Cardiovascular diseases or heart health problems are huge problem all over the world. It claims millions of people every year. In the US, It affects more than 1 in 3 adults.
Exercising and eating a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, and good protein are important for your health. But you can undermine your efforts with bad habits.
Little things we do every day can have an enormous effect on our heart. In this post, we put together a list of the 8 worst habits for your heart health. The little damages this habits cause can add up.
8 Worst Habits for Your Heart Health
1. Sitting for A Long Time
Sitting for a long time may affect your blood level of fat and sugar. As a result, your risk of stroke and heart attack increases. Exercise doesn’t compensate for it.
To combat this, walk around periodically. If you are at work, try to always stand up when talking on the phone.
Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea interrupts breathing. As a result, your blood pressure may skyrocket. This increases the risk of heart disease.
Sleep apnea is very common. More than 18 millions Americans suffer from this disorder. Overweight people are at a higher risk for sleep apnea.
If you snore and often wake up feeling tired, you should consult with your doctor.
3. Not Flossing
Regular flossing does more than keeping your teeth in tip-top shape.
If you don’t floss regularly, bacteria-ridden plaque builds up in your mouth. This can lead to gum disease. And there is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease.
The exact reason of the link is unknown. One theory is gum disease triggers inflammation in the body. Inflammation promotes atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis slowly blocks arteries, putting blood flow at risk. It’s the usual cause of cardiovascular disease.
4. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Excess alcohol increases your risk of risk of high blood pressure and heart failure. The extra calories from alcohol can also lead to weight gain. As you already know, overweight people are at a higher risk of heart disease.
If you drink, do so in moderation. If you are a woman, don’t drink more than one drinks. If you are a man, don’t drink more than two. One drink is one 12 ounce of beer or 4 ounces of wine. If you don’t drink, try not to start.
More than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese in the US. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease.
To lose weight, the first thing you should do is cutting out sugary drinks and replace them with water. Then try to cut out fast food and other processed food. They cause massive weight gain and insulin resistance.
To learn more about how lose weight, read this article.
Smoking promotes blood clot. Blood clot block blood flow to the heart. This can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries.
Even if you don’t smoke, living with a smoker also increases your risk of heart disease. In one study, researchers found that constant exposure to secondhand smoke nearly doubled a person’s risk of having a heart attack.
According to another study, about 46,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease every year because of secondhand smoke.
7. Eating too Much Salt
Too much salt increases your blood pressure. As we’ve already mentioned, high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
About one in three Americans have high blood pressure. So stay away from junk food. Read the labels to check sodium contents. Try to keep sodium intakes below 2,300 mg a day. If you have high blood pressure or over 50, try to keep it below 1,500 mg a day.
8. Avoiding Fruits & Vegetables
According to one study, people who eat less than three servings of fruits & vegetables had about 20% higher risk of heart disease and stroke than those who ate more than five per day.
So load up on fruits & vegetables. Try to make half of each meal fruits & vegetables. Keep junk food to a minimum. Your heart will thank you.
If you make any of these seemingly innocent mistakes, try to give them up. Don’t try to make a complete transformation all at once. Make small changes. Set realistic goals. You’ll slowly turn them into bigger achievements.