It is a known fact that your heart will be happy with you if you exercise regularly and eat healthy. However, it’s possible for you to observe these and still unknowingly be damaging all your efforts.
According to Kevin R. Campbell, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at North Carolina Heart and Vascular, UNC Health Care in Raleigh;
“A number of activities that people don’t think twice about can have a negative impact on heart health.”
See this list of habits that damages your heart and how to make changes:
Excessive salt intake
Consuming foods with excessive sodium can lead to hypertension. Apart from eating raw salt, there can also be hidden sodium content in your food choices. Processed foods like canned vegetables and soups, chips, lunch meats, frozen dinners, and other salty snacks are foods to be avoided because of their high salt content.
Lack of good quality sleep, especially at night affects your heart negatively. Your heart works hard all day, and if you don’t get enough sleep, it would tell on your cardiovascular system. Your heart rate and blood pressure during night rest helps in promoting cardiovascular health.
People who sit all day have double the risk for heart failure compared to those who are active, according to a study published in January 2014 in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Circulation: Heart Failure.
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If you are doing a desk-bound job, get up and take a five-minute walk every hour. This can keep your arteries flexible and enhance proper blood flowing, thereby curbing the negative effects of being sedentary.
Excessive intake of alcohol
Drinking alcohol in excess can lead to stroke, obesity, and hypertension. These can increase your risk of developing heart disease. According to the AHA, excessive drinking of more than two drinks daily for men and one drink for women can interrupt your normal heart rhythm leading to heart failure.
According to a study published in May 2014 in the Journal of Periodontal Research, people with coronary heart disease who flossed experienced fewer cardiovascular difficulties. This is because bacteria associated with gum disease promote inflammation in the body, and inflammation has been associated with high risk for heart disease. A variety of flossing tools are available to make it easier.
READ ALSO: Loose Tooth in Adults: Causes and Treatments
Stress causes the body to release adrenaline, which can affect how your body function. Your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure may rise in the process. Excessive stress can cause damage to your blood vessels in the heart and increase your risk for heart attack. To reduce the harmful effects of stress, you can exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. You can ease stress by sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or family member.