6 Bad Habits that are Damaging Your Heart

by Leo Cartland
salt forming an arrow pointing on rubber heart

A healthy heart is vital to guarantee good health. While you may be exercising and eating well to ensure it functions properly, there are bad habits you could be doing everyday that can be detrimental for your cardiovascular health. There are a couple of activities people would brush off as normal when they can be damaging for the heart.

Below are 6 poor habits you could be doing every day that can cause damage to the heart:

You’re sitting most of the time

man clutching chest with both hands suffering from heart attack

We get it – most jobs somehow require people to sit at their desks in front of their computers all day. The bad news is that when you’re too preoccupied with the tasks at hand that you fail to stand and walk around even just for just a couple of minutes, you’re increasing your risk for heart failure.

If your job involves all-day sitting, you can still avoid its negative repercussions by getting up and taking a 5-minute walk every hour. This slight change in your daily habit can significantly improve your heart health by keeping your arteries elastic that’ll get your blood circulating properly. This should shield you from the negative outcomes of a sedentary lifestyle.

You’re drinking too much

If you’re a heavy drinker, you should expect some eventual health repercussions. Drinking too much alcohol can result to high blood pressure, stroke, and obesity. All this of course heightens the risk for heart disease. When you abuse the act of merry drinking, your normal heart rhythm is disrupted as an outcome. This can ultimately lead to heart failure. To protect your heart from the ravages of excessive drinking, keep it not more than two drinks. For women, the safe daily consumption is one drink per day.

You’re facing a lot of stress

With everything that’ going on in the world considering how expensive it is to live, it’s not surprising that most people go crazy, figuratively, with all things that need accomplishing. With this, stress is a given. But too much of it can also affect your physical health.

tired stressed man at work in front of 2 laptops

This is because when you’re under a lot of stress, the body automatically secretes adrenaline. As this takes place, your body’s functions are briefly affected – your heart rate increases and your blood pressure rises. Eventually, excessive amount of stress can impair your blood vessels in the heart and boost the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Though we cannot completely get stress out of our system, especially when a tough or awful situation calls for it, we can still lessen the detrimental effects of stress by a couple of tricks. For example, you can find your release by pouring out your emotions. You can accomplish such thing by talking with a friend or a family member.

You can also exercise. Working out can alleviate mental pressures, so a physical activity can help blow off some steam. Aim for around 30 minutes of moderate-level exercises most days of the week. You can also avoid work stress from ever coming your way by being wise about your time. Plan ahead, so that you won’t need to be hasty in finishing your work. Prioritizing your most important tasks can help you with your work-related obligations.

You’re not flossing

Flossing is crucial, but not just for your oral health. In a study performed back in 2014, it was revealed that individuals with coronary heart problems who flossed experienced fewer cardiovascular dilemmas. Another study also showed that bacteria linked to gum disease lead to swelling in the body. And this said inflammation has been linked to heightened risk for heart disease.

You’re consuming too much salt

If you like all your food salty, there’s a chance your salt intake has gone excessive. This is not recommended mainly because too much sodium can result to high blood pressure. When your blood pressure is not normal, there’s always a risk for heart problems. While you can avoid the saltshaker, you also have to remember about the concealed sodium present in many processed foods.

Basically, there’s sodium everywhere – from canned goods to frozen meals to cookies and chips. Unfortunately, most people’s diet comprises of processed foods that are loaded with sodium. This is why it is crucial to read and evaluate nutrition labels. Go for the brands with the lowest percent daily value for sodium.

To protect your body and overall health from medical risks, American Heart Association suggests for people to consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium each day.

You’re not sleeping well

Basically, your heart functions non-stop. The only time it gets its rest is when you take shut-eye. Hence, a good sleep promotes cardiovascular health. During the initial phase of your slumber, your heart rate and blood pressure drops. They next rise and fall when you reach your sleep’s second phase or the REM. These changes in your heart rate and blood pressure over the course of the night are believed to promote cardiovascular health and wellness.

Moreover, chronic sleep deprivation can result to high resting cortisol and adrenaline levels. This is the very same levels you encounter when you face a stressful scenario. Adults need to get 7-8 hours of sleep per day while teenagers get 9-10 hours.

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