February is American Heart Month, and it’s the perfect time to be more aware of your heart health and take a step or two in the right direction. When you take care of yourself, you give your family, friends and your community the gift of being at your best. Everyone benefits.
It’s not as hard as you may think to live a healthier lifestyle. At a retirement community like Spring Harbor, our Wellness Program helps residents achieve balance for body, mind and spirit. Community living makes it easier to fine-tune your eating habits with chef-prepared meals and a selection of diverse and delicious options. You can also take advantage of an unrivaled range of activities to keep in shape, and feel fabulous by doing more things you enjoy.
From eating well, to feeling fabulous, your path to a heart-healthy lifestyle can start today. When you follow a few simple guidelines outlined below, you can help keep your heart stronger and keep blood vessels in great shape. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the keys to preventing and managing your risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
4 ways to eat well and be heart healthy:
The AHA recommends maintaining a healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes and non-tropical vegetable oils. Following a heart-healthy dietary pattern is possible no matter if your meal is prepared at home, ordered in a restaurant or purchased as a prepared meal. Here are a few ways to improve your dietary pattern:
1. Focus on eating more nutrient-dense foods. Choose more fruits and vegetables — especially leafy greens. Opt for plant-based proteins like legumes and nuts and always choose whole grains.
2. Next time you order take-out, choose the lighter menu items like skinless chicken, fish or seafood. Order broth-based soups, sides of veggies and entrees that are grilled, sautéed, roasted, steamed, baked or poached.
3. Keep healthy snacks ready. Dip into hummus, spinach dip, guacamole, or pesto using sliced veggies like carrots, cukes or zucchini. Try whole grain toast with almond butter, or go for a bright red apple, green grapes or a yellow banana.
4. Always pick fat-free or low-fat versions of dairy products and strive to get 2-3 servings a day. Try a fat-free Greek yogurt sundae with toppings like nuts, fruits, dark chocolate, granola and a drizzle of honey on top.
4 ways to live well and be well:
It’s important to live in a community that supports your entire well-being — physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. According to the AHA, depression, anxiety and stress can be risk factors for heart failure, stroke and heart attack. At a retirement community like Spring Harbor at Green Island, the Wellness Program supports healthy, happy living. Residents are invited to play a little or a lot! With an entire team looking out for your best interests, the retirement lifestyle helps residents achieve overall health. Here are a few ways to take small daily steps to improve your well-being.
1. Recharge your spirit through weekly devotions, holiday celebrations, worship services or meaningful time with friends and family.
2. Be curious and try something new. Perfect your woodworking skills, take some iPhone training, go to a lecture series, visit a museum or go to a show.
3. Set some new fitness goals. Find a partner and try pickleball. You can join a golf or walking group, start swimming laps, and watch the sunrise.
4. The world needs more volunteers, so find a way to give back.
4 ways to feel fabulous and 60+
Retirement is your time to shine, and it’s time to focus on feeling great. If you choose the resort-style living at Spring Harbor, you’ll find services, amenities and most everything you need just outside your door. Make it a priority to care for yourself — no matter how small each step. The steps will soon multiply, and you’ll see great results. Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Get enough rest, because your body needs it. Take an afternoon nap, enjoy some down time and don’t over schedule your days.
2. Cultivate, build and maintain close relationships. It’s easy to set aside time with your friends and family when life gets busy. You’d be surprised how uplifting a little social time can be.
3. Remember to get your health screenings. Check your blood pressure, cholesterol and get screened for diabetes. Know your numbers!
4. Laugh a little more; it really is the best medicine. Research shows a link between happiness and lower risk of heart illness. Watch a comedy on tv or spend time with those in your circle that make you laugh.
February is the perfect time to take a few small steps to eat well, be well and feel fabulous at 60 and beyond. By managing your risk factors for cardiovascular disease and being more aware of your heart health, you’re taking steps in the right direction. If you’re curious about how Spring Harbor can support your heart healthy lifestyle, fill out the contact form on the website or call us at (706) 641-0424.
Schedule a time to tour our stunning community, meet our vibrant residents, and let us answer your important questions. Once you step into our world, you’ll understand why so many seniors happily call Spring Harbor home.