Are you taking the steps necessary to maintain a healthy brain? What is brain health exactly? Having a healthy brain means that one of your most important organs is functioning at optimal level. This includes your ability to recall memories, problem solve, learn, concentrate, and how you oversee life. It is never too late to adopt healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk of declining brain health. Let’s go through some of the top ways to stay on top of brain function…
Move your body!
Exercising on a regular basis is essential to having a healthy brain. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, sending blood to the brain and body; researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas published a new study that found regular exercise improves brain health in aging adults. Those who follow an exercise regime showed an increase in blood flow to the anterior cingulate (region linked to excellent cognitive function in mature brains) and the hippocampus (key region affected by Alzheimer’s disease). You don’t have to spend money or do anything extravagant; even a short, daily walk can promote good brain health.
Don’t just exercise your body, exercise your brain too.
Cardiovascular exercise may show regional blood flow, but if you really want to optimize your brain health mental training is essential. Complex mental training increases your entire brain’s blood flow. This can mean signing up for a class at a local college or online, or reading at home on a regular basis. Not only will you see changes in your memory, mood, and confidence, but your overall quality of life will improve as well. Combining physical and mental exercises could be the best way to improve your overall cognitive function.
Even though stress can motivate people to perform and get things done, too much of anything is bad for you, and your brain health. Studies show that stress can have a negative effect on multiple illnesses, and cognitive function. Adding meditation into your routine can reduce stress levels, improve emotional wellbeing, and overall health. The best part is you can practice it anytime, anywhere. There are many variations of meditation you can try to see these benefits, including: guided meditation, mindfulness, yoga, focused attention, or simply relaxed, deep breathing. Keep an open mind, and know that there is no “wrong” way to meditate. Lower daily stress, and bring balance to your mind and body.
Cut out the junk.
Food is fuel, what is in your fuel determines how well your brain and body function. Studies have found that processed food worsens your ability to regulate insulin, promotes inflammation and stress, and impairs brain health. Depriving your brain of quality nutrition is a sure way to speed up cognitive decline. Eating a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, and mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.
Get enough sleep.
Nobody enjoys feeling sluggish and tired. Not getting enough rest impairs your ability to problem solve, reason, and concentrate. Studies show that sleep restores your brain health by flushing out toxins, and repairing cells. The glymphatic system drains waste from the brain by sending fluids through channels that surround your brain’s blood vessels. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center discovered that this system can help remove a toxin known as beta-amyloid, a protein found in the brain tissue of patients with Alzheimer’s. Getting the sleep your body needs is essential to cognitive function.
Get started today!
A healthy lifestyle reciprocates a healthy brain. No matter what your age is you can embark on the journey of improving your life. It may take a few tweaks and adjustments to your daily life, but with consistency you will begin to see the benefits in no time.
What we eat every day is a main source of health, and our natural disease killer.
The best way known to prevent Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases is to have a healthy lifestyle. It includes great nutrition (with nutrient-dense foods- high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, low in sugar and toxins); regular aerobic exercise (especially when you enjoy it); good sleep (in a routine and truly restful); and being happy (doing what you love, building healthy relationships, and managing stress).
It is essential to be aware that lifestyle is constant, habitual, and built throughout our lives. Thus, start with one of its areas and improve – you will definitely see results with consistency.
On this post the main goal is to share information about how to use food in our favor. As the father of medicine Hippocrates said once: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Today, learn about some foods that are great for the body and for the mind. These are exceptional foods, great for Alzheimer’s disease prevention but also for overall health.
The Brain Foods
The anthocyanins and flavonoids found in blueberries are polyphenols that act as powerful, natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, so they help protect the entire body from free radicals and inflammation. Studies have shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. It is not fully understood how these plant nutrients affect the brain, but it is likely that the polyphenols improve nerve connections and stimulate cell repair. Make sure you implement your diet with some blueberries.
