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5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart Rate in the Senior Years

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Heart rate, which refers to the number of times the heart beats per minute, is one of the prime factors in determining health. A normal heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Chronic rates that are higher or lower than normal commonly indicate a disorder, which may require medical intervention. Here are a few ways aging adults can maintain a steady heart rate.  

1. Get Adequate Sleep

Regardless of age, adults require seven to nine hours of restful sleep. A lack of sufficient sleep not only causes general daytime fatigue but also increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If seniors have trouble falling asleep at night, they should maintain good sleep hygiene. Make your loved one’s bedroom a sleep-friendly environment by reducing distractions and adding adequate window coverings and comfortable bedding. 

A good night’s sleep can boost quality of life. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust in Oklahoma senior at-home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

2. Consume a Healthy Diet

Diets high in saturated fats and sugar increase the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. As a result, cholesterol blocks blood vessels, which puts a strain on the heart. The heart starts beating faster to ensure blood circulates throughout the body. A healthy diet includes lean meats, fish, and poultry along with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. Seniors should consume plenty of fluids during the day, and they should also avoid caffeine and nicotine, as both negatively affect heart rate. 

3. Maintain an Appropriate Weight

Being overweight also puts stress on the cardiovascular system. Daily physical activities cause the heart rate to rise above normal among the obese. Modifying meal portions, consuming a heart-healthy diet, and increasing physical activity can help older adults maintain a healthier weight. 

4. Increase Exercise 

Healthcare providers recommend 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise three to five times every week. Older adults should strive for this goal by gradually increasing physical activity. Common types of aerobic exercise include walking, biking, and swimming, which strengthen the cardiovascular system. When the heart becomes healthier, daily activities no longer stress the organ or increase the heart rate. 

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Oklahoma seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

5. Reduce Stress

Anxiety and stress cause chemical and biological changes within the body, which in turn stress the cardiovascular system. Blood pressure and heart rates rise due to the release of adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. When the stress becomes chronic, older adults are more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke. Seniors may fret over having a medical condition. Perhaps their finances fall apart, or they might worry over circumstances affecting loved ones. The anxiety and stress produced secondary to these situations affects the body and the cardiovascular system.

Maintaining a healthy heart can be challenging for some seniors. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated home care agency. Oklahoma Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans, call us at 405-285-4191 today.