5 Tips for Keeping Your Heart Healthy in 2018
The start of a new year can be a testing time for many people. Christmas has come and gone, leaving the usual dent in our wallets and an extra bit of lining around our stomachs. For most of us, the holidays can be a testing time for many reasons, and can easily lead to something of a depressing January, once all the fun and stress is all over and we realize that we’ve well and truly entered into a brand new year. For more than a few of us, our New Year’s resolution list starts with a pledge to get back into shape (and maintain that shape!). Yet very few people maintain these pledges all the way through the year.
Keeping your heart healthy at all times is a vital component of overall health; as everyone knows, heart problems can quickly degenerate, becoming fatal if left long enough. However, maintaining your heart’s condition is not a part-time affair; nor does it have to be an overwhelming one. Little lifestyle choices and modifications can culminate to keep the all-important pump ticking over. If you’re worried about keeping your heart healthy as we dive headlong into 2018, here are five top tips for keeping your ticker in tip-top shape!
1. Make sure you get enough sleep
Sleep is an integral part of maintaining your body’s overall health, and goes a long way toward keeping your heart healthy. It doesn’t matter what age you are, or what kind of diet you have; studies consistently prove that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. In fact, one particular piece of sobering research showed that, for people over 45, those who had six hours or less of sleep a night were twice as likely to suffer a heart attack. Too little sleep causes major disruptions to your body, and doesn’t give it enough time to regulate all the various systems at play. Make sure you get a minimum of seven hours a night.
2. Keep your mouth healthy
Strangely, your mouth is a great indicator of the state of your overall health. Although it might seem to have no apparent connection to your heart, in actual fact, those who suffer from gum disease often possess the same risk factors for heart disease. Gum disease is obviously not fatal, and is far less severe than cardiovascular disease; nevertheless, it can be a warning sign of other problems going on inside your body. Bacteria involved with gum disease can easily move into your bloodstream and cause a number of problems once they’re in there. Flossing and brushing daily can help ward off gum disease, in turn keeping your heart healthy too.
3. Keep away from secondhand smoke (as much as possible)
Everyone knows that smoking is seriously debilitating for many organs in your body, and these days, we are much more smoke-conscious as a society than we were twenty years ago. However, what many people might not know is that inhaling secondhand smoke is also extremely dangerous in itself. The chemicals in cigarette smoke contribute to plaque build-up in the arteries, which is one of the main contributing factors to heart disease, and can be easily contracted from secondhand smoke as well as firsthand. Tobacco smoke contributes to hundreds upon thousands of deaths around the world every year, and is most definitely something to avoid at any and every opportunity.
4. Exercise at least three times a week
Obesity and overweight issues are plaguing America, with some of the highest rates the country has had in years. There are plenty of disability benefits that obese people can avail of, including a handicap parking permit, which ensures patients of a disabled parking spot; most of these can be obtained over the internet via telemedicine, so the patient doesn’t ever have to leave the house. Obesity is extremely limiting, and measures like a handicap parking permit are definitely helpful; however, tackling the problem at its root cause is the quickest way to fix the issue, so exercising regularly can be a great way of keeping your heart healthy. It doesn’t have to be strenuous or prolonged, just a form of your preferred exercise for thirty minutes or so a day. Doing this will be good for your whole body, not just your heart!
5. Eat smart
This is another common sense one, but does bear repeating; eat as healthily as you can! Sugar, trans fats, and carbohydrates should all be taken in careful measures, balanced out with a large helping of fruit, vegetables, and generally healthy eating. Having high cholesterol is one of the chief causes of heart disease and heart attack in the U.S., as overtime it clogs the arteries and eventually chokes the heart. Any clogging to date can be reversed by eating healthy food and cutting out the bad stuff; so start your 2018 off right and eat well as a way of keeping your heart healthy!