2. Wild Salmon
This and other deep water fish (mackerel, sardines) are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential part of brain structure and function. This fatty acid can lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein related to Alzheimer’s. A Columbia University study found that the more Omega-3 fatty acids a person eats, the lower their blood beta-amyloid levels. The recommended is about 8oz per week.
3. Nuts and Seeds
There are so many different options of flavors,presentation and ways to use these amazing foods that no one can get bored! Walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed, as well as nut butters (without sugar) and tahini. Almonds and Hazelnuts are two of the most concentrated sources of vitamin E available, and vitamin E intake is generally associated with less age-related cognitive decline. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3, which has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline. DHA is also related to neurogenesis, the regeneration of neurons.
Healthy unsaturated fats in avocados help keep your brain cell membranes flexible, according to Kansas State University. A study published in the October 2012 issue of the “Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” found that monounsaturated fatty acids helped protect nerve cells in the brain known as astrocytes, which provide support to information-carrying nerves. Its monounsaturated fats also help in lowering the blood pressure, associated with brain health. Enjoy it in your guacamole, a green avocado smoothie or as a side.
5. Spinach, Kale, and other Leafy Greens
Full of antioxidants and fibers. The antioxidants protect your cells against free radical damage, either the naturally produced in our bodies or the one obtained from external stresses. Fibers are essential for the gut microbiome health (known to influence in all processes of the body), and they help in maintaining blood sugar levels, strongly related to brain diseases. There are many creative ways of including these great vegetables in your diet, and they do taste delicious!
6. Cocoa or Dark Chocolate
Research already shows that the cocoa in dark chocolate, which contains flavonoids (a plant compound that helps with the body’s circulation), can help combat heart disease. Also, flavonoids may help slow down the effects of dementia. Its is known to have powerful antioxidant properties, and it stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Always prefer chocolate 70% or more in cocoa. Enjoy with moderation for anything that has sugar or just freely enjoy it in unsweetened recipes!
Implementing good foods not just as part of a diet, but as part of a routine and leisure is the key to the healthy lifestyle we all look for. Start with small steps and build the best version of yourself!
May is the official month of the Mediterranean Diet. Many studies have found that the diet based on the lifestyle of Mediterranean people in the 1960s is efficient in reducing the risk of heart diseases, slowing aging and improving overall health. Its main focus is a natural, balanced diet which will prevent or even cure physiological problems and provide whole-range health.
“At the present time, the U.S. health system almost entirely ignores nutrition in favor of pharmacology and is hugely expensive and ineffective compared with the systems in other countries,” wrote Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard School of Public Health. “Integration of the Mediterranean diet and related dietary patterns into medical practice, hospitals, schools and other institutions has the potential to improve well-being.”
If compared to other healthy diets, the Mediterranean appears to be the most effective. It was determined according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who surveyed the eating habits of more than 4,600 women of the long-running Nurses’ Health Study. This and other studies have proven the Mediterranean diet to be a much better option than the standard low-fat diet, especially when comparing disease prevention and longevity. The diet has also shown to be successful in preventing major cardiovascular diseases, as well as protecting memory and thinking skills.
Studies and Conclusions
It happened for 5 years, with 7447 individuals who were at a high risk of cardiovascular disease and would follow either: a Mediterranean Diet with added extra virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean Diet with added nuts, or a low-fat control group diet.
A Mediterranean diet with either olive oil or nuts may reduce the combined risk of stroke, heart attack and death from cardiovascular disease
A Mediterranean diet may help to reverse the metabolic syndrome.
The Mediterranean diet caused reductions in oxidized LDL cholesterol (which causes inflammation and diseases), along with improvements in several other heart disease risk factors.
A Mediterranean diet without calorie restriction appears to be effective in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes.
Compared to a low-fat control group, a Mediterranean diet can have beneficial effects on various risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Consuming nuts was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death over a period of 5 years.
Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet
The New England Journal of Medicine, 2008.
It involved 322 obese individuals who were randomly assigned to a calorie restricted low-fat diet, a calorie restricted Mediterranean diet, or an unrestricted low-carb diet.
