The human heart is not something that we consciously think of everyday. It affects every part of our bodies and keeps us going. Since that is the case, are you doing all that you can to make sure that your heart is healthy?
There are so many bad habits out there that we tend to pick up. Lazy days, one drink too many, and that late night cheeseburger with a side of french fries don’t seem so harmful at the time. They are in fact some of the major risk factors for heart disease.
Living a sedentary lifestyle can be extremely detrimental to the health of your heart. We all know how important exercise is for our overall well-being, but do you know why it’s so good for your heart? The hearts main job is to pump blood through out the body by way of the circulatory system, while sending oxygen and nutrients to various tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other waste from them simultaneously. With proper exercise your heart is able to pump more efficiently, increase circulation, and keep the arteries clear. Both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training can significantly improve how your heart functions.
**Before starting any type of exercise program consult your doctor if you feel like you are at risk for heart disease.
Alcohol & Tobacco Intake
Many people like to enjoy the occasional glass of wine with dinner, but there is definitely a fine line. For the average female up to one drink a day is recommended, and for men it is up to two drinks a day. The amount varies by the type of alcohol that one is consuming. For distilled spirits (80 proof) this is 1.5 ounces, for wine it would be 5 ounces, and for beer 12 ounces. Any alcohol intake that is greater than this can be harmful to the heart and arteries. As it can increase blood pressure, produce irregular heartbeats, raise the risk of stroke and cause obesity.
Tobacco consumption is never a great idea though. Smoking tobacco can do significant damage to your cholesterol, blood vessels, and blood. Cholesterol is carried through our blood stream in three different types: LDL (Bad Cholesterol), HDL (Good Cholesterol), and Triglycerides. Tobacco usage increases the LDL and decreases the HDL in the body. Our blood vessels are made to allow blood flow efficiently through them to various parts of our bodies. Cigarettes and other tobacco products can cause blood vessels to thicken and narrow while also damaging the lining inside of them. The thickening and narrowing of an individual blood vessel may not be significantly dangerous on its own, but another negative of smoking is that the consistency of blood can change. The change in consistency causes the blood to clot and then block flow to the heart and the brain.
Diet and nutrition is crucial to the way that our bodies thrive. Taking in foods that are healthy is the best way to fight any heart issue. Cheeseburgers and french fries may taste great, but they are nutrient-poor foods that will raise your cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of diabetes which can all contribute to heart disease. A diet that is high in nutrients such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meats can help keep that blood flowing through clear arteries minimizing any risk of heart damage.
There are a few risk factors that we unfortunately cannot control for our heart health. These would include increasing age and genetics. Some of the biggest contributions to heart disease come from risk factors that each and every one of us can control. Being proactive in fighting heart disease is important at any age. It is never too early to start living a healthy lifestyle, or too late for that matter.
At AllBetterCare we can see a variety of patients with minor illnesses and injuries. If you are experiencing severe chest pain, shortness of breathe, and/or weakness and numbness in your limbs please visit your local emergency room.