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Research shows regular exercise can slow cardiovascular aging.

As you age and become less active, your heart just like any other muscle in your body can weaken. Healthy blood vessels are flexible however with age blood vessels can become less elastic creating more work on the heart to pump.

Many of the effects of aging on the heart and blood vessels can be reduced by regular exercise. Just like other muscles, it’s possible to strengthen your heart too. Regular cardio exercise continues to display powerful benefits on slowing down the hearts aging process. Exercise is beneficial at any age; always consult with your physician before starting a new exercise routine.

Physical Activities for Older Adults

The US Department of Health & Human Services has established key exercise guidelines for older adults. For substantial health benefits, adults are encouraged to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.

AEROBIC ACTIVITIES:

  • Walking or hiking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycle riding
  • Aerobic exercise classes

MUSCLE-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES:

  • Weight machines
  • Hand-held weights
  • Digging in the garden
  • Carrying groceries
  • Some forms of tai chi
  • Some yoga postures

Also, the American Heart Association recommends walking at least 150 minutes a week or 10,000 steps a day. Studies show for every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some people may increase by two hours.

 

Therapy Can Help with Cardiac Conditions

If you have a cardiac/cardiopulmonary condition, talk to your doctor about your treatment plan and ask if Physical or Occupational therapy can help. Therapy interventions include help with energy conservation techniques, activity tolerance training, sternal precautions after surgery, adaptive equipment training, stress management strategies, breathing techniques, home exercise programs, and patient education on diet and heart disease. The goal of therapy is to help you control your symptoms and resume an active and productive life within the limits of your condition.


Resources: Dept. of Health & Human Services, American Heart Association

Did you know that the heart is the hardest working muscle in your body? The heart beats 115,000 times a day, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood throughout the body. Because the heart works so hard, we need to do our best to take care of it.

By keeping your heart healthy, you decrease your chances for heart disease which can be a very serious condition. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

Take a look at these heart healthy tips to find out what changes you could make today!

Heart Healthy Eating  Did you know foods you eat each day can have a big impact on the health of your heart? Limit foods high in sugar and fat. Instead eat more vegetables, nuts, fish, and chicken. Nutritionists recommend 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent disease.

Maintain a Healthy Weight  Obesity can cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure and lead to type 2 diabetes. Losing just 10lbs can have a great impact on lowering blood pressure and reducing risk for heart disease.

Stay Active  You are never too old to exercise. Just like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs exercise to stay healthy. Research shows that exercising 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times each week helps to control blood pressure and strengthen our heart and bones.

 

Easy Heart Healthy Snack • POPCORN SNACK MIX
Try popcorn that’s popped in healthy oil then lightly sprinkle with dark-chocolate chips and nutrient-rich pistachios

 

Implementing these heart healthy changes into your life can help you prevent heart disease or improve your condition if you’re already suffering from heart disease. If you currently suffer from a cardiac/cardiopulmonary condition, talk to your doctor about your treatment plan and ask if Physical or Occupational therapy can help. Cardiac Rehabilitation programs are designed to help you control your symptoms and resume an active and productive life within the limits of your condition.

 


Sources: Live Strong, CDC, Heart.org, Healthline