One major cause of heart disease in the elderly is smoking. Even though some elders claim that they have quit smoking years back, the risks of smoking can stay upto a period of 15 years, before they go completely. Hence, quitting smoking, even if done socially, is of utmost importance.
Apart from this, maintaining a healthy lifestyle by following a proper diet regime and exercising regularly can do wonders.
Listed below are some simple cardio exercises that can help in preventing heart disease in seniors:-
1. Stretches: One should always start exercising with good 30-seconds stretches to reduce the risks of smoking. Stretching is a good warm-up exercise and helps you in easing onto exercises that are more vigorous. Keep in mind that you should not lock your joints or bounce on your limbs while doing stretches. In addition, you should only stretch upto a point where you do not experience any pain or discomfort of any kind.
2. Walking, jogging or running: There are certain levels of cardiovascular exercises that one can do. If you run out of breath constantly, it is called vigorous exercise. However, if you can talk, but cannot sing while exercising, it is moderate level of exercising. You should consult your doctor about the level of exercise you should be doing. Brisk walking, jogging or running is a great way of keeping your cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels and systolic blood pressure in check. It has been found that exercising regularly helps in reducing cardiac mortality.
3. Swimming: Swimming is a very good exercise for someone who has recently undergone a partial or full knee-replacement surgery. If one has been advised not to resume running, they should opt for this activity instead. You can ask your instructor about how you can ease into a routine, which will suit your needs.
4. Cycling: This again is a great exercise for the limbs. Cycling regularly can regulate blood pressure, help reduce weight and can also help in strengthening your core muscles.
5. Strength Training exercises: There are a number of upper and lower strength training exercises that one can do. We are listing some of them below:
- Wall push-ups: Place both your palms on the wall and push your feet back. Now, with a constant back and forth motion, bend your elbows outwards and inwards. Repeat this ten times.
- Side and front arm raises: Hold equal weights in both hands. You can even fill two plastic bottles with water and use them instead. Now raise your arms and bring them down ten times each, both sideways and front ways.
- Gripping exercise: Hold out your arms, contract and release your fists with the thumb folded inside, at least 20 times. You should do this exercise while standing with your arms outstretched. This promotes good blood circulation.
- Leg straightening exercises: Sit on a stool or chair with your palms placed firmly under your hips. Now raise your legs by slowing folding and straightening your knees. Do 20 counts of this exercise before relaxing your legs. This exercise is very good for arthritis patients as well.
Before starting any form of exercise, consult your doctor first. Many of these exercises can be done at home and require less or no equipment. Be sure to follow a routine that is easy and does not cause any strain. Also, remember that heart disease can be a direct risks of smoking. Hence, try to avoid smoking in public or indoors.
Lastly, maintain a proper diet. A sudden weight loss, without doing anything, is another risk of smoking. Once you stop smoking, you will start seeing improvement in health within a year or so. Therefore, say no to smoke today and yes to good cardiovascular health.