Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising have a beneficial effect on the health of your heart. Well, a healthy heart leads to better brainhealth as well, but that’s a story for another day. The efficient functioning of your heart will eventually determine how long you live, so how do you keep your heart in prime condition? Let’s look at some of the ways you can do so.
1. Avoid Sitting For Too Long
Even though you might be exercising every day, sitting for long periods is detrimental to your health, according to recent studies. It may cause you to develop a blood clot in your veins, but apart from that, other consequences can be dire. When you sit for too long at a time, you increase the probability of experiencing a cardiovascular event by 147%, and chances that you will die of a cardiovascular problem increase by 90%. So, take some time during the day to walk around, and don’t forget to do some exercises.
2. Do NOT Eat Trans Fats
Although fats are an essential part of your diet, the fats you need are polyunsaturated, unsaturated, and saturated fats, but no trans fats. You increase the risk of getting a stroke or a heart attack by taking trans fats, which disrupts the balance of your blood cholesterol levels. The levels of bad cholesterol increase, while good cholesterol levels decrease. You get trans fats from margarine, pastries, and snacks. When looking at your food labels, avoid packaged foods containing any amount of trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Only go for packaged food that has zero trans fat.
3. Keep Smokers At Arm’s Length
You can develop heart disease out of no fault of your own except that you spend an inordinate amount of time with smokers. Your risk of developing heart disease increases to about 30% above average when you get exposed to secondhand smoke either at work or home. Even if you do not smoke, when your blood cholesterol is high, or you are hypertensive, you are at greater risk of heart disease when you stay around people who are smoking. Do yourself and your children a favor by keeping away from smokers and setting your boundaries.
4. Get Ample Sleep
Having a healthy heart depends on how much sleep you get every day. Despite having other healthy habits, you cannot have a healthy heart without getting enough sleep. You need to sleep for seven to eight hours each night if you want to avoid stroke or heart attack. Depriving yourself of this much-needed rest disrupts your biological processes, such as inflammation and blood pressure. Don’t ignore your sleep apnea if you have it. If you leave it untreated, you might get an irregular heartbeat or even heart disease.
5. Take Good Care Of Your Teeth And Gums
Your overall health depends on how good your oral hygiene is. If you have periodontal disease, you are more likely to get heart disease as well. When there is a build-up of bacteria in your mouth, they can find their way into your bloodstream and cause an elevation in your c-reactive protein levels. This protein indicates that your blood vessels are inflamed, and this inflammation increases your chances of getting a stroke or heart disease.
As you can see, keeping your heart healthy is not just about exercising and keeping fit. There are other factors, which seem innocuous at first, but contribute significantly towards heart health. Give heed to these and see yourself living a longer life than your peers.