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1. Increased Alcohol Consumption
Having a drink every once in a while will not have a major impact on your heart (especially if you consume wine, which has a series of health benefits), but if you consume alcohol regularly then you heart will suffer in the long run. In addition to the devastating effects alcohol is known to have on your liver, it can also harm your bones, affect your memory and it considerably increases the risk of heart disease along with the risk of hypertension.
By quitting alcohol you can reduce the risk by up to 50% or even more. Note that it is not the alcohol consumption itself that affects your heart, it is the abuse of alcohol that affects it in the long term.
2. Eating Too Much Salt
Unarguably, food is tasteless without a pinch of salt. However, many of us overuse this ingredient, and that puts us at risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart attack and stroke, therefore you might want to think twice before adding extra salt to your meals.
3. Lack Of Exercise
The lack of exercise is another underlying cause of heart disease, not to mention that people who do not do regular physical exercises are more prone to develop type 2 diabetes as well. The less we exercise, the more likely we are to gain weight, and extra pounds are known to destroy the heart, slowly but surely.
This is a deadly combination that can trigger a series of dangerous illnesses. Exercising, on the other hand, can elevate the mood, ensure the proper functioning of your heart and brain, improve the blood flow and cell oxygenation and so on.
4. Leaving Your Depression And Anxiety Untreated
Anxiety, depression and stress can have a tremendous impact on your overall health, not to mention that they also weaken your heart. However, if these issues are addressed in real time, their effects can be minimized – on the other hand, if left untreated they lower your immunity and energy levels, they decrease your appetite and they also have an impact on your nervous system. Negative emotions affect your heart health as well.
5. Comfort Eating
It often happens that we eat even when we are not hungry, and the main problem is that we eat unhealthy foods: sugary products, high-fat products and foods rich in salt are some of our most common choices in terms of food. In addition to making us fat, comfort eating is a major risk for heart disease.
As a matter of fact, approximately three out of four men in the US are overweight while two women out of three have several extra pounds. If you know to be overweight, the answer is very simple: avoid oversizing your food portions, lower your sugar intake, increase your water intake and avoid fast food and fried foods.
Smoking is a silent killer, but even if we are all well-aware of the side effects of tobacco cigarettes, there still are tens of millions of smokers worldwide. As statistics reveal, smoking is responsible for approximately 30% of the deaths related to heart disease – not to mention that it is also a high risk factor for certain types of cancer like mouth, throat or lung cancer.
7. Lack Of Sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to what is known as sleep deprivation. In turn, sleep deprivation leads to hormonal imbalances, which not only make you eat more but also have an impact on your heart. The stress hormone levels are also increased by the lack of sleep, and the side effects of stress have been detailed above. For a healthy heart, adults should get around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
8. Avoiding fruits and vegetables
The most heart-healthy diet is a plant-based diet. That means loading up on fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein, and keeping junk food to a minimum. Dietary guidelines recommend that half of each meal should be composed of fruits and vegetables.
Research has found that people who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day had about 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke than people who ate less than three servings per day.
9. Withdrawing from the world
Very true, on some days, other human beings can seem annoying, irritating, and just plain difficult to get along with. However, it makes sense to strengthen your connections to the ones you actually like. People with stronger connections to family, friends, and society in general tend to live longer, healthier lives. Everyone needs alone time, but you should still reach out to others and keep in touch whenever you can.
10. Watching TV: Sitting for hours stucked before the TV increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, even if you exercise regularly. This is so because you tend to have the habit of continuously eating snacks of all kinds which affects your heart. The lack of movement may affect blood levels of fats and sugars.
11. Ignoring physical symptoms
You should watch if there are somethings you used to do but can no longer do. For instance, if you used to walk up three flights of stairs without a problem, but suddenly you're short of breath after one flight or have chest pressure, it's time to call your doctor. Never assume probably it's because you're out of shape. The quicker you get treatment for possible trouble, the less likely you are to have permanent damage to your heart muscle.
Culled from health WD
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