5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Heart Rate in the Golden Years

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

According to the John Hopkins Medical Center, approximately 84 million people in the United States live with some type of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the country. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Centennial, CO, non-medical home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Having a normal, steady heart rate is a good indicator of a healthy cardiovascular system. Here are a few ways seniors can maintain a healthy heart rate. 

1. Follow a Nutritious Diet

To keep the heart in optimal condition, seniors must follow a nutritious diet. Your aging loved one should regularly consume the recommended number of servings of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables and include whole grains and nuts in his or her diet. While occasional treats are permissible, a diet filled with unsaturated fats, trans fats, and sugar can elevate LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides. These substances create sludge in blood vessels, which narrows or blocks the passageways and interferes with blood flow. The heart must then pump harder and faster. 

2. Exercise Regularly

Like any other muscle in the body, the heart needs a regular workout to function at its optimal level. Older adults should strive to get 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity three to five times a week. Over time, the heart becomes accustomed to the training and remains at a steady rate while resting or performing less vigorous activity.

3. Get Plenty of Sleep

Adults aged 65 and older need the same amount of sleep as other age groups. Healthcare providers recommend seven to nine hours of restful sleep. An article published in the European Heart Journal revealed the results of a 25-year study involving 475,000 people. The research explained that people getting less than seven hours of sleep at night were 48 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease. 

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Carrying excessive body weight puts added stress on the heart. Simple tasks such as jogging or walking up stairs increase the heart rate. Overweight adults also commonly have elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. In general, seniors should have a body mass index between 18.5 and 25. A woman’s waistline should not be more than 35 inches in circumference and for men, the measurement should not exceed 40 inches. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming at times. When searching for reliable Centennial home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more.

5. Relieve Stress

When under stress, the heart rate elevates due to the various neurotransmitter chemicals released by the brain. If an individual feels chronic stress, these compounds can damage the heart. To maintain a healthy, stable heart rate, seniors must find ways to alleviate stress from the body. Increasing social activity, spending time with a hobby, or engaging in other activities may help reduce stress. Seniors should also laugh more. Laughing is a unique form of aerobic exercise that can increases blood circulation by 22 percent in 15 minutes.

Daily workouts are the key to weight management, and it’s important to encourage your loved one to engage in physical activity as often as possible. However, you may not always be available to assist your loved one with exercise and other important tasks. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Centennial, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary senior care methods, get in touch with one of our friendly Care Managers at 303.957.3100.