Posts Tagged ‘blood pressure’

Don’t Underestimate Your Risk of Heart Disease

Female doctor with the stethoscope holding heart

Too often women assume heart disease isn’t something they need to worry about. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death women in the U.S., claiming nearly 290,000 lives each year. So what can you do to protect yourself? Manage your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, quit smoking and eat a healthy diet low in saturate fats. For more tips for protecting your heart health, read Roper St. Francis’ article “A Woman’s Guide to Beating Heart Disease.

Stay Active as you Age for Better Health

Senior Couple Walking Through Autumn Woodland

Too many seniors are sedentary, and it is translating into a lower quality of life as they age. The National Institute on Aging at NIH celebrates September as Go4Life® month in an effort to increase awareness of the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Exercise has many health benefits—it can improve mood and memory, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce your risk for cancer and diabetes, stave off weight gain, improve balance and flexibility—which can help older adults live more full and independent lives.

Go4Life® month encourages older Americans to get moving for better health. The focus should be on incorporating the four types of exercise—strength, endurance, flexibility and balance—into your routine for well-rounded physical fitness. For ideas on what type of activities to incorporate into your daily routine, visit the Go4Life® website.

Whether you are new to exercise, getting back into it after a long break or injury, or a lifelong fitness devotee, incorporating a variety of activities and exercises into your routine will help prevent boredom and make sure you are building a strong foundation for healthy aging.

The National Aging Institute’s Web site (www.nia.nih.gov) is an institute of the NIH, a U.S. Federal Government agency that provides accurate, up-to-date information about aspects of aging research, information about clinical trials, educational materials and resources about aging for the general public, and information for researchers and health professionals.

 

Making Nutrition a Priority for Your Aging Loved One

Senior man eating healthy salad for lunch.  White background.

People of all ages can struggle with healthy eating, but for the elderly, proper nutrition can make a huge difference in their physical health and well-being. A healthy diet can help prevent constipation, weight gain or loss, reduce the side effects of certain medications, and so much more. If your loved one suffers from a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, monitoring sugar or salt intake is a crucial part of managing their disease. Understanding some of the struggles your loved one is facing when it comes to healthy eating can help you help them make better choices.

Wondering why your aging loved one isn’t that interested in food? Anything that can affect your sense of smell can affect your appetite, and according to NIH Senior Health, many adults over age 60 experience some loss of smell as a normal part of aging. In addition, certain types of medications and some cancer treatments can disrupt a person’s sense of smell or taste. Try making food more flavorful by using spices rather than more salt or sugar.

Many elderly spend mealtimes alone, which can lead to loneliness and a lack of desire to cook. Dentures or other dental problems can make eating certain types of foods difficult, and having a very restrictive diet because of a chronic health condition are additional reasons your loved one may be losing interest in eating. Whenever possible, invite your loved one over for dinner or treat them to a brunch or lunch out at their favorite restaurant. You will be able to keep tabs on what their food choices are as well as provide loving companionship, which can help stave off depression.

If you are worried that your loved one isn’t eating as well as they should, schedule an appointment with their physician. Their physician can provide recommendations based on the various medications or treatments your loved one is receiving and help monitor their health.

Do Your Heart A Favor…Take Yoga!

Recent research (European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, Dec 15, 2014 ) has found cardiovascular benefits, including a reduction in weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, from a regular yoga practice. This is good news for individuals with physical limitations or who otherwise shy away from higher impact cardio workouts. For more information on how yoga can help your heart, read the Healthday News’ article “Yoga May Cut Heart Disease Risk Factors” on healthfinder.gov.

Give These Apps a Shot!

Tired of carrying around all of your membership cards to every grocery, department, and drug store? There’s an app that can store the information for you! Have trouble remembering where you parked at a sports game or the airport? An app can help you find your car! Need a gentle reminder to take your pills every day? The app is just a click away! Watching your blood pressure or forgot your reading glasses? An app can help!

Read National Care Planning Council’s article, “Technology Series: Apps That Make Life Better” by Valerie Michel Buck to find out which apps can remove stress from your day. It will take you less time to master these apps than find your lost car after that football game or read the dinner menu without your glasses.

Stop by Walgreens this Month for a FREE Blood Pressure Check!

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To help spread awareness during American Heart Month, Walgreens is offering free blood pressure checks at its stores during the month of February. Stop by today–your heart will thank you!

For more information, visit the American Heart Association’s website.