1 in every 3 deaths in the US has cardiovascular failure listed as an underlying cause. 1 in 3. That’s a lot. And while it is a scary statistic, and there are no guarantees against heart disease and heart failure, there are things we can do to take care of our hearts.
Keep an eye on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels, as these are the biggest indicators that something might not be right.
Whether we like it or not, carrying excess weight does increase our risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes. Use your BMI as a general guide for how much you should weigh, and check in with your doctor about healthy ways to manage your weight.
A study looking at 3000 adults aged 45 or over, found that those sleeping less than six hours a night were twice as likely to have a stroke or a heart attack as those who slept for six to eight hours. This is likely due to the fact that lack of sleep disrupts other normal health processes.
This is a hard one for me because, at least in my opinion, salt makes everything better. Unfortunately, it’s something I have to get better at, because high-salt diets can cause high blood pressure, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Less is more.
If you’re a smoker, you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack than those who have never smoked. This is because smoking reduces your blood oxygen levels, raises your blood pressure, and damages your arteries – a recipe for poor heart health.
Aim for 25 minutes of cardio three times a week. Aerobic exercise is key for heart health and will reduce the likelihood of you developing a heart-related disease or health issue.
While the relationship between stress and the heart has yet to be fully worked out, we know for sure that it’s unhelpful. Stress can lead to coping mechanisms like staying in more, exercising less, drinking and smoking more, and overeating. These poor habits raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two of the triggers of heart disease, so it’s important to manage your stress a healthy way.
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