The first American Heart Month was celebrated in February 1964, following a Presidential Proclamation by Lyndon B. Johnson on December 30, 1963, which declared the month of February American Heart Month in the United States. Every year since Americans have focused on the importance of heart health throughout the month—and into the year—making heart-healthy practices part of their daily routine.
The most popular personal tactics for maintaining a healthy heart are still regular physical exercise and good nutrition. At their extensive websites, the American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Aging outline identified risks, encourage Americans of every age to take charge and offer multiple ideas for enhancing heart health.
Here, we’d like to focus on 5 heart-healthy practices you can incorporate into your lifestyle. Some suggestions relate to exercise and nutrition while others take a more “non-physical” approach. All are solid suggestions from the experts, and we hope they will be useful in helping you meet your heart-healthy goals for 2020.
Know Your Numbers
As a first step in controlling heart disease and improving your heart health, it’s important to know and regularly monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight. Daniel W. Jones, M.D. and former president of the American Heart Association, says, “Next time you visit your health care provider, be sure to ask for your critical health numbers to be screened and develop a plan…to manage them.”
The beauty of a Life Care community like Abbey Deray is that your personal well-being as a resident is of primary importance to the entire staff. Our mantra We listen. We understand. We help. means our staff is always there to support you and your overall health. This includes getting a great start monitoring your own health by knowing your numbers—we’ll help coordinate through our onsite Walk-in Clinic.
Develop A Comprehensive Wellness Plan
The experts will tell you that personal wellness involves much more than exercise and eating right. Take a look at the whole picture. Other aspects to good heart health involve socialization, engagement, elimination of stress and worry, and even how you perceive and interact with a more spiritual aspect of life.
Abbey Delray is the perfect place to begin your personal comprehensive health and wellness initiative. As a Masterpiece Living® community, Abbey Delray gives you the chance to strengthen your dimensions of wellness: physical, intellectual, social and spiritual, guided by onsite professionals trained to help you at every stage of healthy living.
Woven into the culture of Abbey Delray since 2016, Masterpiece Living has invested more than 14 years in the research, study and development of individuals’ passions related to the four specific components of wellness listed above. Research was supported by the MacArthur Foundation Study on Aging, which claims that 70% of how we age is determined by our lifestyle, and only 30% determined by genetics.
Abbey Delray’s recent multimillion-dollar makeover initiative to Renew. Refresh. Revitalize. has changed the face of the community in a way that not only supports heart health, but also comprehensive wellness at new and expanded levels—independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services—completing the community’s offering of a full continuum of care.
As Abbey Delray revamps its goals, you can too:
• Renew your commitment to a fun-filled, uplifting lifestyle in retirement.
• Refresh your outlook with a positive new approach to life.
• Revitalize your surroundings, your relationships and your activities.
Abbey Delray is regenerating the community to fit the way seniors want to live.
The new Abbey Delray Performing Arts Center is complete and ready to host events—everything from lectures, banquets, performances and more (intellectual and social wellness). A new fitness center and aerobics studio with space for wellness activities and classes complement and support residents’ physical goals. New dining options provide more choices for meeting friends and neighbors socially, and a new outdoor garden provides a wonderful space for connecting with the more spiritual aspects of healthy living.
Laugh a Lot
People are subjected to a lot of stress in this busy world, and feeling like the world is closing in on you can come from more than just a long to-do list. Sometimes, you worry about things and don’t even realize it—causing undue stress that negatively impacts your heart health. You might need a good diversion.
A community environment with lots of friends around, companionship, and numerous activities and events to share together is just the ticket for eliminating stress from your life. And it does a lot to elevate the “laugh quotient,” too. Maintenance-free living at Abbey Delray can help you eliminate your to-do list and, in the process, find an abundance of personal support, sharing and laughing from both residents and staff. Everyone’s happy at Abbey Delray, and our residents will be the first to tell you it’s easier to stay healthy when you stay happy and carefree.
Snuggle with a Pet
Besides the obvious value of a good snuggle, there’s also a strong connection between pets and health. Studies have shown pet ownership may help relieve stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increase fitness, and boost overall happiness and well-being. Pets also provide social support, which is an important factor in helping you stick to healthy habits.
Abbey Delray is a pet-friendly, active community, and many residences have fenced-in yard areas, patios or balconies to give furry friends their freedom. Special trails provide for safe dog-walking throughout the community. We understand the value of a heart-healthy bond between owners and their pets, so they are welcomed members of the Abbey Delray family!
Sleep, Rest, Nap
Your sleep habits can have a lasting effect on your overall heart health. Simply tweaking a few of your habits like turning off the television or going to bed and waking up at a consistent time can help you sleep better. Plan for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. One more thing, plug in your phone and other electronic devices away from the bed so as not to distract or awaken you during the night with light or sound alerts.
In addition to a good night’s sleep, don’t feel bad about catching a little snooze during the day. Most experts say a 20-minute nap is good for your heart and enough to reap the benefits of increased alertness, performance and overall mood.
In closing, American Heart Month can be FUN if you choose to be aware of its importance and get involved in February. Here is one way you can participate:
• Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14. Send out a few Valentine cards this year. It will do your heart good!
If you like optimism in your lifestyle and balance in your daily life, you’ll love it at Abbey Delray where residents say: It’s what this place does to my heart. Find out more about the heart-healthy lifestyle you could enjoy at Abbey Delray and explore our website. Call 888-839-6872 to schedule a tour.