February is American Heart Month, an ideal time to focus on our heart health. Of course, taking care of our heart is a yearlong endeavor. After all, our heart works nonstop for us; in fact, the average heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood per day!
According to the American Heart Association, about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average one death every 38 seconds. The good news is that we can change that statistic. To help us take control of our heart health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that we:
- Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Invite fitness buddies on an afternoon stroll, try an exercise class in your community or at a fitness center, or participate in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraising event.
- Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference. Try making healthier versions of your favorite recipes. How? Look for ways to lower sodium and trans fat, and add more fruits and vegetables. MBKuisine, our signature dining experience, offers nutritionally balanced menus. These include delicious, heart-healthy options such as:
- Poached pear on a bed of chicory endive with sheered aged cheddar cheese and toasted walnuts
- Roasted turkey and root vegetable soup
- Pan-seared salmon on a bed of steamed brown rice and sautéed baby vegetables
- New Zealand lamb shank with roasted garlic whipped potatoes and steamed broccolini
- Caribbean gold pineapple and papaya topped with shredded toasted coconut|
- Quit tobacco—for good. Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products affects nearly every organ in your body, including your heart. Quitting can be tough, but it can be easier when you feel supported. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) today.
- Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Ask your healthcare team to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels. As part of their care, residents at MBK communities receive regular blood pressure, weight, and pulse monitoring.
- Stick to the ’script. Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine. But sticking with your medication routine is important for managing and controlling conditions that could put your heart at risk. MBK Senior Living assists residents with medication management and helps coordinate visits and communication with their healthcare providers.
Managing stress is also key to a healthy heart. Support groups, friendships, and religious worship are all ways to feel centered and maintain a fresh perspective. Residents at MBK communities enjoy participating in their choice of worship through onsite services or transportation to church services.
MBK Senior Living is committed to the heart health of every resident we serve. Our full range of signature programs are designed to nourish mind, body, and spirit, helping our residents reap the benefits of a healthy heart 365 days a year. Contact us to learn more.