10 Creative Ways to Live Long With Heart Disease

Heart problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease often emerge as your heart adjusts to aging. The good news? You can do a lot to control and sometimes reverse these conditions by making lifestyle changes in your life. Here are 10 creative things you can do that will not only help your condition, but give you more energy so you can feel better and live longer.

Hire a Personal Trainer

Exercise can help lower your biological age.
Exercise can help lower your biological age. Marcy Maloy/Getty Images

Your heart is a muscle and it needs its exercise or it will grow soft and flabby. Getting started in exercise — especially if you aren't at your peak form right now — can be mentally and physically challenging.

First, talk with your doctor and get specific guidelines for how much exercise you should do, and how to recognize the signs of overexertion.

Next, find a gym that has personal trainers. The trainer can help make sure that your efforts are going to pay off, and that you are doing the exercises correctly.

Hire a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist

'Woman looking at peppers in grocery store, smiling'
Colorblind/The Image Bank/Getty Images

You will probably only need one or two consultations with a dietitian to learn volumes about what you are eating, what you should be eating and why. To get the most out of your visit, bring two or three days of food logs with you. A food log is simply a record of everything you eat or drink in a day, the times you ate or drank it and the amounts. This will help the nutritionist tailor a program to your life.

Banish Your Food Enemies

Assorted homemade Chocolate truffles
SusanadelCampoPhoto/RooM/Getty Images

We all have food enemies. Maybe yours are cookies, ice cream, chips or candy? If you can't avoid temptation, banish these items from your house, your car and your office, and avoid eating them on a regular basis.

Relax a Little

Woman laying on sofa and listening to music
Credit: Hero Images

Stress constricts your blood vessels, and this makes it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body. Relax, let the events of the day wash over you and consider earning relaxation breathing. When something bothers you, try to keep the big picture in mind: Ask yourself, will the stress triggers matter five years from now? Will you even remember them?


A senior couple drinking coffee together.
A senior couple drinking coffee together. AZarubaika/Getty Images

Smiling does all sorts of good for your body. You can actually trick your body and mind into being happy by smiling. Put a smile on your face while standing in line, driving or writing e-mails: You'll be amazed at the change. Practice by smiling every time you look at a clock. This will add hundreds of smiles to your day!

Learn to Cook

Hero Images / Digital Images / Getty Images

Have you ever been amazed by restaurants? You can walk in, order any one of 70 items off a menu and a few minutes later your meal arrives warm and delicious. It is like a miracle. And the name of that miracle is butter. Restaurants use fats and butter to cover up so-so ingredients, over warming and other sins of necessity. By learning to cook and eating at home, you can be in control of your food. Use fresh ingredients and take some cooking classes.

Monitor and Record

woman taking blood pressure at home
Hero Images/Getty Images

Keeping important information at your fingertip can help your doctors plan the best medical care for you.

  • Monitor your blood pressure weekly, keep your test results in a folder for easy access.
  • Have your cholesterol tested every few months.
  • Keep track of your medical information.
  • Know what medications you are on, who your doctors are and what your medical goals are.

Take Your Medicine

Woman in bathrobe taking vitamins
Hero Images/Getty Images

If you doctor has prescribed medicine for you, take it. Figure out what you need to do to to be 100 percent compliant with your doctor's orders. That means taking your medicine at the right times and following the suggestions. There are some really excellent medications on the market now that have helped millions of people avoid heart attacks and other problems.

Nurture Your Relationships

Senior woman eating lunch
Alistair Berg/DigitalVision/Getty Images

People with health conditions fare better if they have strong social relationships. Your spouse, friends or family members can be there to help you overcome challenges, make lifestyle changes and assist you if you are ill.

It has also been shown that having close relationships can help reduce stress and improve healing. So, take a second honeymoon, go on a buddy fishing trip or have a spa day with someone you care about.

Celebrate Life

Senior couple dancing in living room
MoMo Productions/Stone/Getty Images

Life is good. Celebrate the progress you make in creating a healthier you, instead of getting caught in routines and ruts that eat away your days. Carving out time for pleasurable activities can boost your heart health.

Continue Reading