10 Habits That Harm Your Heart That You Probably Didn’t Know About
We know that our heart is one of the hardest working and important organs in the body. We also are well aware of habits that are terrible for it. Harvard Medical School recently released five strategic ways to avoid destructive habits and potentially save your life by:
- Steer clear of smoking habits, such as tobacco, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Get out for at least a half hour every day and get active.
- Maintain a weight that is healthy for your body type.
- Eat a diverse diet of meat, vegetables, fruit, and whole grains, while avoiding processed food.
- Keep your alcohol consumption to a reasonable level, around 1-2 drinks a day for men and only about 1 for women.
It doesn’t take a prestigious institution to figure out these solutions to heart health, as they are quite obvious. But smoking, diet, and fitness aren’t the only dangers to your health. These 10 less known habits could present a danger to your heart health and should be avoided at all costs. It’s time to protect your heart as much as possible.
1. Neglecting a thorough brush and floss routine
Believe it or not your teeth play a much larger role in overall health than you may think. The act of brushing and flossing regularly ensures a lot more than an attractive set of pearly whites. The General Dentistry Academy recently found that ¾ of Americans have a type of gum disease, namely from neglecting to floss. Medical research has suggested a link between gum disease and heart issues.
2. Maintaining a poor sleep schedule
I’ve written in the past about the dangers of sleep deprivation, and we know that in a hectic world it’s tough to balance out a consistent and healthy sleep schedule. Long days keep us from getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep and when we finally get extra time, we tend to sleep in. Sleeping too much or too little however, can be disastrous for your health. Harvard medical research found that inadequate or excessive amounts of sleep can mess with the release of hormones in your body. With hormone imbalance comes more serious threats such as heart disease, heart attack, obesity, and stroke.
3. Avoiding the doctor at all costs
For some reason many people let high levels of anxiety and a lack of drive keep them away from the doctor’s office. Sometimes it’s the small unusual symptoms that blossom into life threatening conditions if they go ignored.
4. Letting your temper get the best of you
One of the most shocking things about negative heart habits is the fact that they don’t have to be completely physical. While sleep and hygiene are important, there are other factors such as stress and anger that are unexpectedly harmful for you. Harvard Professor Laura Kubzansky states that those who build up their emotions and experience sudden outbursts of anger are much more prone to heart disease. Try relaxing and venting your emotions often to avoid letting rage affect your heart.
5. Not acknowledging daily pollution
The air you breath on a daily basis is sometimes laden with unknown chemicals and substances, especially in particular work environments and dense cities. The American Heart Association recently stated that pollution from cars, industry, and burning wood indoors can all present danger to your heart. The inflammation caused by breathing in these substances without care leads to serious cardiovascular problems.
The power of positive thinking goes beyond pseudo science. Recent studies have linked a positive mindset to a healthier heart and lower risk of disease. Try seeing the glass as half full, especially when it comes to your health. This will make living a happier and healthier venture.
7. Steroid use
Many people are well aware of the dangers that steroids present to overall health, yet they are a continually abused substance. The modification of hormones and natural bodily processes throws your body into a state of confusion. While they may strengthen your muscles, they also weaken your heart.
8. Overlooking the danger of secondhand smoke
Secondhand smoke might seem like just an offbeat stench lingering around after a cigarette, but the Center for Disease Control states that within that stench, there are an excess of 7000 chemicals, hundreds of which have toxic properties that can and will hurt your health. Don’t downplay the risk of lingering around secondhand smoke like many people do. If you or someone you know smokes, designate an isolated area for it where it won’t affect other people.
9. High risk pregnancy
Pregnancy by itself is a stressful and risky venture for many women. Those who have had a coma or seizure during the pregnancy are twice as likely to develop some form of heart disease. Stay mindful of any difficulties you might have experienced during pregnancy and ask your physician whether or not they impose a risk for future heart issues.
10. Having certain autoimmune conditions
There are several types of autoimmune conditions that might contribute to heart disease, despite their seeming irrelevance to the heart. WebMD states that around 50 million people, mostly women, suffer from an autoimmune condition in the United States. The connection between autoimmune troubles and heart health isn’t clearly defined by medical research yet, but experts suppose it has something to do with inflammation response.
5 Quick Heart Health Tips
While avoiding these habits, here are a few daily tips you can do to improve your heart health:
- If you are a smoker, try valiantly to kick the habit. This is one of the habits to stop right now if you want to be healthy that is mentioned in my previous article.
- Focus in foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
- Fish and supplements high in omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the heart. You can get more information in my article about the amazing health benefits of omega 3.
- Find a hobby like biking or yoga to keep you happy and healthy.
- Stay mindful of your sodium intake and avoid highly processed foods. There are many harmful ingredients for your health in processed foods, and you can get more information about them in my previous article about the top 10 worst ingredients in food.