We all know a balanced diet and daily exercise are the tent poles of a healthy heart. But there are other important, and often overlooked ways you can improve your heart health. Reducing stress, sustaining an active social life, and incorporating simple stretches into a morning routine can help bolster a heart-healthy lifestyle. Seniors Helping Seniors® VT 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!
- Manage Stress
Equally important as eating smart and exercising,
Finding ways to deal with stress is as important as eating smart and exercising, and essential in keeping the heart in top shape. The following ideas can help.
- Breathing exercises, such as taking slow and intentional deep breaths, send a message to the brain to r e l a x. Breathing practices slow your heart rate and release more oxygen into the bloodstream, unleashing endorphins that combat stress.
- Visualization has been shown to reduce stress. 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 a joyful time and feeling peaceful and serene.
- Counting to 10 can help us stay calm when we feel stress building. 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 turn to for comfort and to help us cope. For example, eating sweets may reduce anxiety in the short-term, but we pay for it in detrimental long-term results. The next time you find yourself gravitating toward a bad habit because of stress, break the cycle by completing a good habit instead. Go for a walk, write in a journal, take a hot bath, or call 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 taking an important step toward maintaining your heart health.
- Stay Connected
For years, studies have shown that loneliness can negatively affect 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 as they age is one of our top priorities at Seniors Helping Seniors® VT. 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, but it’s worth the effort. 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 a regular basis.
Take Advantage of Our Companionship Services
Seniors Helping Seniors VT offers a wide variety of in-home care services, including companionship. Seniors Helping Seniors® VT 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!
- 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 the heart?! Let’s get pumped for a happy and healthy year ahead!