As we reach our 50’s and 60’s, it is really important to consider the health of your heart particularly because coronary heart disease is still a leading cause of death in Australia. In fact, approximately 20 people suffer a fatal coronary heart incident every day. While this is an alarming statistic, there are things we can do to improve heart health.
The first step is maintaining regular health check-ups with a qualified health practitioner. This preventative action can include regular blood pressure health checks with your pharmacist. It should also include a periodic, thorough heart health examination with your GP. Such an examination is likely to include the following assessments:
- Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level
- Triglyceride level
- Blood pressure level
For those with heart conditions, you may want to consult your GP or pharmacists about having your own blood pressure monitor. This will allow you to check blood pressure frequently from home. For men aged between 55-59, the optimum pressure reading is 129/85. For men between the ages of 60-64, it is 134/87.
Cardiovascular disease is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of aging. For those that do not have underlying genetic or inherited heart conditions, cardiovascular disease can be the direct result of the myriad of small choices that you make every day. The evidence shows that men are more likely to have cardio problems than women.
The lifestyle factors that can negatively impact heart health include:
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- An unhealthy diet
- Being overweight
- Lack of physical activity
Given these factors, some lifestyle changes that you can consider to lessen cardiovascular disease risk may include:
- Stop smoking – if you’ve been smoking for decades, this is going to be a real challenge. The Australian Government has created an entire program, “I Can Quit”, to help.
- Have regular check-ups to stay on top of your cholesterol levels.
- Adopt the Five Habit of Healthy Eating that we covered in the article “Five Easy Steps That May Improve Your Nutrition”.
- Start a regular, sustainable exercise program that combines both aerobic (with air) and anaerobic (without air) exercise.
- Adopt stress-reducing lifestyle habits.
The right lifestyle changes will improve your heart health. Get the right advice, stay active in checking and maintaining the right habits and you will experience immediate and long-term benefits.
Written by Steve T.
As well as being an author, Steve is experienced in helping people to reach their physical goals.
 WebMD. Heart Health Tips. 2020
 Harvard Medical School. Heart Health. 2020
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.