The ABCs of Heart Health

Senior woman holding a red paper heart

Follow the ABCs of heart health to reduce cardiac risk factors.

Nearly half of all people in the United States have one of the three top risk factors of heart disease: high blood pressure, smoking, and high LDL cholesterol. Too many people make poor lifestyle decisions each day that adversely impact their heart health. Poor diet, excessive alcohol intake, and physical inactivity are just a few things that can cause permanent damage. It’s easy to forget to carry out the basic ways to take care of our hearts, but it’s one of the most important things to remember. Go back to the basics and look after your heart with the following tips:

  • Avoid tobacco: If you smoke; quit. If someone living in your household smokes, they should be encouraged to quit. It’s hard, but it’s harder to recover from a stroke or heart attack or to live with chronic heart disease.
  • Be more physically active: Be active every day. Studies have revealed that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days of the week can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and maintain weight at a healthy level.
  • Choose good nutrition: A healthy diet is one of the top weapons to combat cardiovascular disease. The food eaten (and the amount) can impact other controllable risk factors including obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Prepare heart-healthy meals that are low in fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Likewise, everyone should know the red flags of an impending heart attack or stroke. Some heart attacks can be sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly with slight pain or discomfort with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
  • Other signs like breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness

Harmony Home Health & Hospice is here to help older adults make heart-healthy choices. When a loved one needs specialized home health care services, our skilled nurses, therapists, and home health aides are committed to finding the right care solution for each client we serve. To learn more about senior home care in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, reach out to us today at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.