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Matters of the Heart in Senior Housing

Please Note: This article and others like it on our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician with any questions regarding topics mentioned. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking advice because of something found on our website. And if you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the month February is the undisputed caretaker for matters of the heart. Chocolate, roses, and Cupid’s arrows seem to come to mind when thinking of this month.

But what about the other matters of the heart? Let’s look at the few physical ones that keep a heart healthy and strong:

  • Exercise: Talk with your doctor about the type of activities that would be best for you. If possible, aim to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Every day is best. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. Start by doing activities you enjoy—brisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, or gardening, for example. Avoid spending hours every day sitting.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking adds to the damage to artery walls. It’s never too late to get some benefit from quitting smoking. Quitting, even in later life, can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer over time.
  • Eat healthier. Choose foods that are low in trans and saturated fats, added sugars, and salt. As we get older, we become more sensitive to salt, which can cause swelling in the legs and feet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber, like those made from whole grains. Get more information on healthy eating from NIA. You also can find information on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Patterns.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Balancing the calories you eat and drink with the calories burned by being physically active helps to maintain a healthy weight. Some ways you can maintain a healthy weight include limiting portion size and being physically active.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Men should not have more than two drinks a day and women only one. One drink is equal to:
    • One 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer, ale, or wine cooler
    • One 8- or 9-ounce can or bottle of malt liquor
    • One 5-ounce glass of red or white wine
    • One 1.5-ounce shot glass of distilled spirits like gin, rum, tequila, vodka, or whiskey

To help learn more about heart health this month, we have a free webinar with speaker Katherine Porter APRN, ACNP-BC of Ascension Sacred Heart Cardiology. Ms. Porter graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, later attending the University of Alabama in Birmingham where she received her Master of Science in Nursing as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

February’s webinar topics will be heart-focused and will include heart-health through healthy lifestyle choices and risk modification, as well as others.

Please go to our sister website,, to RSVP for this free seminar.

If you or your loved one is looking for a community offering Assisted Living or Memory Care in Fort Walton Beach, Florida call us at (850) 290-5058 to get more details on how a senior living community like ours might just be a perfect fit.


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