It’s no secret that heart disease is a leading causing of death among older adults. In fact, the American Heart Association reported in 2013 that around 80% of people who die from coronary heart disease are age 65 or older.
Take Advantage of Health Screenings
Regular medical check-ups are important to keep track of things that affect heart disease. You should be monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar. If you are enrolled in Medicare, your doctor can administer these screenings free of charge at your annual physical under Medicare Part B which provides preventive care benefits.
If you are found to be high risk, your doctor can take action and do additional testing like cardiac stress testing. Also, if blockages are found, those can be treated before they cause a cardiac event.
Eat a Healthy Diet
As Americans, we have grown accustomed to eating fast foods and foods that are processed. However, these are not good for us. If you want to stay heart healthy, you should eat whole foods and limit your intake of saturated fats.
A diet rich in whole grains and fruits and vegetables as well as fiber can go along way to preventing heart disease. This kind of diet can also help you with weight control. Maintaining a healthy weight also help you lower your risk.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. Seniors who smoke are at risk for cancers of oral, head and neck cancer as well as lung cancer. Smoking also contributes to osteoporosis and respiratory issues, so it should come as no surprise that smoking also increases your risk of heart attack.
Of course, it is not easy to stop smoking. However, here in the United States, Medicare beneficiaries can get help from Medicare’s free smoking-cessation program. Part B provides up to 8 counseling sessions to help you quit smoking. Your physician may also be able to prescribe a nicotine patch to increase your chances of being successful.
Get Regular Exercise
Even if you have never worked out in your life, it’s never too late to start an exercise program. Regular physical activity correlates to a reduced risk of heart attack and strokes in your senior years. It’s easier than ever to get involved in a fitness program these days. Your local YMCA offers discounted memberships for senior citizens, and in some cases, your Medicare insurance may even provide a gym membership free of charge.
It’s important to note that senior fitness programs provide mental and social stimulation as well as physical benefits. If you exercise just three times a week, you’ll notice that you have increased energy and often better sleep as well.
Manage Other Diseases
Many studies have found that other diseases can increase your risk of heart disease. So, if you have ever been diagnosed with another serious or chronic health condition like diabetes, it’s important to get involved a disease management program. Insulin resistance, for example, can lead to high blood pressure and can also damage your blood vessels.
Medicare provides disease management programs to people with multiple chronic diseases. This program includes seminars where you can learn healthy habits and learn ways to manage your condition for the best possible health outcome. The goal is to lower your risk of serious health crises.
If you follow these five ways to help reduce your risk of heart disease, you can feel confident that you are doing what you can to stay healthy.