Sourced with thanks from eatthis.com
Your heart is expected to pump some 2000 gallons of blood each day. Day after day it keeps working tirelessly to keep you up and about so that you can live your life. Isn’t it important then that you pay a lot of attention to your heart and treat it very well to keep your heart happy. In the article below you will find a list of some dos and don’ts that can act as a reminder for you to keep your heart ticking away healthily. Team RetyrSmart
Avoid these habits to keep your heart happy and healthy
You Ignore These Physical Symptoms
You know your body well, so you can usually gauge when something is off. So don’t brush off the symptoms of your heart asking for help. Time is crucial when attempting to minimize the damage from heart disease or other cardiovascular events.
The quicker you seek treatment, the less likely you’ll suffer from permanent damage that can’t be reversed.
Depending on the type of cardiovascular event or condition you’re experiencing, you could feel a wide range of physical symptoms, including:
- Chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs or arms.
- Pain in your jaw, throat, back, or upper abdomen.
- Fluttering in your chest.
- Swelling in your legs, hands, ankles, or feet.
- Skin rashes or skin spots.
- A dry cough that won’t go away.
If you’re experiencing sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, or fainting, visit your local emergency room as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the other heart disease symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out.
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You Have Troubled Sleep
Sleep isn’t just important for your energy, focus, mental health, healthy weight and good looks— it also contributes directly to your heart health. To keep your heart happy, it’s important to regularly get the recommended number of hours of sleep each night. For adults, that’s a solid seven to nine hours.
You Live With Daily Stress in General
If your life feels stressful on a daily basis, it’s time to take some things off your plate to get heart-healthy. Say “no” to some of your obligations, if possible, so you can free up time and focus on the important things. Try a daily meditation session and don’t skimp on exercise. Everyone has a different technique for dealing with stress, so you may want to try listening to soft music, taking a bubble bath, or watching a funny TV show to wind down.
You Get Really Angry—a Lot
When you get angry, your body releases stress hormones, which cause your blood pressure to rise and your heart rate to increase. After you experience an angry outburst, your chances of experiencing a heart attack, stroke, or chest pain slightly increase for the next two hours.
Keep your anger in check and don’t react in the moment. Communicate calmly instead of expressing your anger loudly or violently.
You’re Not Eating Enough of This
Eat a healthy diet that incorporates foods that are high in fiber, such as:
Focus on eating these foods as raw and natural as possible, and try to eliminate processed foods from your diet as much as possible.
You Don’t Get Blood Tests Annually
An annual physical exam is an important part of staying healthy. In addition, you should also get bloodwork (blood tests) done each year. That allows your doctor to better understand your numbers when you’re well. Having your blood work on file can help your doctor to quickly and accurately identify a problem with your heart.
You Carry a Spare Tire
If you carry excessive weight around your midsection, it can increase your risk for heart disease and other heart-related events. Keep weight gain in check, especially if you notice a growing waistline. Follow a healthy diet and exercise daily. Instead of crash dieting to lose the pounds.
You Don’t Go to the Doctor Annually
Not only is it crucial to keep your annual health check-up appointments, you should also follow the doctor’s orders. If your doctor asks you to have bloodwork tested or complete an additional test because he or she found something concerning, don’t blow it off.
You Don’t Work Out
Exercising daily is another important factor that contributes to heart health. If you don’t get your heart pumping with exercise every day, it won’t stay healthy or grow stronger, just like any other muscle in your body. Engage in moderate to vigorous exercise for 30 minutes each day
You Ignore Your Family’s Health History
If heart disease, stroke, or other heart-related conditions run in your family, it’s possible that your risk for these conditions may be higher. It’s important to learn your immediate relatives’ health history and share this history with your doctor.
You Don’t Know Your Cholesterol Numbers
If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This makes it harder for blood to flow to your heart, which can ultimately cut off the blood supply to the heart. If this occurs, you’ll experience a heart attack. Get your bloodwork done annually or as often as your doctor suggests. If your cholesterol is slightly raised, you can make lifestyle changes that may improve your numbers without taking medication.
You Don’t Know Your Blood Sugar Levels
One of the best ways you can treat your heart right is to keep your blood sugar levels in check. If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, knowing your blood sugar levels is not only important for managing your disease, but also for keeping your heart happy.