The low-fat group lost 2.9 kg (6.4 lbs), the low-carb group lost 4.7 kg (10.3 lbs) and the Mediterranean diet group lost 4.4 kg (9.7 lbs). Diabetic participants had improved blood glucose and insulin levels on the Mediterranean diet, compared to the low-fat diet.
A Mediterranean diet may be more effective for weight loss and improving symptoms of diabetes, when compared to a low-fat diet.
There is already information about diets which use concepts from both Mediterranean and Low-Carb points of view to try achieving even better results.
Mediterranean diet may be best for memory and cognitive skills
The study was of 17,478 Caucasian and African-American subjects and lasted 4 years.
It found that adults who closely followed a Mediterranean diet were 19 percent less likely to develop memory and cognitive problems later in life. Subjects with diabetes had no cognitive improvements from the diet — about 17 percent of the subjects enrolled on the study had diabetes, and those who already had cognitive problems would probably not benefit from jumping on the diet.
However, there are many studies that a low-carbohydrate diet would reduce brain damage and even cure mental diseases, thus the connection of both would be an interesting idea.
The basic principle of the Mediterranean diet is to use a wide range of fruits and vegetables, which gives the body maximum access to sources of vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients. There are individual foods within the Mediterranean Diet which are particularly beneficial to health, such as olive oil, garlic and some fruits and vegetables but overall it is the combination of foods within a healthy lifestyle which is linked to improved health.
The Mediterranean Diet is not about quick fix superfoods. Nor is it a strict list of what you should not eat. Rather, the Mediterranean Diet is a formula for healthy day-to-day eating over the long term. The major foundation of it is: eat NOTHING PROCESSED!
Some other guidelines are:
Maximize your intake of vegetables, peas and beans (legumes), fruits and wholegrain cereals.
Limit your red meat intake – fish and poultry are healthier substitutes.
Where possible, use mono-unsaturated olive oil or rapeseed oil.
Limit/Eliminate your intake of highly processed foods and ready meals, which may be high in salt and saturated fat.
Do not add salt to your food at the table – there is already plenty in the food.
Snack on fruit, dried fruit and unsalted nuts rather than cakes, crisps and biscuits.
Drink (red) wine during meals but no more than two small glasses per day.
Water is the best ‘non-alcoholic beverage’ (as opposed to sugary drinks), although health benefits have also been claimed for various teas and coffee.
The most interesting aspects of the Mediterranean Diet – actually a lifestyle – is that it highly recommends people to be active (at least 30 minutes a day) and, most importantly, to truly enjoy their meals. It means to take the time to socialize with others and have a good digestion.
In a nutshell, the Mediterranean Diet provides your body with the essential nutrients it needs for a full-potential, enjoyable, and lifelong health. It is achieved by focusing on right-from-the-source foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and good fats. Thus, by increasing the consumption of good nutrients and antioxidants, and decreasing the toxins, it is obvious that there are going to be many health benefits. The active and social lifestyle is also very important for hormonal balance and the body’s homeostasis.
Start this month well by giving the Mediterranean lifestyle a try, and enjoy its benefits!
The Neurologist and New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. David Perlmutter presents his 35-year long research findings about how to prevent major diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, depression and cancer, generally a result of wrong widespread concepts.
He explains how basic lifestyle changes play a major role in adapting the human body to its natural health and potential. Learn how a low-carb, high-fat diet coupled with aerobic exercise and hormone balance can give you optimum health and longevity.
Below is part of the article The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan With Dr. David Perlmutter posted by Lauren Bryant at the Wellness Force website (wellnessforce.com), accessed in May 1, 2017.
“Our dietary choices play a major role in determining whether we are going to live into our 80s and 90s and even beyond with a good, functioning brain, or like 50% of people who live to be age 85, we will experience brain decline in the form of Alzheimer’s which is a preventable disease.”- Dr. David Perlmutter
When we think about brain health, we don’t think that our gut has anything to do with it. However, the fact is that the gut and free radicals have everything to do with how our brains function as we grow older.
