Vascular Health & Aging: What You Need to Know
As far as aging goes, it’s essential to be aware of all the changes that your body goes through and how you can protect your heart health as you age. Good vascular health is a critical part of a healthy life, and many conditions and diseases are related to the cardiovascular system, especially as you get older. Understanding the changes that come with age, who is at risk, and what you can do to protect your health is important to prevent serious illnesses.
Changes with Age and Cardiac Health
The cardiovascular system is as vital to health as any other body system, but as you age they can become more of a burden. Many changes come with age, and this includes parts of the circulatory system as well. Here are some of the main changes that come with age and heart health:
- Blood Pressure: As you get older, your arteries may become less flexible and your blood pressure can increase.
- Atherosclerosis: Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries. This can block blood flow and put a strain on your heart.
- Heart Arrhythmias: Heart arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats tend to happen more often with age. These can range from mild to serious.
- Stroke: As you get older, your risk of a stroke increases, especially if you have other conditions such as high blood pressure.
Who Is at Risk?
Some people are more at risk than others when it comes to poor vascular health. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you should take extra precaution to protect your heart health:
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure strains the arteries and can increase your chance of developing an aneurysm or other health issue.
- Diabetes: Diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels, making you more prone to cardiovascular illnesses such as a stroke.
- High Cholesterol: High cholesterol can also lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, restricting blood flow and increasing your risk of stroke or heart attack.
- Smoking: Smoking constricts the arteries, causing them to harden and increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Protecting Your Vascular Health
There are steps you can take to protect your vascular health and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease as you age. Taking good care of yourself today can help you live a longer, healthier life tomorrow. Here are some ways to keep your heart healthy:
- Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help keep your heart strong, increase your blood flow, and reduce your blood pressure.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight can put extra strain on your heart and cause your blood pressure to rise.
- Stop Smoking: Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. You can ask your doctor for options on how to quit.
- Eat Healthy: Eating healthy foods that are low in fat and salt can help improve your cardiovascular health and prevent certain diseases.
Vascular Health and Aging: Taking Action Now
Good vascular health is important no matter your age, but it becomes especially important as you get older. Knowing the changes that come with age and the conditions that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as the simple steps you can take to protect your heart and vascular system, is essential for a healthy life. Taking action now can help you live longer and healthier in the future.