The heart beats for more than 2.5 billion times over the average life and, despite great advances in medicine, prevention is still the greatest way to keep your heart vigorous. It is the hardest working muscle in our body. If you want to help your heart and specifically if you already have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiac diagnoses, or family histories of heart disease, add few healthy habits to your lifestyle.
Know your risk
Many of the risk factors are:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Family history of heart disease or heart attacks
- Known peripheral vascular disease
Adopts the following habits to avoid risk:
- Consume healthy fats
We need fats in our food (saturated and polyunsaturated fats). The fat that we should avoid is trans-fat, as it is known to increase your risk of developing heart disease over a lifetime. Trans-fat blocks your arteries by increasing your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and decreasing your good cholesterol levels (HDL). By eliminating them from your diet, you improve the flow of blood all through your body.
What are trans-fats?
These are industrially produced fats that are often used in packaged baked goods, margarines, fried fast foods and snack foods to add texture and flavor.
- Get sufficient sleep
Sleep plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t take enough sleep, you may be at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease. One research looking at adults over the age of 45 revealed that those who slept for less than 6 hours per night were around twice as likely to have a heart attack as people who slept 6 to 8 hours per night. Scientists believe sleeping too less causes disturbances in underlying biological processes, and health conditions, including blood pressure and inflammation that can later on affect heart’s health.
- Avoid sitting for too long at one time
Research has suggested that remaining seated in one place for extended periods of time is harmful for health, no matter how much exercise one does. This is a bad news for those who sit at deskbound jobs for the whole day.
- Practice good oral hygiene
Oral health is a good sign of general health, including your heart, because those who have advanced gum disease often have high risk factors for heart disease. Studies have shown that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of periodontal disease can travel into the bloodstream and raise C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may, in turn, raise your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Follow the above mentioned tips, as you will be doing your heart a favor. You will be able to stay active with a heart healthy routine.