Neurologist and New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. David Perlmutter has witnessed the damaging effects that a poor diet can have on our brains. Today is perfect timing with the launch of his new book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, as he shares why we are vulnerable to develop brain degenerative disease and how we can take matters into our own hands in order to live long, healthy lives with a bright mind that is free of illness.
MAKE THE CHOICE TO HAVE A HEALTHY BRAIN
Even if a relative of yours was diagnosed with a brain degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s, you have the amazing opportunity to make lifestyle choices to ensure your brain’s health.
Factors such as sleep, nutrition, stress levels, free radicals and exercise can impact your health, but you can also take advantage of them to improve your wellness and lower the chances of brain decline.
CONNECTING WELLNESS AND GUT HEALTH
“It’s a bit humbling to recognize that mood is regulated by our gut. Not only through the process of controlling inflammation, which is a cornerstone player in depression, but that around 90% of our levels of dopamine and serotonin are not manufactured in the brain. They’re mostly manufactured in the gut.” – Dr. David Perlmutter
Approximately 90% of the human body’s total serotonin is located in the GI tract, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements.
If the gut is leaky and we lack serotonin, it can be linked to feelings of depression. In a study with probiotic yogurt, researchers found a dramatic change in brain function and mood in the test subjects that ate the yogurt compared to those who did not.
BUILD A HEALTHY GUT
At this moment, there is a diverse community of healthy, gut bacteria living inside of us. If any harm comes our gut’s way, it can increase the chances of having a leaky gut. This leaky gut can lead to inflammation and degenerative diseases including:
The right way to eat food, is to focus on following a diet that helps reduce the chance of a leaky gut and inflammation from happening inside the body.
DO YOU HAVE A LEAKY GUT?
In today’s world, we should assume that it is likely that we all have somewhat of a leaky gut. We would have to take a test or participate in a study to know for sure by having an LPS level done in a lab.
To help heal your gut, remove any offensive agents that may be harming it such as any overuse of:
Over production of free radicals
Drinking chlorinated water
Artificial sugars and sweeteners
Acid blocking drugs
Proton pump inhibitors
Non-steroid and anti-inflammatory drugs
To heal our gut, we need to stimulate and increase the diversity of the organisms that live inside of the gut by exercising and eating foods that are rich in pre-biotic fiber that helps nurture our gut bacteria:
Mexican yam/ jicamo
THE TRUTH ABOUT SUGAR AND GLUTEN
“Inflammation caused by sugar consumption can lead to diabetes and quadruples your chances for Alzheimer’s Disease.” – Dr. David Perlmutter
For decades, we’ve been told that gluten and sugar is good for our health and that fat is bad. However, recent research has shown that this is the exact opposite.
Healthy fat is good for both the body and brain function, but gluten and sugar (including artificial sugar and sweeteners) can cause our insulin levels to spike which leads to inflammation in the body.
In fact, according to Dr. Perlmutter, artificial sweeteners were created to help people control the amount of sugars in their diet, but still be able to taste something sweet. Unfortunately, artificial sugars and sweeteners can dramatically increase a person’s risk for obesity and diabetes.
Take your health into your own hands by making good choices and eating foods that minimize free radicals. Eat healthy and avoid any sugary drinks, high gluten foods, and anything labeled “sugar free” or “contains artificial sugars.”
THE BEST SOURCES OF HEALTHY FAT
There’s a lot of taboo hanging around the words, “fat” and “fatty food.” However, healthy sources of fat are great for our bodies and important for our brain’s health.
According to Dr. Perlmutter, the brain is already made up of a lot of saturated fat and even human breast milk is 50% saturated fat. If you want to ensure that you follow a healthy diet, use the Ketogenic and Mediterranean diets as a good model to follow.
Olive oil particularly is good source of polyphenols that act as antioxidants and nurture the gut bacteria. This source of healthy fat provides both mono and unsaturated fats for our brain cell building blacks.
When you follow a Ketogenic or Mediterranean based diet, but add extra amounts of olive or cocnut oil, your cognitive function can improve dramatically.
