“Heart Smart” tips for Louisiana seniors

Published 12:59 am Saturday, February 11, 2023

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Dr. Kevin Stephens, chief medical officer, UnitedHealthcare-LA , says, “February is a good time to get ‘heart smart’ and take steps to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. The good news is Louisiana seniors can take a few simple steps to reduce their risk and enjoy better health.” To help, Dr. Stephens suggests four easy tips:


  • Understand your risk. Not everyone’s risk for heart problems is the same, and some things – like family history and age – aren’t controllable. However, other risks can be controlled, like high blood pressure or an unhealthy diet. Medicare plans offer many preventive health benefits – such as health screenings and wellness-visits – that can help you identify what risk factors you may have and learn what steps to take to manage them.


  • Make a plan. Once you understand how you may be at risk, get proactive! This could mean reducing sugar, bread and pasta, working more fruits and vegetables into your weekly meal planning, setting weight goals or learning more about what local fitness options may available that you can enjoy. Talk to your doctor to develop a plan that works for you.


  • Cut it out. Smoking causes many problems for your heart health: it can make the heartbeat irregularly, tighten arteries and increase blood pressure – all of which can increase your risk for health attack and stroke. If you smoke, make a plan to stop today.


  • Start small, aim big, and stick with it. Making lifestyle changes can be hard, so take small, manageable steps that you can start doing every day. It could be choosing to take a walk around the neighborhood instead of turning on the TV or learning a few new heart-healthy recipes to swap in for less healthy ones. Small actions over time add up, so don’t give up!


To learn more, visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com.