We all know a balanced diet and daily exercise are the tent poles of a healthy heart. In this article, however, we’re focused on a few of the lesser-known ways Seniors Helping Seniors® clients can maintain heart health.
Reducing stress, sustaining an active social life, and incorporating simple stretches into a morning routine all help to bolster an already heart-healthy lifestyle. Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is committed to helping those we serve hit all the right beats towards a healthy heart, so read on to get the ideas flowing!
Heart Health Tip 1: Manage Stress
Equally important as eating smart and exercising, finding ways to deal with stress is essential in keeping the heart in top shape. The following ideas can help.
Relaxing isn’t just important – it’s doctor’s orders! Staying relaxed goes hand-in-hand with stress management. Below, the Seniors Helping Seniors® team has gathered several exercises to help our clients feel at ease in any situation.
- Breathing exercises, like taking slow and intentional deep breaths, send a message to the brain to relax. These breathing practices slow your heart rate and release more oxygen into the bloodstream, unleashing endorphins that combat stress.
- Visualization helps reduce stress too. To start, find a quiet space, take a few deep breaths, and close your eyes. Picture yourself in a peaceful space. It could be the beach, a meadow, or a favorite comfy chair. Imagine having fun, smiling, and feeling serene.
- Counting to 10 can help our clients stay calm when beginning to feel stressed as well. Simply close your eyes, take a deep breath, and count slowly from one to 10. Check how you feel and repeat this exercise until you reach a relaxed state.
Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones
Another side effect of stress are the vices we enact to help cope. For example, eating sweets may reduce anxiety in the short-term, but consistently indulging in not-so-great behaviors to de-stress can have unfavorable long-term results. Next time you find yourself gravitating toward a bad habit because of stress, break the cycle by completing a good habit instead. Try going for a walk, writing in a journal, taking a hot bath, or calling a friend.
Create A Plan To Stop Stress In Its Tracks
Now that you have a few stress relieving techniques in your arsenal, create a routine to practice any time you feel anxiety rearing its head. By recognizing the onset of stress and having a plan in place to stop it, you’ll be in total control of your reaction!
Heart Health Tip 2: Stay Connected
For years, studies have shown that loneliness can negatively affect heart health. In fact, recent research uncovered that loneliness correlates to a 27% increase in the risk of heart disease for individuals 50 years of age and older. Helping our clients remain engaged throughout their senior years is one of our top priorities at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services. Have you tried the following to build a social circle and keep connected?
Join Social Groups
There’s a group out there for everyone! Find like-minded individuals at the local senior center, fitness club, or through an online search of area clubs and organizations. Can’t find a group that fits? Gather some pals and start your own!
Keep In Touch With Family and Friends
With the hustle and bustle of daily life, carving out time to chat with loved ones can become a challenge. Nonetheless, it’s critical in remaining engaged! If your family lives close by, set up a monthly dinner or lunch date. Establish an ongoing connection with out-of-town loved ones by committing to calling or video chatting on the regular.
Take Advantage of Our Companionship Services
We offer a wide variety of in-home care services, including companionship! Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are friendly, fun, and love getting to know the seniors we serve. We even make sure to match caregivers and clients who have similar interests, so there will always be lots to talk about!
Heart Health Tip 3: Stretch It Out
Daily stretching helps reduce injury, accidents, and…heart disease? Yes - you read that correctly! Kicking off each day with a stretching routine triggers the blood to start pumping and gets the heart-healthy habits going before your first cup of coffee!
Stretching also decreases stiffness in the arteries and damage to their walls, which leads to fewer heart-related problems. Not to mention, a quick morning stretch can help you relax, which we know is essential in boosting heart health as well!
Who knew there were so many ways to strengthen heart health?! Let’s get pumped for a happy and healthy year ahead!