A DIET TO HELP PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
To better understand your body and gene makeup, there are numerous services available from companies that offer biometrics tests including:
The sooner you better understand your genes and if there is a chance for you to have an inflammatory disease, the sooner you can take action to fight against it.
Depending on our dietary fat composition, there is a risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, but it can be handled by following a diet that includes food that is high in healthy fats.
As mentioned before, we should be eating more nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado. Monosaturated fats such as almond oil, almond butter/nut butter, an oleic acid in sunflower oil can help prevent degenerative brain disease.
However, we should avoid canola oil, vegetable oil, corn oil and other modified oils in our diets. These are the unhealthy oils that can lead to excess free radicals, and harm our body and brain function.
BUILD A HEALTHY BRAIN WITH AEROBICS
If you want to build a healthy brain, change your diet, but also increase the amount of aerobic exercise. Working out helps to turn on BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor) which serves as a growth hormone for the brain and helps increase the number of memory cells throughout our lifetime.
People who exercise regularly can reduce their chances for Alzheimer’s Disease by 50%!
One of the best things you can do to help your brain stay healthy is to include aerobic exercise for 20 minutes every day.
6 KEY FACTORS FOR A WHOLE LIFE PLAN
According to Dr. Perlmutter, there are 6 key factors and goals that take place in creating a whole life plan for a healthy brain and gut:
Reducing and controlling inflammation
Turning the body into a fat burning machine
Balancing levels of bacteria
Balancing hormones and increasing leptin sensitivity
Taking care of our genes
Balancing our life
ABOUT DR. DAVID PERLMUTTER
Dr. Perlmuter is a Neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition who received his M.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine where he was awarded the Leonard G. Rowntree Research Award.
He is the author of: The Better Brain Book and the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Grain Brain, and Brain Maker, also a New York Times best seller. He is recognized internationally as a leader in the field of nutritional influences in neurological disorders.
Over the past 35 years, Dr. Perlmutter has been interviewed on many nationally syndicated radio and television programs including 20/20, Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Like with Kelly and Michael, Montel Across America and The CBS Early Show.
The cornerstone of Dr. Perlmutter’s unique approach to neurological disorders is founded in the principles of preventive medicine. He has brought to the public awareness a rich understanding that challenging brain problems including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, depression, and ADHD may very well be prevented with lifestyle changes including a gluten free, low carbohydrate, higher fat diet coupled with aerobic exercise.
In May, the weather is warmer and people start going out to enjoy the sun. We all know that absorbing some vitamin D is essential for our health, but being aware and cautious about its risks is part of the strategy for a balanced and healthy life. Let’s be aware of melanoma and skin cancer detection and prevention. Melanoma and skin cancer are types of cancer – the most common ones in the United States – that develop in skin cells when they start to grow out of control, and may spread to other parts of the body. They are normally caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps.
Prevention of Skin Cancer
Avoid burning and intentional tanning (in the sun or tanning beds).
Stay in the shade when sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Use long-sleeved shirts and pants, hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
Apply sunscreen on exposed body surfaces; it should be applied on the face every day.
Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
Be extra cautious around snow, water and sand as these are surfaces that reflect more sunrays.
Do monthly complete body self-examinations to spot any signs of developing skin cancer. Learn how to do the self-examination step by step in the website below:
This powerful and loved fatty acid is found in flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish, seafood, and spinach. When Omega-3 was given to 360 heart attack survivors for six months in a trial by the journal Circulation, it helped improving function and lessening scarring of the heart. The patients who had higher levels of omega-3 had a significant reduction in inflammation, and heart fibrosis – stiffening of the heart muscle that leads to many cardiac diseases, as heart failure and becomes more common with aging. Omega-3 has a role in the prevention of cardiac remodeling which can occur after a heart attack and is associated with heart failure.
Omega-3 is also efficient in lowering elevated triglyceride levels, acting as an antidepressant, and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Who is up for some salmon with spinach?
