Caring for your heart is extremely important if you want to live a long, healthy and happy life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Take control of your health by avoiding these five bad habits for your heart.
#1 Sitting Around
Whether you work at a desk or just love watching TV at the end of the day, sitting for long periods of time seriously ups your risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Even if you work out in between sedentary periods, this movement won’t compensate for the hours of time spent without proper blood circulation. Keep your body active all day by standing up while you talk on the phone or doing light exercise while you watch TV.
#2 Becoming Overweight
People who are overweight are at a much greater risk for heart disease than people with a healthy body mass index. If you’re comparing your weight to your friends’ weights, remember that 64 percent of women and 72 percent of men in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. You can join the healthy minority by replacing sodas with water, going for healthy fats rather than high-calorie carbohydrates and getting plenty of exercise.
#3 Drinking Too Much Alcohol
While a Mediterranean diet that includes moderate red wine consumption is good for your heart, frequent binge drinking is not. Too much alcohol can increase the levels of certain fats in your blood and raise your blood pressure. Be kind to your heart by limiting yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks per day.
#4 Inhaling Smoke
Most smokers already know that their daily habit is increasing their risk of heart disease and hurting their health in many other ways. What people often don’t realize is that inhaling secondhand smoke can have the same dire consequences. If you spend a lot of time near smokers at home or at work, your politeness could be hurting your blood vessels and heart. Show some tough love for the sake of your heart by asking smokers to light up outside and away from you.
#5 Being Ignorant About Your Health
When it comes your heart health, ignorance is not bliss. A person with seriously high blood pressure and cholesterol could be feeling fine right before they suffer from a heart attack. While it’s very important to know the warning signs of a heart attack, its even more important to avoid one altogether by having your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly.