Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in men. This is mainly due to our lifestyle. A few decades ago heart problems and obesity have not been as much of an epidemic as it is today. If we want to lessen the chance of getting heart problems, changing our lifestyle is key. Here are a few things you can do to change bad habits and live a heart healthy lifestyle.

Sleep Right
Now a day, people tend to push sleeping aside. They keep social life, work and family as a priority, but remembering to make yourself and your health a priority. Having the needed 8 hours of sleep is important for heart health. Lack of sleep can cause plaque build-up in the arteries. This build-up can cause strokes and heart attacks. Place gadgets away from your sleeping area, to get rid of temptations of distractions.

Eat Right
One of the biggest reasons for heart problems is having poor eating habits and consuming too much fatty food. Having a heart healthy diet is easy, it’s a matter of choosing the right ingredients and food. Look at nutritional labels while shopping. Look at the sodium content, if the content is too high leave it on the shelf. Avoid food that is high in cholesterol, saturated fat and cholesterol. Use heart healthy fats like olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids found in salmons. When choosing pasta, opt for whole grain versions, and of course eat more fruits and vegetable.

Exercise Regularly
Exercising regularly lessen bad cholesterol and improve blood pressure. The heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised to keep on working properly. Not exercising makes the heart vulnerable to diseases. Try to exercise at least 4 times a day for 30 minutes and increase through time. Light walking, dancing or any form of exercise will do the heart good.

Stay Within a Healthy Weight Range
Obese and overweight people often suffer from heart problems, but even people who are in the normal weight range can suffer from it. Being overweight can cause a lot of strain in the body. When your mass increase, your body will try to adapt to the change and the heart enlarges. This causes congestive heart failure and heart attacks. People who are overweight are 34% more likely to have heart failure and 100% for obese people. Look at BMI chart and see what the right BMI is for your height and gender and try to lose a couple of pounds. For people who are below their BMI range and is considered underweight, you are not safe from heart problems. People who are underweight tend to have low blood pressure and poor blood circulation.

Know Your Family History
Genes play a vital role in living a heart healthy lifestyle. People who have close relatives who have heart disease are more prone to getting one themselves. You can’t really fight off genes, but you can prevent onset heart problems. Know your family history and read up on the things you can do to prevent it.

Reduce Stress
Stress can put more strain on the heart and can cause you to engage in bad habits like excessive drinking, overeating and smoking. Cut back on stress by doing meditation, yoga, hiking or simply do breathing exercises. Take a day of rest for yourself and pamper yourself to shed off some of the stress of everyday life.

Take Care of Your Teeth
What do your teeth have to do with your heart? A lot actually, people who have periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop heart diseases. The bacteria in the gums can enter the blood stream and cause build up. Inflammation caused by the periodontal disease cause swelling in the arteries. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and if you experience bleeding gums or inflammation, go to your dentist as soon as possible.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Always drink in moderation. Caffeine and alcohol is known to be good for the body, but excessive dosage can increase fat levels in the blood. People who have jitters or heart palpitation when consuming caffeine should lessen consumption or stop entirely.

Stop Smoking
Smoking has no health benefit and is considered an addiction. It can cause lung, mouth and pancreatic cancer. Smoking is dangerous for your heart, it causes fat buildup in the arteries and increase blood pressure. If you are a smoker limit your intake daily and avoid smoking in a crowded area. Second hand smoke is as dangerous as smoking the cigarette. For people who don’t smoke. Don’t even think of starting.

Visit Your Doctor
One of the best things you can do is to visit the doctor have a general check up and see if everything is working properly. Sometimes heart disease’s symptoms are ignored until it is too serious to fix or it’s too late. If you suffer from chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitation and more, go visit your doctor. It is better to stop heart diseases early.

Having a heart healthy lifestyle guarantees an increase in life expectancy and quality of life. Improve your heart health by eating better, getting enough sleep, distressing yourself, exercising and going to the doctors regularly.

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