We all know that there are activities each and every one of us do throughout our day that lead to negative health outcomes for us, and yet, we continue to engage in them. However, these actions might just be hurting us more than we think.
Heart disease is consistently the top cause of death in the United States. The reason why might just be attributed to our current lifestyles and the activities we do (or don’t do).
Take a look at some of the worst habits for your heart health, things that we do on a daily basis, and be sure to see what you can do to correct them in a positive and beneficial manner for your future health.
It’s not necessarily the act of watching TV that is negative to our heart health, but it’s the way in which we watch TV: Sitting down for long, extended periods of time. Sitting down for large amounts of time actively contributes to the sedentary lifestyle that is negatively affecting the lives of millions around the world.
To make watching TV better for your health, you should limit the amount of time you are watching TV each day and each week while also limiting the amount of time you are sitting down as you watch TV. A good marker is to get up and move during the commercial breaks of your favorite television show. Walk around the house, do some jumping jacks, run in place, or do some pushups and planks. Getting your body back into movement will prevent the buildup of fat and sugar in your blood levels.
Not Doing Anything About Your Depression
As more and more research is being compiled and gathered, we are learning how harmful depression is for our health, not only mentally, but physically. Keeping your depression, stress, and related emotional feelings in your body put a great deal of excess strain on your heart.
If you are feeling any of these feelings, talk to someone. Whether it be a loved one, a friend, a family member, or a counselor, just release your feelings and get them out into the open. Exercise and meditation are two of the best ways to do this!
Not Doing Anything About Your Snoring
Many of us might not think this to be harmful, but excessive snoring can actually be stressful to your heart health.
This is because excessive snoring could be sign of a larger issue, such as obstructive sleep apnea. And this condition, where breathing is interrupted throughout sleep, causes blood pressure levels to go through the roof, therefore negatively impacting your heart.
If you snore a lot, it might be a great idea to visit your healthcare professional for assistance.
Lack of Flossing
Let’s face it: Many of us do not floss. Even though our dentists and doctors tell us to every time, we don’t. Isn’t brushing your teeth enough? The truth is: No.
And there are harmful effects that can come with the lack of flossing. An entire chain reaction of negative consequences can result from the lack of flossing where plaque builds up in the teeth, possibly leading to gum disease which will lead to the rise of inflammation throughout the body and subsequently, negatively harming the heart.
Therefore, to protect your heart, floss each and every day.
Checking Out From the World
Maintaining social relationships, whether it be with family, friends, coworkers, and/or loved ones, is extremely important. There is a direct correlation between positive social health and positive physical health, including a healthy heart.
Going All-In or All-Out
This point relates to our attitudes toward our health and fitness. Sometimes we can get ourselves in cycles where, for a period of time, we are completely dedicated to our workouts and to our nutrition, in fact going a little over-the-top. Then, we exhaust ourselves and began lacking and quitting our programs.
This takes a negative toll on our entire health, including the health of our hearts. When our hearts go through this cyclical process, they can actually be stressed when we are not paying attention to the correct nutrition we should be getting and the correct amount of exercise we should be receiving.
The best way to combat this is to stick with a solid program balance of continual exercise and continual nutrition.
There are studies that say a small amount of alcohol consumption each day can be beneficial to your health. For men, this relates to no more than two drinks per day and for women, no more than one drink per day. A drink refers to 12 oz. of beer or 4 oz. of wine.
However, overconsumption beyond this point can be negatively impactful to your health.
Too much alcohol consumption has been linked to high blood pressure, high blood fat levels, and heart failure. Plus, the added calories from the excess drinks can lead to weight gain, an additional harm for the heart.
Eating Too Much
There’s no doubt about it: Overeating leads to excess weight gain. And weight gain places a negative amount of stress on the heart with the possibility of leading to a plethora of negative health implications.
Be smart in your food choices and in your portion sizes.
Thinking You’re In the Clear
Many of us have the mindset that, “It could never happen to me!” However, heart conditions are extremely prevalent; in fact, they are often more common than we think and realize.
Therefore, don’t just assume you are safe. Get periodic checkups to make sure that your heart and your entire body is completely healthy.
Consuming Red Meat
Just like anything, moderation is key.
This is the same for red meat. Red meat should be consumed every once in a while, but it should not be a part of your every meal, due to the high levels of saturated fats that are contained in these meats. It is these very saturated fats that are destructive to your heart health.
Procrastinating Your Health
Your health should always be a priority. Be sure to meet with a doctor on a periodic basis to check up on the status of your health. If you procrastinate this process, you might just find yourself at a greater risk at getting a heart or health condition you could have prevented.
Smoking (Or Second-Hand Smoking)
Smoking is detrimental to your health. Not only does it destroy your lungs, but it also adversely affects your heart through the promotion of blood clots, blocking blood flow to the heart, and the buildup of plaque.
Skipping or Stopping Medication
Even though taking medicine can be a burden, it can help us in more ways than we likely realize. If you are on medication for your heart, no matter if for high blood pressure or any additional reason, consistently take your medicine. If you feel like changing your medication, speak with your doctor before doing so.
Not Eating Fruits or Veggies
New federal dietary guidelines state that at least half of every meal should be consumed of fruits and vegetables. This is due to the tremendous health benefits each provide to us, including lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke by 20%. A good rule of thumb is to eat more than three servings of both each day.
Ignoring the Symptoms
If you are feeling negative symptoms in your heart, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, go get checked out right away. Even if you feel similar symptoms, go get checked out. Never ignore them. Make your health a priority and make sure you are okay.
Consuming Too Much Salt
Overconsumption of salt can lead to higher blood pressure as there is a direct correlation between the two. Therefore, watch the amount of salt you eat, not only to protect your heart, but also to protect your kidneys as they too can be affected by too much salt.
Consuming Empty Calories
Foods that are high in sugar, fat, and oils offer little nutrients to your body. Rather, these foods can lead to obesity and diabetes, two conditions harmful to the heart.
Good choices of foods with beneficial nutrients to consume include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, seafood, beans, peas, unsalted seeds and nuts, lean meats and poultry, and fat-free or low-fat milk.
Always protect your heart! Watch out for these harmful habits.