The month of February is American Heart Month, which means that it’s time to start thinking about how your habits impact your heart health and what you can do to improve those habits. Heart month was established by The American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it, and one of the strongest methods of prevention is by educating yourself. Some of the worst habits for heart health include:
The link between tobacco use and heart disease has long been established, and it is important to note that both regular cigarettes and electronic cigarettes have negative impacts on your heart health. Surrounding yourself with people who smoke can also be detrimental as secondhand smoke can affect your heart in powerful ways.
Stress affects the levels of your body’s hormones and the way that they spread, and excessive stress hormones can negatively affect the way your heart functions. Watch your stress levels, look out for signs of depression, and take appropriate steps to relax when plausible.
3. Oral health:
The link between healthy teeth and gums and a healthy heart has been proven by researchers, and brushing adequately while avoiding excessive amounts of sugar will help avoid infections and cavities that can ultimately affect your heart health.
4. Saturated Fats:
Excessive levels of saturated fats lead to fat buildup in the blood and around the heart, which leads to blood clots and causes your heart to have difficulty functioning.
5. Excessive alcohol consumption:
Although moderate amounts of certain types of alcohol have been shown to support a healthy heart, excessive alcohol intake can lead to heart disease (along with destroying your liver).
6. Excessive sodium intake:
Rising sodium levels in the blood increase blood pressure, putting a strain on your heart and causing issues later down the road.
7. Ignoring warning signs:
Getting regular checkups and scheduling visits to the doctor’s office is crucial. Many heart problems can be taken care of as long as they are caught early on, after which you can take steps to prevent them from escalating.
8. Not exercising:
The heart is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs exercise in order to function properly. 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day is recommended, focusing on cardiovascular and aerobic workouts.
Did you know?…
In addition to decreasing your heart health, a number of these habits (such as smoking and excessive drinking) can also negatively affect your health insurance premiums. If you are concerned that your health habits could possibly increase the cost of your insurance policy, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency and we’ll be happy to assist you with any questions you may have.