The sunny, warm days of summer can help reinvigorate a senior’s body, mind and soul. Summertime offers the perfect opportunity to get outside, get social and in many ways, get healthy.
This summer, why not consider adopting the following heart-healthy habits to improve your health and add precious years to your life?
According to a study published by Harvard Medical School, these four heart-healthy habits will improve your body, mind and spirit this summer:
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A healthy diet and physical activity are a sure-fire recipe to achieve this heart-healthy habit. Carrying extra weight, especially in the stomach area (known as visceral fat), can lead to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart and liver disease.
The study reveals that for people who are overweight, “losing just 5-10% of your starting weight” will greatly decrease your risks and improve your overall health.
Summer brings a bounty of fresh produce to enhance your plate and enliven your taste buds. Juicy berries, crisp carrots and flavorful greens add a rainbow of delicious, heart-healthy selections to any cookout; while lean proteins, such as chicken or fish, taste great barbecued and can be transformed into tasty meals using combinations of herbs and spices.
Drinking alcohol in moderation is also key to improving your heart health – this means one to two drinks a day for men and no more than one a day for women.
The phrase “everything in moderation” is a great general rule of thumb to live by; however, it does not always apply. Tobacco consumption is an exception to this rule, as no amount of smoke from cigars, cigarettes or pipes is considered safe. Second-hand smoke from tobacco is also toxic and is just as dangerous to your arteries, heart and lungs
At one time, smoking was as commonplace as chewing gum, but thankfully over the past 10 years, smoking rates have decreased in adults in the United States.
Warm summer weather offers a plethora of activities for you to enjoy and work up a sweat. Cardiovascular exercises, such as racket sports, swimming and walking, are great social activities that allow you to get your heart pumping while enjoying the company of friends.
Swimming is an especially great activity to try out if you have a physical impairment or do not tolerate the heat well. The buoyancy of the water reduces stress and tension on joints and can get your blood pumping and muscles activated. According to the study, “physical activity is the closest thing you have to magic bullets against heart disease and other chronic conditions” and just 30 minutes of moderate activity each day is enough to significantly improve your heart health.
Consider embracing these four heart-healthy habits this summer to improve your cardiovascular health and live your best life.
In what other ways are you improving your cardiovascular health this summer? We’d like to hear any other heart-healthy tips you’d like to share in the comments below.