In a previous Silversphere post, 5 Tips To Dump Stress & Show Your Heart Some Love, we discussed how to lower stress levels to protect everyone’s heart. With the increase in the elderly population, the need for reducing the risk of heart diseases in senior living communities is apparent now more than ever. However, ensuring your community is practicing heart-healthy habits depends on a multitude of factors.
Stress can have a significant impact on the heart. In our previously posted blog, we provided you with five tips for lowering stress:
- Plan ahead
- Be social
- Laugh often
- Take deep breaths
Lower stress levels are a great way to be proactive in risk reduction, but it can be challenging for a community as a whole. Some great activities to consider to ensure everyone is actively working to lower stress levels are: watching comedies, attending stand-up comedians, group breathing exercises, and yoga. These simple activities can be very beneficial in reducing stress and some of which can even go hand in hand with exercising.
You do not have to force the resident in your senior living community to participate in a marathon, but merely encouraging walking around the neighborhood can drastically reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends remaining physically active for at least 150 minutes a week, for a total of two and a half hours. They also recommend incorporating muscle-strengthening exercises into weekly routines as well.
Communicating the importance of exercise is essential for healthy seniors. This can be implemented with your community Activities Director. There needs to be 30 minutes of some form of exercise scheduled five days a week for residents. One-third of community exercise should be focused on strength training to benefit residents’ hearts. The work being put out is just as important as what is being put into the body.
Did you know? Just eating more fruits and vegetables can help with the risk reduction of heart disease. When individuals eat colorfully incorporating a range of fruits and vegetables into the diet, it can translate to higher vitamin, fiber, and mineral intake, as well as lower calories. If you are unsure how colorful the weekly menu should be, just be sure to include all the colors of the rainbow Why does every color of the rainbow need to be involved?
Red – Tomatoes and other fruits, are red in color due to a pigment called Lycopene. Tomatoes are also full of vitamin C and A, beta-carotene, folic acid, and other minerals that help lower the risk of heart disease and have other powerful health benefits as well.
Orange and Yellow - It is well known that citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges, have high vitamin C which helps boost the immune system. Similar colored fruits also contain citrus limonoids which can help reduce the risk of heart attack and even fight certain cancers!
Green – These colored vegetables are generally high in fiber, which can contribute to fighting infectious disease. Leafy greens have a multitude of health benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Blue & Purple – Foods that contain these pigments contain anthocyanins, a benefit not only to the heart but also the brain.
It is essential for your entire senior living community to actively participate in the risk reduction of heart attack and disease. By lowering stress levels, exercising regularly, and eating colorfully, every resident can make steps in having a healthier heart. Also, ensure the community is keeping up with other healthy habits for a healthy heart such as adequate sleep, limited alcohol intake, and not smoking.
We love helping seniors stay healthy at Silversphere. Reducing the risk of heart disease for seniors in your community can be very beneficial. To learn how you can implement other forms of risk reduction, contact us today and be sure to subscribe to our blog for more trends and tips about the senior living industry.