With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, keeping a close eye on your cardiac health is the responsible thing to do, and can help you maintain a great quality of life well into your golden years. But with so many suggestions, it can be hard to know what to prioritize. Here’s what we recommend:
Know the Common Causes of Chest Pain
Many things can cause chest pain, from the most serious issues (like a heart attack) to something far more minor such as acid reflux or an anxiety attack. Knowing the details of each potential cause of chest pain can help you distinguish between an inconvenience & a major medical episode, but when in doubt, always seek medical help.
Maintain Proper Diet & Exercise
Many heart issues can be prevented or managed with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Try to find a way to fit exercise into your routine, and if possible, do it with others. For instance, going on a walk with friends or children can be a wonderful way to stay active and have a great conversation at the same time. You’ll also find there are a variety of sports nutrition snacks, protein drinks, weight scales, and more exercise-related products right here on Avacare Medical.
Monitor Your Heart Rate Regularly
Irregular pulse, heart palpitations, or a faster than normal resting heart rate can be an early sign of a serious heart issue, such as atrial fibrillation. Using a heart rate monitor at home, and providing that information to your doctor, can help to identify any abnormalities before they lead to a medical emergency.
See Your Doctor Regularly
Regular visits to a physician can lead to heart issues being detected early and treated more effectively, making regular doctor visits key to maintaining cardiac health. Your doctor may also be able to provide additional insights into your heart health if you’re able to provide ongoing diagnostic information, such as blood pressure data. If mobility or lack of reliable transportation makes it difficult for you to travel to a doctor’s office, telemedicine may be an option for you.
Ensure Medical Help is Trained in Cardiac Life Support
Most nurses & doctors maintain life support certifications that can help save your life in the event of cardiac arrest, which include ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), and BLS (Basic Life Support). If you live in a nursing home or receive in-home care, ask your healthcare professional if their certifications are up-to-date, as having the procedures fresh in their mind can help them to be more effective in implementing them in an emergency situation.
If you’re able to make good diet, exercise, heart monitoring, and regular visits to a physician trained in cardiac life support a part of your day-to-day lifestyle, it’ll be far easier for you to maintain good heart health as you age.
Kate Macmorn is the Communications Director for the American Medical Resource Institute, which has trained & certified nearly a million medical professionals in life support techniques since 1983. She’s deeply invested in sharing research about how to maintain heart health with as many people as possible.