It is always a good time to make major leaps towards a healthier heart. You aren’t required to undertake a huge makeover since the path to a healthier cardiovascular system is paved with small and simple choices, such as easing up on salty snacks, choosing to take stairs, etc., and you may find that change isn’t so hard once you get going.
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Here are some less common ways that can lead to heart-healthier lives:
Dental Health– You might be surprised by the fact that often an individual’s overall health is measured on the basis of his/her oral health since those struggling with periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Although this link is under investigation, researchers believe that gum-disease causing bacteria in the mouth can pass into the bloodstream, causing an inflammation of the body’s bloodstream that leads to excessive wear on the cardiovascular system. A simple routine to brush and floss your teeth regularly can help you stay ahead of gum disease and prevent cardiovascular disease. Consult with your dentist on mouthwash and specific toothbrushes for your particular needs.
Exercise– Don’t spend long hours sitting at your desk, on a couch or in bed, it is important that you get up at regular intervals and move for a few minutes, which will keep your blood circulating and reduce the risk for blood clots. For your heart health, make moderate cardio exercise into a weekly routine.
Know Your Fats– Though our bodies need fat in our diets, but not all fats are the same. Researchers suggest avoiding trans fats at all times, especially if an individual is at risk for heart disease. Learn how to read food labels, which will help you avoid trans fats by helping you understand the nutritional facts on food packaging. Fried fast foods, prepackaged baked goods, snack foods, etc. are the common sources of trans fats that is said to increase LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and decrease HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
Adequate Sleep– Besides regular exercise, a healthy diet, we cannot forget the incredible healing power of sleep. Sleep is essential to our mental and physical health, which sadly most of us aren’t getting enough. The recommended number of hours we should sleep everyday is six to eight hours a night, which is far healthier than under or oversleeping.
Reduce Stress– The link between high stress levels and heart disease is well-established, but research is still going on. It goes without saying that a good, hearty laugh can go a long way towards improving your overall health. On the contrary, the side effects of stress, which include poor sleep quality and binge eating- are said to directly impact heart health in a negative manner.
Consult with your medical team to figure out ways to develop healthier habits, and it’s never too late to start and get the benefits.