Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. That’s why it’s so important to start making healthy changes now before it’s too late.
A cardiologist recently released a list of 8 habits that everyone should start practicing now if they want to keep their heart healthy. Keep reading to learn more about these habits and start now!
#1 – Get Enough Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. But according to a recent study, only one in three Americans get enough sleep. And that’s bad news for your heart health.
A lack of sleep has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. One reason for this is that when you’re tired, your stress hormones go up and your blood pressure goes up. This can lead to a number of problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. So if you want to keep your heart healthy, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day and limit your caffeine intake before bed.
#2 – Take Regular Exercise
In order to have a healthy heart, it is important to exercise regularly. Even though you may not feel like it, getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day can help keep your ticker in shape.
Cardiologist Dr. James wants everyone to know that exercising is crucial for maintaining a healthy heart. In fact, many of us don’t need to be motivated as much as we need the discipline to follow through on an exercise routine,” said James. “Getting regular exercise not only helps reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease but also helps improve mental well-being and overall quality of life.”
#3 – Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet
“What you eat plays a big role in your heart health,” said James. “Eating lots of processed and unhealthy foods can lead to high cholesterol, which can clog your arteries.” Instead, focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, as well as sodium.
“You don’t have to completely deprive yourself of the foods you love,” said James. “But moderation is key.” Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do for your health. And this habit is especially important if you want to keep your heart healthier.
#4 – Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, then you probably know that smoking is bad for your health. But what you may not know is that it’s also bad for your heart. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. So if you want to keep your heart healthy, then you should quit smoking now. Here are three reasons why quitting smoking is good for your heart:
- Smoking increases your risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your heart muscle, which can lead to shortness of breath and chest pain.
- And, smoking damages blood vessels and makes them less flexible, which can lead to high blood pressure.
#5 – Drink Less
A cardiologist recommends decreasing alcohol consumption for a healthier heart. Recent research indicates that reducing alcohol intake, even by moderate amounts, can improve heart health. Although the benefits are clear, many people still do not recognize the danger of excessive drinking. It is important to remember that alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum in order to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, drinking less may seem like a pretty simple way to improve your heart health, but for many people it can be difficult to make this change. Here are some ways that you can make drinking less easier on yourself, and some of the benefits you can expect to see from doing so.
1) Set a limit for yourself and stick to it.
Whether it’s two drinks per day or four, make sure that you don’t go over your limit. If you are someone who struggles with sticking to limits, try this method: for every alcoholic beverage you have, make sure to drink two glasses of water in between. This will help you stay hydrated and will also help to fill you up so that you’re less likely to want more alcohol.
2) Avoid drinking alcohol every day.
Give yourself at least two or three days each week where you don’t drink any alcohol at all. This will help your body to recover from the effects of alcohol and will also help to reset your tolerance level so that you’re less likely to want to drink as much when you do drink.
3) Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
Eating food before you drink will help to slow down the absorption of alcohol into your system and will also help to prevent you from getting too drunk, too quickly.
4) Stick to lower-alcohol drinks.
Drinks like beer and wine have a lower alcohol content than spirits, so they’re less likely to cause problems like dehydration and hangovers. Spirits are also more likely to be mixed with sugary mixers, which can add empty calories to your diet and contribute to weight gain.
5) Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
This will help to keep you hydrated and will also help to slow down your drinking.
#6 – Go to Your Dentist
Studies show that oral health has a significant impact on cardiovascular health. In fact, leading cardiologists say that poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. So what can you do to keep your heart healthy? Start by going to your dentist! Schedule regular checkups and cleanings, and make sure to brush and floss regularly.
A recent study found that 1 in 3 Americans have never gone to the dentist. That’s a lot of people who are putting their oral health at risk! If you’re one of those people, it’s time to start making regular dentist visits a habit. Here are three reasons why:
- Oral bacteria has been linked to heart disease.
- Gum disease can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Poor oral hygiene can lead to other health problems like respiratory infections and diabetes.
#7 – Try Meditation
When it comes to our health, we often know what we should be doing to stay on top of things — eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, for example. But sometimes it can be hard to make those good habits stick. A cardiologist has some advice for one particular health issue: start meditating now for a healthier heart.
According to the cardiologist, meditation can help us reduce stress and anxiety levels, which in turn can help keep our hearts healthy. She recommends starting with just 10 minutes a day and suggests finding a comfortable place to sit or recline. Once you get started, you may find that meditation becomes one of your go-to habits for reducing stress and promoting a better healthier heart!
#8 – Visit Your Doctor
Most people only go to the doctor when they are feeling sick. However, it is important to visit your doctor regularly for check-ups, even when you’re feeling healthy. This is especially true if you want to keep your heart healthy. Your doctor can help you develop good habits that will protect your heart and improve your overall health.
If you haven’t been to the doctor in a while, it’s time for a checkup. Even if you feel healthy, there may be something wrong that your doctor can help you with. Your heart health is especially important, so make an appointment today and get started on a healthier future. Your doctor can give you advice on how to keep your heart healthy and even suggest changes to your daily habits. By following your doctor’s advice, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease or other health problems.
While the habits mentioned above may seem difficult to adopt at first, they are ultimately worth it for a healthier heart. Start by making one small change and gradually work your way up to incorporating all of these habits into your daily routine. By doing so, you’ll be on your way to reducing your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems in the future. What habit will you start today?