The Importance of a Healthy Heart

man walking with child

The Importance of a Healthy Heart

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Promote heart health

How’s your heart health? Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, killing more than all types of cancer combined, and disproportionately affecting people aged 65 and older. Older people are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease or have a stroke or heart attack. Out of the 85.6 million American adults have coronary heart disease, and 43.7 million of these are over the age of 60. Fortunately, by making some lifestyle changes, you can keep your heart healthy and strong at any age. 

Living a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

  • Eat the right diet. A heart-healthy diet is low calorie but nutrient-dense, full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and all the nutrients found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to nutrition labels so that you can limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, and added sugars, and avoid high fat dairy and meat, but go ahead and eat fatty fish. Fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart. 
  • Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking can raise your risk of heart disease and heart attack, and if you have other risk factors, it can make them worse. It is the leading cause of preventable death, but quitting immediately begins to reverse the damage. Even if you quit late in life, you lower your chances of heart disease, stroke and cancer. 
  • Exercise regularly. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym; any kind of regular movement can help you manage your weight, improve your fitness, boost your mental health, and lower your risk of heart disease. Walking, dancing, gardening- any kind of activity you enjoy and that will keep you from sitting all day is beneficial. 
  • Watch your weight. Excess body fat increases your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems, and even certain types of cancer. Losing weight improves your health and can lower many of these risks. Following a heart healthy diet and remaining active are two great strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Control your conditions. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, it is very important to keep these under control. High blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, in particular, raise your risk of heart disease. 
  • Manage your stress. High stress can lead to a heart attack or angina, as well as contributing to high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. When you are under chronic stress, it can impact your memory, learning, immune system, anxiety, and depression, and this is particularly true for older people. If you are feeling stressed, talk to someone. It can be a loved one, your doctor, or a therapist, but it’s important to get some support. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can also help with stress, and stress management techniques like yoga, mindfulness, and meditation are also beneficial. 
  • Get enough sleep. The importance of sleep in maintaining good health cannot be overstated. Sleep supports healthy brain function and helps you maintain overall good health, but most Americans struggle with getting the right amount of sleep. In time, a sleep deficit can increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke, so it’s worth working on your sleep habits. To get better sleep, avoid nicotine and caffeine, keep a regular sleep/wake schedule, steer clear of screens before bedtime, and sleep in a quiet, cool, dark room. 

Understanding Your Risk

Some of your risk factors for heart disease are within your control, like your diet and exercise routine. Others, like your age, sex, and family history, are not. If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, prediabetes or diabetes, are overweight, or smoke, your risk is probably elevated. And while women tend to develop heart issues later in life than men, heart disease is still the top killer of women. If you are a woman who suffered with preeclampsia during a pregnancy, your risk is higher than it otherwise would be. Talk to your doctor to establish heart-healthy goals, and discuss not only your risk, but also prevention and treatment strategies. 

Know How to Spot the Symptoms

In its early stages, heart disease is barely noticeable. That’s why it is so important to have regular checkups! Tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, or tingling
  • Chest pain when you’re active
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or confusion
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, stomach, or neck
  • Inability to exercise
  • Trouble with normal activities

Living Your Best Life in Retirement

To live a long life, it’s important to be proactive in prioritizing your health. At Parkwood Heights, we prioritize the health and happiness of our residents. We want them to live life to the fullest, as they enjoy all the amenities that make Parkwood a great place to live their best lives. A lovely community in which to spend your retirement, Parkwood Heights is located just minutes from Victor, Fairport, Farmington, and Canandaigua. Our picturesque, 122-acre senior living campus affords many opportunities to enjoy your time with friends and family while enjoying our scenic setting. Call (315) 986-9100 to learn more about all that we have to offer, or check out our website and reach out if you have any questions.

Quick Info Request

Use this form to request information about Parkwood Heights Senior Living Community

Bev Breen
Bev Breen / Resident

Our servers are wonderful!

Dolores / Resident

I moved to Parkwood Heights in 2005 because I wanted to live closer to my daughter. The activities department was the deciding factor. I enjoy having so many activities and events to choose from. Also, when calculating my expenses to live in my home or to live at Parkwood, the decision was made easier because the cost was about the same.

Elenore Bulau
Elenore Bulau / Resident

I have no qualms about saying the management staff is excellent – always friendly and will drop everything to listen to you.

Helen Lund
Helen Lund / Resident

The maintenance guys are so friendly and take care of our requests promptly

J. Bieler
J. Bieler / Resident

The drivers are super caring people who always do a good job

Jeannette M.
Jeannette M. / Resident

There is a great variety of activities and the staff are willing to do anything!

Ken and Bev Keyes
Ken and Bev Keyes / Family

Ken and I just want to let you know how much we appreciated having our Uncle in the Enriched Program at Parkwood Heights. His apartment was bright and inviting and the care he received by all the staff was wonderful. He could be independent, as well as cared for in relation to his needs. No matter what the day brought, the staff would tell us they loved their jobs and would always have a smile and a hug for everyone, helping to make each day a better day for those around them.

Norma / Resident

I've been living at Parkwood Heights since November of 2000. I am so happy here ~ the people are so nice and there is so much to do. If I didn't like it here I'd be a fool.

Rosa / Family

Here it is just a little over two weeks since we moved Bruce into Parkwood. I just wanted to tell you how pleased we are with Bruce’s transition and acclimation to Parkwood Heights. The entire staff and residents have been so very welcoming, helpful, and supportive.I see a remarkable difference in Bruce’s energy, health, and his avenues of interest….. We owe this to the eager and affirmative attention everyone at Parkwood has given Bruce over these past two weeks…Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how relieved, rested, and encouraged I feel since Bruce has joined the Parkwood community….




Tom & Donna
Tom & Donna / Family

On January 19th we moved mom from Florida to New York. We were pleased with Parkwood Heights, from staff to the lovely facility. It was a difficult move for mom at the age of 97 as well as us with the arrangements. From day one, all of our questions were answered and we were guided through the move as easily as possible.

Tom and Nancy
Tom and Nancy / Villa Residents

We had been looking around for about 2 years ... we knew that we wanted a spacious villa ... we came to Parkwood because we wanted to do things and they had just what we were looking for. There are so many activities to choose from, places to go and people to visit with. We love it here.