairs instead of the elevator, walk in the pool, go on one of our scheduled outings to a mall and do some window shopping or take a few extra laps around the grocery store.
In addition, our community is conveniently situated within Lincoln’s 27-mile network of nature trails, allowing residents to simply step outside their front door and follow the trails to Walden Pond or the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Delicious Dining Options to Support Cardiovascular Health
What goes on your plate plays a part in good cardiovascular health. From dining for special diets, to our very own salt substitute, the chefs at The Commons take healthy (and delicious) dining seriously. Both our Always Available and Gala Dining Room menus offer a variety of heart-healthy options, featuring dishes with less than 500 mg of sodium, 10 percent saturated fat and no added salt.
Human Connections Make for a Happy Heart
In addition to eating well and keeping your body in motion, social engagement can also play a part in maintaining a happy heart. Our residents come together to laugh, learn and share new experiences every day. Whether it’s taking a trip to the symphony, sharing family photos, gardening or wine tasting, a flourishing social life and connecting with others can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
Quick Tips for Healthier Eating
- Eat more fruit and vegetables.
- Eat more whole-grain foods.
- Eat more lean proteins.
- Limit consumption of processed meats.
- Read food labels to help you choose healthy foods.
- Snack on protein-packed nuts and seeds.
- Limit your sodium intake.
- Cut down on sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Get enough calcium.