Heart diseases rank among the world’s top killer diseases, yet some people do not give these diseases the attention they deserve. With too many proven ways of keeping human heart-healthy, it doesn’t make much sense as to why too many people are being diagnosed with and killed by heart diseases. It all boils down to eating right, exercising, and avoiding substances that negatively affect blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy body weight has also been proven to cut back on heart disease risk factors.

Here are 5 more habits that will help you keep your heart healthy and live a long, fulfilling life.

1. Eat healthy fats

There are healthy fats and then there are trans-fats. Healthy fats exist naturally in foods, e.g. nuts and avocadoes. Some are polyunsaturated, others are unsaturated, and some are saturated. These fats are important in your diet because they improve your good cholesterol levels (HDL) and reduce unwanted cholesterols (LDL). Your body also needs these fats to facilitate the efficient flow of blood all over your body. All these benefit the heart by ensuring that it isn’t overworked, consequently maintaining its health.

Trans-fats are the exact opposite of healthy fats. They lower your HDL and hike your LDL levels, interfere with the smooth flow of blood, and increase your chances of suffering stroke later in life. These fats are in almost every packaged baked product, margarine, snack, and fried fast food you eat. Cut them from your diet.

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2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity significantly cuts your risk of heart disease and other related diseases. It is recommended that every adult exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, but it is best if you can push that to 60-90 minutes if your schedule allows. If you cannot exercise for a compact 30 minutes, probably due to an underlying health issue or your schedule is overloaded, you can always exercise in small bits of, say, 10 minutes each. Opt to cycle to work rather than drive if you don’t live too far from your workplace. If you must drive to work, make a habit of parking half a mile from the office and walking the rest of the distance. Ditch the elevator and use the stairs instead. Walk to and from the grocery store. Any physical activity that will make you sweat and raise your heart rate is fine.

Regular exercise can also be in the form of outdoor sport. Take cycling, for example. This sport will help you socialize with your loved ones or exercise buddies and on top of that, keep cardiovascular problems at bay.

3. Avoid skipping breakfast

Don’t just drink a cup of coffee or one glass of juice in the morning and call that breakfast. A healthy breakfast keeps your heart healthy by lowering the chances of atherosclerosis (irregular narrowing and excessive hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is believed to stem from excessive buildup of plaque in and around the arteries, which, by extension, results from unhealthy morning meals.

Multiple kinds of research suggest that people who skip breakfast are more susceptible to drinking alcohol and smoking during the day. Also, skipping breakfast increases your cravings for unhealthy treats throughout the day, which, in turn, can increase your weight and leave you vulnerable to heart disease.

4. Practice good dental hygiene

Gum disease has been found to cause inflammation in the blood vessels if it finds its way into your bloodstream. One simple way of preventing this is flossing and brushing your teeth daily. It is also important to visit your dentist immediately you realize that you have periodontal disease, or as regularly as your budget can accommodate.

5. Quit smoking

People who smoke are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those that don’t. You need to quit smoking ASAP if you are to lower your chances of suffering a smoking-related heart attack.

Conclusion

Let’s face it: You don’t have a spare heart and you cannot survive without one. With this realization, therefore, you have to do everything doable to make it last. Integrate all the heart-healthy habits we’ve discussed and you will surely add years of life to your all-precious organ- heart!

Guest post: Rilind Elezaj is a devoted career specialist who trained at Animas Coaching. He helps people make career choices that feel genuinely right for them. He usually helps the individual evaluate their background, curiosities, passions and training so that they can choose a job, business or type of further education that helps them be successful and fulfilled. When he is not helping others, you can find him exploring the deepness of nature.


References:

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  2. Liu, A.G., Ford, N.A., Hu, F.B. et al. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutr J 16, 53 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4
  3. Darren E.R. Warburton, Crystal Whitney Nicol, Shannon S.D. Bredin, Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence, CMAJ. 2006 Mar 14; 174(6): 801–809. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.051351
  4. Matthew A. Nystoriak, Aruni Bhatnagar, Cardiovascular Effects and Benefits of Exercise, Front Cardiovasc Med. 2018; 5: 135. Published online 2018 Sep 28. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2018.00135 PMCID: PMC6172294
  5. Hitomi Ogata, Momoko Kayaba, Yoshiaki Tanaka, Katsuhiko Yajima, Kaito Iwayama, Akira Ando, Insung Park, Ken Kiyono, Naomi Omi, Makoto Satoh, Kumpei Tokuyama, Effect of skipping breakfast for 6 days on energy metabolism and diurnal rhythm of blood glucose in young healthy Japanese males, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 110, Issue 1, July 2019, Pages 41–52. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy346
  6. Ohrn, Kerstin. (2004), The role of dental hygienists in oral health prevention. Oral health & preventive dentistry. 2 Suppl 1. 277-81.

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