One of the main health concerns facing boomers is heart related conditions or ailments. As we age, the risk of heart attacks and heart disease increases, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle and heart healthy habits can dramatically decrease your risk for such things. Have a look at some of the best habits to adhere to for keeping your heart strong and healthy. As always, consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Brush your teeth.
Let’s start with something a little unexpected. Dental hygiene is something that we’ve all been told is important since we were kids, but have you ever considered its health benefits beyond keeping your teeth looking good? Riding your teeth of harmful plaque helps to keep bacteria out of your mouth and reducing the risk of it entering your bloodstream which poses problems to your heart. Unfortunately, boomers are one of the worst generation when it comes to maintaining dental hygiene so do your best to reverse that reputation. Brush at least twice daily, floss regularly and make regular dentist visits to keep everything sparkling and clean.
Maintain a healthy diet.
The most important thing when it comes to your heart’s health is your diet. It’s not enough to trade one good meal for one bad meal either. At this age, a balanced diet full of beneficial components to your health is essential for keeping up a healthy lifestyle. Don’t be fooled, maintaining that kind of diet is not easy as so many of those delicious foods you crave are just terrible for your heart and not worth it in the long run. However, there are plenty of delicious goods like salmon, roasted veggies and brown rice that you can indulge in and build a healthy eating routine going forward.
Cut down on the bad habits.
Again, it isn’t enough that you’re eating well, you also have to take out all those unhealthy habits that threaten your heart. There is a growing problem with overindulgence in alcohol among the boomer generation. While the occasional responsible drink is fine, too much can prove very unhealthy on the heart. Smoking on the other hand is a habit that needs to be kicked completely. There is no room for such a damaging habit in a healthy lifestyle. Then there are the bad eating habits. Believe me, it pains me to say put sugars, sodas and excessive salt need to go. Some treats like dark chocolate can actually be good for your health, but by and large it’s time to clear out the junk food cupboard. You can speak to your doctor regarding any assistance or treatment in kicking these habits.
A close runner-up to a healthy diet is a healthy physical routine. Especially as you age, being able to get out and stay active is essential for a variety of health reasons. In terms of your heart, daily exercise gets your cardiovascular needs taken care of and keeps your heart operating smoothly. For some boomers, regular exercise seems like a tough pill to swallow at their age. While boomers are still a very active generation, for some their athletic days seem long behind them. However, you don’t need to go on a 5km run each day in order to keep your heart strong. Even a daily 30-minute brisk walk can make a lot of difference. Get into an active routine and work to keep it up for years to come.
Get some sleep.
We’ve discussed on this site before about boomers’ lack of interest in sleep. They are an adventurous, active generation and the majority of them seem to actively dislike the hours of their lives spent asleep. Regardless of their dislike for it, a solid night’s sleep is very important for your health, especially concerning your heart. Doctor’s recommend between 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Not only does this health sleep schedule make you more alert and productive during the day but it also reduces risks of stroke or heart attack. Not a bad trade for staying in bed a few hours longer.
Stress can be a big factor in the health of your heart and is, unfortunately, a tricky thing to keep under control. The fact is that some people are more susceptible to stress than others. We all encounter potentially stressful moments in our everyday life and some of us are just able to handle them more effectively. If you find your days filled with stress, take a look at the situation and determine if there are anyways to resolve things to make them less stressful for you. Otherwise, consider ways you can relax yourself in these situations. Studies have shown that the practice of meditation has helped people better manage their stress and in turn improved their heart health.
Talk to your doctor.
While the above advice can set you on the right path to having a healthy heart, there is no better method for dealing with these very serious health matters than discussing them with your doctor. If you have any questions about ways you can improve your heart health, possible risks or preventative measures, make an appointment with your physician and go back for regular check-ups.