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Healthy Habits of the Heart

Healthy Habits of the Heart

It is common to hear that people who smoke and people who are overweight are more likely to get a heart attack. According to the National Institute of Health, two-thirds of the population of America are overweight. There are certain circumstances that are not exactly ideal for your heart. Here are a few habits that you can begin to develop for your heart today.


Coffee, Of All Things.

Believe it or not, getting yourself another cup of java is good for your heart. Two or three cups of coffee a day is actually a good thing. Go ahead; enjoy that first cup of coffee in the morning. Your heart will thank you.


Remaining Calm

Your heart and emotions tend to be related. If you see the world as threatening and are quick to anger, this makes it risky for your heart. Stress, anxiety and depression are also known as SAD. Feeling these emotions puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Keeping your emotions calm and your disposition serene goes a long way towards a long, healthy life. Body hormones that damage the heart are released by SAD such as epinephrine and cortisol. Blood sugar and blood pressure increase and can be threatening to the heart. However, getting enough exercise, sleep and the right diet will do wonders for your quality of life. Be sure to socialize and get some exercise if you feel depressed, anxious or stressed. See a psychiatrist if you need a prescription for mood disorders. Both your heart and your mood will benefit from this.


Don’t Shake that Salt Shaker!

Heart problems don’t come from salt per se. You can liberally shake salt on most of your food if you have low blood pressure, are healthy and have good levels of cholesterol. Keeping your salt under 1,500 milligrams daily is the recommendation. On the other hand, if you have a heart problem and have high blood pressure, avoid salt at all costs. The body retains water when you eat a lot of salt. This causes swollen legs, high blood pressure, and an all-over groggy feeling. Season food with herbs instead of salt. On very rare occasions, sprinkle a bit of salt on your food if you must.


Knowledge is Power

Do you know your cholesterol level and your blood pressure? Being aware of what these levels are for your body will help give you unexpected health issues or prevent you from being a walking time bomb. High blood pressure increases your risk for getting a heart attack, since there are hardly any symptoms before it happens. Be aware of these risks by getting a regular check-up. In addition, you won’t get any symptoms with high cholesterol. You can be a fitness fanatic with an over-300 cholesterol level. Knowing what the levels of your cholesterol and blood pressure are may just save you in the long run. If you do get a check up and the results come out high, get a couple more check-ups in the next one to ensure that these are not flukes. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend medication for blood pressure if necessary. If there are bad side effects, ask your doctor if there are alternatives. In no way should you skip taking medications at any cost as this may be dangerous to your health.


Floss Already!

No matter how many times dentists have advised you to floss daily, how many people really follow this advice? Maybe if you realize that flossing may actually save your heart, you will think twice about skipping the floss.


There is a link between heart health and flossing. Gum inflammation can sometimes lead to body inflammation, which risks a heart attack. Flossing everyday gives you a chance to rule out plaque in the bloodstream which can be a contributor to heart issues.


Get Those Zzz’s

If you are deprived of sleep on a continuous basis you are stressing out your body, whether you realize it or not. Hormones that damage the heart are increased when you are in a constant state of stress. People who get less than six hours of sleep each night and who are over the age of forty-five are twice as vulnerable to getting heart attacks compared to those that sleep up for six to eight hours. Cardiovascular health requires seven hours a night of sleep. Sleep apnea may also be the cause of sleep deprivation. When you sleep for the appropriate number of hours but wake up exhausted, make an appointment with your health care practitioner for a check-up. After all, it is both quality and amount of sleep that affects health overall.


Banish Red Meat

More and more information points to the fact that red meat should simply be banished forever for all diets. In particular, steak, ham and bacon as well as other processed red meat need to be limited. There is a link between cancer, heart disease and other ailments to high consumption of these types of red meat. In addition, TMAO levels are raised in the body when you eat meat. TMAO is an organic ingredient in red meat that is related to heart ailments. Meat lovers also tend to eat fewer greens, which works against health even more.


Eat a diet based on plants to protect your heart. There are diets that include fish or chicken in place of meat for protein. Have protein just once a week if you must. Lessen the fatty oil or gravy that you pour over the meat.


Being a Couch Potato is a No-No

There is no harm in slacking on the couch for some television after a hard day’s work, right? Wrong. When it comes to your heart being a couch potato is the ‘new smoking.’ Even if you do a daily workout at the gym, when you sit down for hours at the end of the day doing nothing, it is not healthy for your metabolism. There is no need to give up television altogether. You might, however, want to buy a treadmill instead of a couch to put in front of it. At the very least, take a walk around the house or do some jumping jacks. Sit up now and then to do some stretching. Your risk of developing heart disease is greater the more sedentary your lifestyle is.

By following these beneficial habits you will have better health for your heart, decrease your risk of heart disease, and feel better about yourself knowing that you are treating your body the way it deserves to be treated. With respect and lots of care!

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