It’s National Heart Month. Do You Make These Mistakes with Your Heart?
Are you celebrating National Heart Health Month? Well, if you’re not you should be. What you discover might just surprise you! Most individuals feel pretty knowledgeable when it comes to heart health tips. However, the reality is that roughly 610,000 people in the United States alone die from heart disease every year, so something more must be done. If you thought you knew how to take care of your heart, check out these mistakes you may be making and a few heart healthy tips that will make a difference.
Habits to Avoid for Good Heart Health
You’re probably aware of the impact that smoking has on your lungs, but you may not be aware of the negative effect it can have on your heart health. Actually, smoking is one of the highest risk factors for heart disease. This habit alone can cause heart disease and increase age-related macular degeneration by three-fold. Not only that, but the fatal chemicals contained in cigarettes can cause coronary artery spasm and life-threatening arrhythmia that far too often end in sudden cardiac death. If you currently smoke, take measures to quit as soon as possible. This one change will make a significant impact on preserving your heart and overall health. Try searching online for stop-smoking tips.
There has been a great deal of controversy regarding fat consumption over the years. The bottom line is that you need to avoid trans-fats if at all possible. Fat molecules increase free radical damage, which contributes to inflammation, disease, and age-related health concerns. These fats also promote LDL oxidation, decrease HDL levels, and raise Lipoprotein(a), a bad cholesterol.
Trans-fats have the propensity to ignite heart disease as well as the onset of the inflammatory stage of many other diseases. They also interrupt your body’s natural process and use of helpful, essential fatty acids and heart healthy foods, such as fish oil and other heart health supplements, that reduce inflammation. You may want to create a grocery list of heart healthy foods to replace the not-so-healthy items in your diet.
Exercising While Angry
While you may consider exercise a beneficial practice no matter your mood, the truth is pairing exercise with a big emotion like anger can have a detrimental impact. In fact, the pair could even be fatal. You may have heard of an individual who had been exercising and then dropped dead of a heart attack. The likelihood is high that the individual had been angry prior to exercising. This act can be compared to trying to drive a car with the emergency brake on – it drastically increases the pressure in your body, which can be lethal. While exercise is a heart healthy habit, it’s important to allow your emotions to settle before you exercise. Try heart-healthy exercises.
Stifling Emotions, Especially Sadness
Everyone has emotions, but some individuals are more comfortable with expressing them than others. No matter which category you fall into, it is important that you find effective ways to manage your emotions and express them in a productive manner, particularly sadness. The release of sadness and expression of emotion is healing to the heart and can remedy heartbreak that many people experience. If you have a difficult time expressing your emotions, consider watching a movie that is especially moving.
Most individuals do not want to bring attention to themselves or believe that anything is wrong. Doing so, though, can be more detrimental than helpful. In fact, ignoring symptoms, such as chest pain, arm discomfort, sweating, or a feeling of impending doom, can be a matter of life or death. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important that you seek immediate treatment rather than ignore it.
It goes without saying that exercise is an important habit that can keep your heart (and your whole body) healthier. However, many individuals neglect the habit for a number of reasons. Whether it’s a busy lifestyle or not being knowledgeable about the amount of exercise your body needs, excuses do nothing to support your heart health. Focus on getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week and don’t let life and busyness get in the way of that commitment. Healthy body, healthy mind.
Considering It “All or Nothing”
Too many individuals focus on heart health as an all or nothing approach. When it comes down to it, doing a little good is better than doing nothing at all. So if you can’t commit to eating only heart healthy foods, but you can eat more
vegetables and limit your animal protein 5 days a week, you’ll move the needle in the right direction, enough to make a difference. Don’t let the “All or Nothing” mindset keep you from doing anything for your health, including a heart health diet plan.
The bottom line is that your heart impacts your overall quality of life and health. So even if you don’t get all the heart health tips immediately, putting a few heart healthy practices in place now will make a difference.