Senior Communities can be Good for Your Heart

Coronary heart disease is a major threat to senior health. According to the American Heart Association, people 65 and over have the highest risk of dying of coronary heart disease are over the age of 65. While heart disease risks increase with age, there are other risk factors that you can control. The right lifestyle habits and a heart-healthy diet can help protect you.

Keeping your heart healthy does take effort — possibly requires changes in everyday habits, such as eating a heart-healthy diet and increasing your activity level. Here are seven steps, coined Life's Simple 7, that people of any age should take to maintain a healthy heart.

Life’s Simple 7

Exercise. It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. The more active you are the better.

Quit smoking. If you do smoke, it's time to quit. Even those who have smoked for years can see significant improvements in their health by quitting.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. Load up on fruits and vegetables while limiting saturated fats, salt, and fatty meats.

Manage Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Considered the silent killer, approximately 1 in 3 US adults have high blood pressure.

Reduce Blood Sugar. Heart disease and stroke are the #1 causes of death and disability for those with Type 2 diabetes. High blood sugars, over time, can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves and heart.

Control Cholesterol. Raising "the good" High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and lowering "the bad" Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) numbers can be done through lifestyle changes (The Simple 7). If that is not enough, your doctor may look at prescribing medications. Give lifestyle changes a try first before jumping straight to medication.

Watch your weight. Too many pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk.

Many of our residents have learned that living in a senior community can make living a heart healthy lifestyle easier to maintain. Laureate Group communities have a focus on wellness. For example, we offer a variety of group exercise programs along with fitness equipment to make exercise fun and convenient. :

We offer freshly prepared meals every day using good quality ingredients - lean meats and poultry, fruits and vegetables and the "good" oils, canola and olive. Our communities offer services such as blood pressure clinics and weight checks to help older adults monitor their numbers. And for those who are in our assisted living program, they have the benefit of clinical expertise to help manage Diabetes and other chronic conditions.

It's never too late to start living an active, healthier lifestyle. Living in a senior community can be good for your heart.