Be aware of what to do when these levels are out of whack and have a blood sugar management plan in place.
You’re Not Monitoring your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is also referred to as hypertension and it can be a big strain on your heart. It can be caused by too much stress, an unhealthy diet, or inactivity. It takes a while to develop high blood pressure, so monitoring your own blood pressure periodically is important.
You’re Not Treating Your Teeth Right
Flossing prevents gum disease, which is important for your oral health. But did you know gum disease can also increase your risk for developing heart disease? Gum disease leads to an inflammatory state in the entire body, thus increasing your chance of heart disease exponentially.
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once daily. Visit your dentist twice each year to keep an eye on your gums and to ensure your oral health routine is keeping your mouth clean and your heart disease risk low.
You Don’t Have Any Hobbies
When you pass the time doing something you love, such as hiking, knitting, or putting together a puzzle, you’re lowering your stress. We already know that stress is a contributing factor to heart disease, so this can help lower your risk of an unhappy heart.Spend some time enjoying your hobbies. Not only will it make you happy, it’ll also make your heart happy.
You’re Not Spending Enough Time with Your Friends and Family
Feeling supported makes you happy and confident, which can lead to less stress and less likelihood that you’ll suffer from depression. A sunny outlook on life and time with friends and family members who encourage you to stay in a good mood can also be good for your heart.
You’re Not Practicing Yoga
When you think of exercising, you probably think of a heart-pumping, sweaty cardio class. But not all heart-healthy exercise is created equally. A relaxing yet challenging yoga practice may also provide your heart with the same benefits that other types of exercise can.
Yoga is proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as blood glucose levels and heart rate. In many cases, a yoga practice can also lower stress and decrease the risk for depression.
You’re Eating Too Much of This Ingredient
A diet high in sodium, mostly due to processed foods, isn’t just bad for water retention, but also your heart. If we can reduce this salt intake, we may be able to make things easier on our ticker. Pay attention to your salt intake and try to limit foods high in sodium, such as canned soups, chips, and other processed foods.
You’re Not Eating the Rainbow
Greens, oranges, reds, pinks. Your diet should be full of beautiful colors to ensure it’s healthy for your heart. Focusing on eating fruits and vegetables is important for a healthy diet, but it’s also the variety of the healthy foods you eat that can allow you to experience the best health benefits
Some of the most heart-healthy fruits and vegetables include green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and chard, pears, and apples. Skip the potatoes and add more colorful vegetables to your meal, such as peppers and green beans.
You Snore Every Night
Snoring is not only an annoyance for your partner, but it can also be a sign of something more serious. Snoring and sleep apnea are closely related. Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing starts and stops while your body is sleeping.
If you wake up still feeling tired or your partner complains about your snoring, it’s time to see a doctor. You’ll need to get to the root of the problem so you can better understand what’s causing this condition. Your doctor can ensure there aren’t deeper issues and can help you to stop snoring or experiencing sleep apnea, usually with the assistance of a CPAP machine. More restful nights of sleep will decrease your risk for heart disease and can make you healthier and happier overall.
You Stopped Taking Your Meds
If your doctor ordered you to take blood pressure medications or other pills that will help keep your cardiovascular system working properly, don’t stop taking them without discussing it with a professional first. You may be feeling great and assume your blood pressure or cholesterol issues are far behind you. But if you stop taking the meds that are helping you, you can end up right back where you started…or worse.
You’re Skipping Playtime
Pencil in 30 minutes a day of an enjoyable and fun activity in addition to your regular exercise regimen. This playtime will increase your energy, allow you to engage in an activity you like, and may even allow you to form new friendships or build stronger relationships with family and friends.
You’re Not Drinking Enough Water
Water is essential for all bodily functions, but it also plays an important role in your heart health. If you stay hydrated, your heart’s job of pumping blood through the blood vessels and into your muscles is much easier.
To make it easy on your heart, it’s important to stay hydrated during your normal daily activities, and even more so when you’re performing physical activities or you’re in a hot environment.
Thirst is a sign you’re already dehydrated, so drink water before you even feel thirsty. Keep in mind, when you’re spending time outside or doing something physical, you may need to bump up the number of sips you take.