Keeping Cardiovascular Disease At Bay As You Age.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally.

In people over 60, cardiovascular disease accounts for approximately 40% of all deaths in this age group. This highlights the importance of preventive measures and prioritizing health to reduce the impact of CVD in older populations.

The top three pillars of health, and prevention of CVD, for people over 60 are:

  1. Physical Activity: Regular exercise is key to maintaining mobility, strength, and overall health. It can help prevent or manage chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Aim for a mix of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and balance exercises tailored to your fitness level and health status.
    • Aerobic Exercise: Engaging in activities like walking, swimming, or hiking can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, and boost mood and energy levels.
    • Strength Training: Resistance is key to help maintain muscle mass, bone density, and metabolism. Incorporate exercises that target major muscle groups by lifting weights or using resistance bands.
    • Flexibility and Balance: Stretching exercises and activities directly focused on improving mobility, flexibility, balance, and coordination, help reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
  2. Nutrition: A healthy diet is essential for maintaining optimal health as you age. Focus on a balanced diet of REAL foods rich in proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive salt. Adequate hydration is also important.
    • Proteins: Include sources of red meats, fish, poultry, and eggs, which provide essential amino acids for muscle health and repair.
    • Fruits and Vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall health.
    • Whole Grains: Foods like brown rice, whole grains, and oats are sources of complex carbohydrates that provide a good source of fiber.
    • Healthy Fats: Choose sources like olive oil, avocados, and nuts, which can help reduce inflammation and support heart health. Supplementation with Omegas is also valuable.
    • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is important for maintaining hydration, digestion, and overall health.
  3. Healthcare Maintenance: Regular check-ups and screenings are important for detecting and managing age-related conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. Although I’m more of a fan of prevention than medication, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for medication management.
    • Regular Check-ups: Schedule routine visits with your healthcare provider to monitor your health, discuss any concerns, and receive preventive care.
    • Screenings: Follow recommended guidelines for screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and bone density tests to detect and manage age-related conditions.
    • Medication Management: Keep track of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and discuss any concerns or potential interactions with your healthcare provider. The better you maintain your physical health, the less medications will be required.

These pillars form the foundation of good health as you age, helping you maintain quality of life and independence. Keeping these top of mind and a daily practice will help keep cardiovascular disease at bay as you age.

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