You already know that exercise and good eating habits keep your heart healthy, right?
But, what else can you do to keep your heart strong?
According to the cardiothoracic surgeon Marc Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, you should do these 5 things every day to help your heart work better.
See now the habits that you need to add to your lifestyle to improve your heart health:
Eat healthy fats, NOT trans-fats.
Saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats are necessary for our diet. The only fat we don’t need is trans-fat, which increases the risk of heart diseases and strokes throughout life.
It happens because trans-fat clogs the arteries, increasing the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) while reducing the good cholesterol (HDL). When you cut it from your diet, your blood flow improves.
But what are trans-fats?
They are industrialized fats frequently used in baked products, chips, margarine, fried foods and fast-foods to add taste and texture.
Our suggestion is to read the labels of your foods. You will find trans-fats in the fat category. Always choose foods with 0% of trans-fats.
Oral health is a good indicator of your general health, including your heart, since people with periodontal disease (in the gums) usually have risk factors for heart disease.
There are many ongoing studies in this area, and many of them show that the bacteria that causes gum diseases can move to the blood flow, causing an increase of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood vessels. Did you know that?
These changes may increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes. Gillinov suggests brushing and flossing your teeth daily to avoid periodontal diseases.
Sleep is essential to keep your heart healthy. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, regardless of your age and health habits.
A study with 3,000 adults over 45 years old found that those who slept less than six hours per night had twice the chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack compared to patients who slept six to eight hours a night.
The researchers believe that poor sleep interrupts biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation. So, make sleep a priority. Sleep 7 to 8 hours at night.
If you have sleep apnea, seek treatment since this condition is linked to heart diseases and arrhythmia.
Don’t sit for too long
In the last few years, research suggested that sitting for long periods is bad for your health, no matter how much you exercise. Did you know that? This is bad news for anyone who has a sedentary job.
Looking at the combined results of observational studies, which included around 800,000 people, researchers found that those who spent long times sitting had an increase of 147% in cardiovascular events and a 90% increase in deaths caused by these events.
Also, sitting for too long (especially during trips) increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).
According to the experts, it is necessary to move your body during the day. Park your car away from the office, do short
walks during the day, or work standing up. And remember to exercise most days.
Avoid passive smoking
Studies show that the risk of developing heart diseases is 25 to 30% higher in people exposed to secondhand smoke, either at home or at work.
According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to around 34,000 premature deaths by heart diseases and 7,300 deaths by lung cancer each year. Scary, isn’t it?
Non-smokers who suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol have an even higher risk of developing heart diseases when exposed to passive smoking.
This happens because the chemicals emitted by cigarette smoke cause plaques in the arteries. So, get away from smokers and tell them you don’t want to be close to the smoke – also keep the children away from secondhand smoke.
Follow these 5 tips, and you will be doing a favor to your heart.
You will feel much better and healthier!