Heart-Healthy Habits for Seniors

Senior couple hugging Heart health impacts every aspect of our health. As we age, changes in the cardiovascular system affect our overall function and increase the risk of developing diseases. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle through healthy habits every day can help maintain heart function and promote healthy aging. The following are some healthy habits suggested by the American Heart Association and the National Institute on Aging.

Talk to your doctor.

Doctor with stethoscope Understand your personalized heart health plan. Ask your doctors questions such as
• Do I have a risk of developing heart disease? 
• Is my blood pressure consistently healthy? 
• Is my cholesterol balanced and healthy?  
• What is my blood sugar level, and do I have a risk of developing diabetes?

Understanding your unique risk profile can help you and your doctor make an individualized plan to help you maintain a healthy heart. 

Perform routine blood pressure screenings.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure can help reduce your risk for stroke and maintain overall health. Attend blood pressure screenings at your local senior center or health clinic to help reduce your risk of hypertension.

Create healthy and colorful meals.
Bowl of healthy food A diet full of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains supports a healthy heart. For many seniors, it is essential to eat a fiber-rich, low fat, low sodium diet to promote heart health. Caregivers can help seniors discover healthy foods that also taste delicious! The American Heart Association and MyPlate.gov are great sources for healthy recipes. 
Reduce stress.
Stress increases inflammation throughout the body and often leads to unhealthy coping habits. Caregivers can help seniors reduce stress by practicing daily gratitude, talk therapy, meditation, aromatherapy, and journaling. 

Maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight increases your heart disease risk. Talk to your doctor about how you can achieve a healthy weight. 
Make gentle exercise a part of every day.
Senior woman doing yoga For seniors living with heart disease, it is essential to follow your doctor’s recommendations on exercise. Talk to your doctor and a physical therapist to find out what types of exercise is best for you. Some gentle activities caregivers can do with seniors include yoga, cardio drumming, and tai-chi.


Rodgers, J. L., Jones, J., Bolleddu, S. I., Vanthenapalli, S., Rodgers, L. E., Shah, K., Karia, K., & Panguluri, S. K. (2019). Cardiovascular Risks Associated with Gender and Aging. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 6(2), 19. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd6020019