Heart and overall health is very dependent on other important factors than only healthy eating and exercise. Check them out!
“Reducing sleep by just two or three hours per night can have dramatic health consequences, as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. A recent study found that even little-reduced sleep (six to seven hours per night) was associated with a greatly increased risk of coronary artery calcification, a cause of future heart attack and death due to heart disease.”
Senior man sleeping in bed.
When you sleep, your body performs functions as the repair of muscles, memory consolidation, and the release of important hormones for your normal body functioning. Sleeping contributes to a healthy immune system, and can also help maintain your weight by regulating the levels of hormones that produce the feelings of hunger and fullness. Quality sleep is essential for the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, which helps to prevent heart diseases.
Stress Free Zone
Chronic stress can suppress immune, digestive, sleep, reproductive, and cardiovascular systems. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses. The way you deal with the stress that comes into your life is extremely significant to your health as a whole. Practicing physical exercise, meditation, relaxation activities, and other gentle exercises may help reducing stress. Try to recognize stress signs that affect you and work on them. No stress!
It not only contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate, but it also leads to numerous diseases and early death. Ask your doctor for help to quit smoking. Be smoke and disease free!
Ultimately, heart awareness is all about nourishing yourself with the right nutrients, enjoying life actively, and getting good quality rest after all. This way each day you will grow older, healthier and happier.
Eating heart-healthy is about being smart when choosing how to nurture your body. Always prefer options rich in nutrients that will provide what your organism needs to function properly, and avoid chemical or artificial ingredients that do harm to your internal functioning.
Make choices low or out of saturated fat and trans fat. These are bad fats that increase the risk of atherosclerosis, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and bad LDL cholesterol, which leads to heart disease. Also avoid sodium, because it increases blood pressure, and any processed sugary foods or beverages.
Enjoy a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains rich in fibers, fish, nuts, legumes, and seeds. These will fuel your body with the macro and micronutrients it needs: carbohydrates with low-glycemic level, unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and antioxidants- A, B6, B12, C, E, K- and minerals– calcium potassium, iron, zinc.
A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables, which contain most of the important micronutrients for the body, every day can significantly reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer. So keep that in mind when you write your next grocery list!
Great healthy food options indicated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are:
Fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned without added salt or sugar)
Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.
Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel
Beans, peas and lentils
Whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta, brown rice, quinoa
Physical activity acts in maintaining a healthy weight, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and lessening arterial stiffening. These are all effects of improved health. It also increases good HDL cholesterol, which gets fats away from the arteries, and it may reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol, which forms these fatty deposits – harmful for the cardiovascular system.
The best exercise for your heart is aerobic activity. It strengthens heart and lung muscles, burns calories reducing fat deposits, and improves the immune system. Examples of aerobic exercises are walking, running, swimming, dancing, spinning, hiking, riding a bike, among many others. You just have to find one you will enjoy.
The amount of physical exercise recommended by the American Heart Association is 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic physical activity, or a combination of both. Also, on 2 or more days a week you need muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest shoulders, and arms).
Here are some exercise tips by the American Heart Association for elderly people:
Work with your health care provider to develop an activity plan to consider chronic conditions, limitations, and reducing the risk of falls.
Pick activities that you enjoy and that you will do year-round.
Start exercising at a low intensity(especially if you’ve been mostly sedentary), and progress gradually.
Make sure the environment you practice your physical activity is safe – does not intersect with traffic, and is well-lighted.
Muscular adaptation and elasticity generally slows with age,so take more time to warm up and cool down before and after exercising.
Stay hydrated by trying to drink some water every 15 minutes, especially when exercising in hot, humid conditions. As you age, your sense of thirst tends to decrease and you may not be able to completely rely on your internal sense of thirst.
February is the month that focuses on heart health, so let’s understand what this important organ needs and how to improve its functions. Be aware of your heart, not just in February but for the rest of your life. Staying heart healthy includes building a routine with simple habits as practicing physical activity, eating healthy, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and not smoking. Stay tuned to learn more about each one of them.