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heart health

How Our Residents Stay Active For Heart Month

February is National Heart Month. Learn what the risk factors for heart disease are, and how staying active can guard against those dangers.
National Heart Month is here once again. During the month of February, organizations like the American Heart Association focus on raising awareness of the genetic and lifestyle factors that can increase the risk for cardiac diseases. From diet to weight, many factors play a role in heart health. Exercise—or the lack of it—is a leading cause. 

Let’s take a look at the most common risk factors for heart disease. We will also explore some fitness activities that residents at Sunrise engage in to promote cardiac fitness.  

Identify Personal Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

While some cardiac disease risk factors are due to genetics, like family history of high cholesterol, nearly 80% are tied to lifestyle choices. 

  • Overconsuming alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol puts you at risk for heart disease. The general recommendation is one glass a day for women and no more than two glasses a day for men.
  • Poor diet: Foods such as fast food, baked goods, fried foods, and frozen dinners, might be tasty and convenient. But they also tend to be high in trans fat. That’s the unhealthy form of fat that should be avoided to protect your heart. 
  • Smoking: While most of us associate smoking with a high risk for lung cancer, it can also increase your risk for heart disease. In fact, researchers say smokers are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart problems than a nonsmoker. If you are a smoker, it’s important to take steps to stop.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Spending too much time sitting causes health problems ranging from weight gain to depression. And cardiac disease is another one. Try to watch the clock and make sure you get up and move every hour. Getting 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week will help protect your heart and lungs.

Here are a few more steps you can take to guard against heart disease:

  • Get 7 to 8 hours of good, quality sleep every night.
  • Maintain the weight that your doctor says is healthy for your body type.
  • Plan menus thoughtfully so your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
  • Follow the recommendations for health screening that your primary care doctor provides.
  • Learn how to manage chronic stress, which is linked to heart disease, by practicing yoga, Pilates, meditation, or journaling.
  • Petting or playing with the community dog also helps manage stress.
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level as both can be early indicators of cardiac issues.
  • Work closely with your doctor to manage your diabetes, if you have it.  

Fitness Is Part of Everyday Life at Sunrise Senior Living

Because we recognize the importance of staying active at every age, residents will find a variety of fitness programs to participate in every day. These are all part of our Live With Purpose™ program:

  • SingFit™: This technology was created by Musical Health Technologies specifically for residents of senior living communities. SingFit™ uses songs and evidence-based music programming to support participants’ overall well-being. These exercises engage both the mind and body and have been popular at Sunrise communities since they were launched in 2017. 
  • Chair exercises: For residents who have a mobility challenge or are at an increased risk for falling, seated exercise is ideal. There are a variety of chair exercises at our communities including yoga, aerobics, and stretching.
  • Walking clubs: For people of all ages, the health benefits of a daily walk are numerous. They include improved core strength, greater stamina, better flexibility, stronger muscle mass, and weight management. At Sunrise communities, you’ll find both formal and informal walking groups – both inside and outside.
  • DrumFit®: You’ll find various forms of drumming classes in gyms and fitness centers across the country, and that includes those located in senior living communities. It’s an upbeat activity that promotes stamina, flexibility, and strength.

If you are ready to learn more about the active lifestyle options at Sunrise, call us at 888-434-4648. One of our experienced team members will be happy to answer your questions or schedule a time for a personal visit to one of our nearby communities. 

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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