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The risks of heart disease are higher among the aging population but healthy lifestyle modifications can help to bring these down significantly. As people grow older, they tend to share one major goal – adding quality years to their life. One of the most important tricks to achieve this goal is to defend your body against various heart diseases and ailments. Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality amongst the elderly and advancing age, itself, is a risk factor for various cardiovascular ailments. Both are bound by a very close relationship.
The best cardiologists in Kolkata suggest that as we age, our body undergoes a lot of changes, and so does our heart. The heart walls become thick and the muscles start to stiffen. This prevents the heart from pumping blood efficiently, leading to fatigue and general body weakness. Some people might also experience enlargement of the left atrium, which can lead to atrial fibrillation. There are many other such problems that people above 80 years of age are highly vulnerable to.
Falling in the risk category, however, does not mean that you will necessarily acquire these ailments. It is just an indication that you need to take extra care and precautions. To help you with the same, we have listed some simple tips with the help of experts from the best cardiac hospital in Kolkata.
Focus on achieving healthy weight goals – In the past few years, the obesity epidemic has engulfed the whole nation. The increasing cases of obesity in the past few years have been quite alarming. Obesity is an open doorway for various cardiovascular conditions like stroke. The excess body weight makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood, thereby increasing its workload. It is also marked by elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and decreased levels of high-density lipoproteins and good cholesterol. Experts suggest that losing as little as 10 pounds of weight can significantly help to lower the risks of various heart diseases. As such it is very important to lose those extra pounds and get in shape while there is still time.
Weight loss works on a simple principle, taking fewer calories than you burn so as to put your body in an energy deficit. It is not just about losing weight but maintaining a healthy weight. This requires both dietary modifications as well as adherence to an active lifestyle. There is a wide range of diet options available but experts suggest that the Mediterranean diet is one of the best and the most effective among these. Replace normal cooking oil with olive oil and prioritize veggies as the main component of your diet. Cut down on your meat intake and eat plenty of starchy foods. If possible, keep a track of your daily calorie intake. There are some apps that can help you with the same.
Replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones – If you still believe that eating healthy means cutting down on fats completely, you surely need to rethink. Not all fats are bad for your health and you do need some of these to keep your system working in a normal fashion. The latest recommendations for the prevention of heart diseases lay emphasis on taking monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. The former is found in canola, peanuts, sunflower oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds, and the latter is found in plant sources like flax and walnuts. One of the most amazing things about olive oil is that it elevates the levels of good cholesterol and alleviates the levels of bad cholesterol. Substitute omega-6 fatty with omega-3 fatty acids
Stay physically active – Gone are the days when people used to believe that elderlies should refrain from indulging in any kind of physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle promotes weight gain and negatively impacts your heart health. Though you cannot expect a 60-year-old to perform the same exercise routine as a 20-year-old, you can try low-impact exercises like walking and stretching. Consult a specialist to know which exercise will suit you the best.