How to keep your heart healthy as you get older is a really important question. You’ve got to try and avoid coronary heart disease to start with.
There is an epidemic of heart failure in our community in Australia, and that’s because we’ve allowed our hearts to age more than they should. And there’s all sorts of reasons why your heart ages. One is your blood pressure’s been too high. Two is your diet. You’ve not had as diverse a diet as you should with lots of red vegetables, olive oil, and so on. Cuisine that’s like the Mediterranean cuisine, which provides what are called bioactive compounds in your diet. These compounds stop the biological rusting, the ageing of your cardiovascular system.
The best way, though, to prevent ageing of your heart and weakness of the muscle in the longterm is exercise. This is best from as early in life as you can possibly do it. And even in older ages, starting exercise is a really good idea. You’ve just got to do it steadily. But intense exercise, as intense as you’re able or allowed to do, with muscle strengthening, those things will strengthen the heart muscle and have it beating more efficiently.
The sooner you do it, the more you’re gonna prevent deterioration as you age.
Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist