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Heart Health Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Jul 7, 2016 - 5:36:25 PM



This Old Heart: It's Never too Late to Take Care of Your Ticker

By Staff Editor
Jun 25, 2015 - 10:49:34 AM



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(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Heart disease is preventable, especially if you work on ways to your heart in the best possible health and regardless of your age.

It is important to understand the effects of aging on your cardiovascular system and despite the obvious fact that our ability to sustain a high level of prolonged exercise will diminish with age, this inevitable decline can be slowed if you exercise regularly and do what you can to take care of your ticker in other ways.

Effects of aging

Your heart has a pacing system that is central to controlling your heartbeat and regulating the electric signals used to stimulate the pumping action of your heart.

As you age, this natural pacemaker within us will begin to lose some of its cells and some of the electrical pathways may also suffer some damage. These two scenarios will create changes that can result in a slightly lower heart rate when resting and leave you more susceptible to abnormal rhythms.

The most common of these abnormal rhythms is known as atrial fibrillation and a method known as electrophysiology, which is at the core of treatments available from providers like Toperamedical.com.

As we get older, the structures of your heart also display more rigidity and the muscles of the left ventricle also become thicker. As a result of this and the possibility of your heart increasing slightly in size, you could experience your heart filling and emptying more slowly.

This drop in maximum heart rate is more prevalent in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, so you need to exercise your heart to fight against the effects of aging.

Preventing heart disease

You need to combat the thought or belief that heart disease is inevitable in your old age and there are a number of ways that you can work on becoming heart-healthy, whatever your age.

Plenty of regular exercise is a good starting point and low-impact exercises are often the most sensible option for seniors, especially if you are also doing some weight-bearing exercises too.

Cardiovascular exercises get the heart pumping and the blood flowing, so build an exercise routine that includes activities like swimming, walking or light jogging. You could also consider biking or hiking or a regular game of tennis or golf, but leave the buggy at the clubhouse to get the full benefit.

Balance training

If you are able to keep your muscles nicely stretched and reasonably flexible this will not only help your feel better but balance training will also improve your ability to prevent falls through greater strength and flexibility.

Popular balance training exercises include Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi and if you combine regular classes with frequent stretching exercises it will definitely help keep you in better shape.

Strength training exercises

Some seniors are deterred by the thought of strength training and don't think that bodybuilding is for them, but you can work on strengthening your muscles without embarking on a strenuous routine.

You can boost your muscle strength with some simple exercises using light free weights or dumbbells suitable to your strength limitations and you can even use furniture or the walls in your home for resistance.

Exercise helps in numerous ways and as well as providing benefits to your heart health it will keep you moving and feeling more healthy, plus it energizes your mind and spirit in addition to keeping your body in good shape as you get older.

Always talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe to start an exercise routine and take the time to find out which exercise work best for you and what your limitations are.

Other ways to improve your heart health and overall wellness include reducing your alcohol intake and if you smoke, it is never too late to quit.

Stress

Another big factor that can influence your heart is stress and if you suffer from stress it will only serve to compound any heart disease risks that you are potentially exposed to.

Try to take measures to reduce the levels of stress in your life where possible and look for some suitably healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your risk of suffering from heart disease.

You should always be of the mindset that it is never too late to start living a healthier lifestyle and it is also never too late to start taking care of that ticker of yours, so speak to your doctor and start planning some exercises into your weekly routine.

Tony McMorrow is an exercise therapist. He enjoys writing about fitness and health. His articles appear on many health and well-being websites.

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