Heart Healthy
Heart Healthy

5 Things to Do Every Day to Keep Your Heart Healthy

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You are aware that a balanced diet and regular exercise help maintain heart health. But what more can you do to maintain your ticker? Cardiothoracic surgeon Marc Gillinov, MD, offers his top five daily recommendations for keeping your heart functioning at its best. Your heart health will be at its peak if you incorporate these routines into your daily life.

1. Eat healthy fats, NOT trans fats

Saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats are all essential components of our diet. Trans fat is one type of fat that we don’t need because it raises your lifelong risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. This is due to trans fat clogging your arteries by increasing levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreasing levels of good cholesterol. You can enhance the blood flow throughout your body by eliminating them from your diet. What precisely are trans fats? They are industrially manufactured fats that are frequently used to enhance flavor and texture in packaged baked products, snack foods, margarines, and fried fast food. TIP: Always read the food labels. On the list of ingredients, partly hydrogenated oils represent trans fat. Look for trans fat levels of 0%. Make it a point to stay away from trans-fat-containing meals.

2. Practice good dental hygiene, especially flossing your teeth daily

Due to the fact that people with periodontal (gum) disease frequently share the same risk factors for heart disease, dental health is an excellent indicator of overall health, including your heart. Studies on this matter are still ongoing, but many have demonstrated that oral bacteria involved in the onset of gum disease can enter the bloodstream and lead to an increase in C-reactive protein, a marker for vascular inflammation. Your risk of heart disease and stroke may consequently rise as a result of these changes. TIP: To prevent gum disease, wash your teeth twice a day and floss. If you have gum disease, you might have to deal with more than just cavities.

3. Get enough sleep

Your heart’s health depends on getting enough sleep. No matter your age or other health practices, if you don’t get enough sleep, your risk of cardiovascular disease may be higher. According to a study that included 3,000 persons over the age of 45, those who slept less than six hours each night had a heart attack or stroke approximately twice as frequently as those who slept six to eight hours every night. Insufficient sleep, according to researchers, can affect a variety of biological functions and underlying medical issues, including blood pressure and inflammation. TIP: Give your sleep top priority. Most nights, get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep apnea should be addressed because it’s associated with heart problems and arrhythmias.

4. Don’t sit for too long at one time

Recent studies have indicated that prolonged sitting is unhealthy for your health, regardless of how much activity you get. For the many people who work sedentary jobs all day, this is bad news. Researchers discovered that those who sat the most had an association with a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in deaths brought on by these events. This finding was based on the combined findings of several observational studies that included nearly 800,000 participants. Additionally, spending a lot of time sitting down, especially when traveling, raises your chance of developing deep vein thrombosis. TIP: It’s crucial to move throughout the day, according to experts. Use a standing workstation so you can get up and down, park further from the office, and/or take a few quick walks throughout the day. And don’t forget to work out most days.

5. Avoid secondhand smoke like the plague

According to studies, those who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work have a 25 to 30 percent higher chance of acquiring heart disease. The American Heart Association estimates that each year, exposure to tobacco smoke causes over 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer fatalities. Additionally, nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke and have high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at an even higher risk of getting heart disease. This is so that plaque accumulation in the arteries can be prevented by the chemicals released by smoking cigarettes. TIP: Keep children away from secondhand smoke and be direct with smokers that you do not want to be near environmental smoke.

You will be doing your heart a favor if you heed these five advice. With a heart-healthy lifestyle, you’ll feel better and have more energy.