The heart is the most vital organ. From pumping blood to different organs to supplying nutrients and oxygen to the body, the heart performs several functions. A healthy heart is important for the body to function optimally and for an individual to lead a normal life. Early detection of heart diseases can help escalate the treatment process and control symptoms. Furthermore, here are certain habits to avoid for good heart health:
Leading a sedentary lifestyle
Studies have estimated that 35% of cases pertaining to death by coronary heart disease in the country are due to inactive lifestyles. Lack of exercise can result in the accumulation of fats in the arteries, which can cause clogging of the heart and increase the risk of a heart attack. Therefore, it is imperative for individuals of all ages to exercise regularly, choosing from various workouts, such as weight training, strength training, pilates, yoga, walking and jogging, and swimming.
Not having nutrition-dense foods
A wholesome, nutrient-rich meal plan is imperative to facilitate a healthy heart. Fruits like bananas, apricots, berries, and oranges are packed with vitamins and essential nutrients, which can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure levels, promoting heart health. Whole grains, fatty fish, poultry, lentils, flaxseeds, etc., should also be incorporated into one’s meals.
Leading a stressful life
Studies have shown that high stress levels increase cortisol secretion, making one susceptible to cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These conditions can increase one’s risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It is important to identify major stressors and eliminate them to reduce cortisol levels in the body and prevent heart problems. For example, individuals with stressful jobs may opt for a job change or a shift in job roles within the same organization. Persons with too many household responsibilities can lower stress levels by delegating tasks and seeking professional assistance.
Binging on fast food
As much as fast foods like burgers, pizzas, and fries may be appealing and easy options amid hectic schedules, these foods contain high levels of trans fats, added sugar, and other unhealthy additives, increasing one’s cholesterol levels and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. It is best to limit fast foods, and replace them with healthy carbohydrates and fats, natural sugar sources like fresh fruits, and fresh fruit juices and soups.
Not following a healthy sleep cycle
Inadequate sleep is associated with increased susceptibility to heart diseases. Poor sleep quality and shorter sleep hours can trigger various lifestyle conditions, including cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased risk of developing heart problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average adult requires at least seven hours of sleep daily.
Not seeking help for mental health issues
Studies have shown that individuals experiencing mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD over a period of time may develop certain physiological repercussions, including increased palpitations and elevated blood pressure. Moreover, mental health conditions may also increase one’s cortisol levels. Such problems, in turn, can cause one to become vulnerable to heart disease. Therefore, seeking timely professional help for mental health problems is imperative to avoid such issues.