The Solana focuses on heart health
February is National Heart Month, and The Solana does its part to ensure the heart health of its residents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the term heart disease, commonly called coronary artery disease, refers to several types of heart conditions. Many seniors live with heart disease, making it the leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, which can prevent older adults from enjoying their later years in life. The good news is that heart disease is preventable, and exercise and a healthy diet can help fight heart disease at any age.
“It’s never too late to eat healthy, exercise and manage stress,” said Christen Madigan, senior-living counselor at The Solana. “We put a focus on wellness and health for all of our residents, whether they live with heart disease or not, and it’s done in a fun and supportive environment.”
The Solana offers fitness classes — including Zumba, aerobics, chair exercise and water aerobics — as well as opportunities for stress and relaxation, like tai chi and massage therapy. The community features a salt water pool, fitness center with cardio and strength training equipment, a putting green, and bocce ball court.
“Zumba is one of our most popular classes,” Madigan said. “Our residents really take advantage of all of the fitness offerings and utilize our fitness center. We do in-services on all the machines to make sure the residents are using them safely and effectively.”
For heart disease prevention to be truly successful, exercise needs to go hand in hand with healthy eating. Franklin Ayala, The Solana’s director of dining, works every day to provide heart-healthy food choices for residents to eat.
“We cook only in olive oil and offer a fish and chicken option every week,” Ayala said. “Fish and chicken can be steamed, grilled or baked.”
Heart-healthy main courses are accompanied by a choice of steamed vegetables and sugar free desserts. Ayala says that he and his team are happy to accommodate a resident’s dietary needs and that heart health is a priority in choosing their menu.
“We want our residents to stay healthy and also enjoy delicious food, and we try to accomplish both,” he said.
You can live a heart healthy live at any age. The American Heart Association offers the following tips:
Maintain a healthy weight.
Engage in regular physical activity.
Eat a healthy diet.
Manage blood pressure
Take charge of cholesterol.
Keep blood sugar, or glucose at healthy levels.
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