6 Bad Habits That Can Damage Or Destroy Your Heart

6 Bad Habits That Can Damage Or Destroy Your Heart
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The heart is the most important thing in our body that keeps us alive. We will analyze certain habits to avoid that may not know that is killing and destroying our heart gradually which could lead to different heart diseases.

1. Smoking

For all intents and purposes, smoking has a damaging effect on not only the heart but also every body organ. Cigarette contains a substance, nicotine which increases the heart rate, elevates the blood pressure and damages the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels supplying the heart, thereby impairing blood flow to the organ. Research has shown that about 20% of deaths from heart disease are directly related to smoking. Also, it has been found that people who smoke have 2­4 times higher risk of coming down with heart disease than nonsmokers. Sadly, secondhand or passive smokers (i.e people around smokers) are not exempted. My candid advice to you is to avoid smoking of any form because it kills faster than you think.

2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Research has shown that moderate consumption of alcohol (especially red wine containing flavenoids) can be cardioprotective. In excess, however, the reverse is the case as alcohol increases your blood pressure, blood fats and weight. Hence, it is an important risk factor for cardiovascular problems like heart failure, heart attack and stroke. If you must drink at all, the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 1­2 bottles per day for men and 1 bottle per day for women. In larger quantities, alcohol does more harm than good to your body.

3. Sitting for long

Prolonged periods of sitting (>5hrs a day) either at a desk or in front of TV could prove dangerous to the heart. Folks who sit for long periods without getting up are said to have a double risk of developing heart disease since a sedentary lifestyle can promote obesity, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. A 2014 study done at Indiana University recommends taking a five minute walk every hour if your job is such that you must sit all day. This simple routine will keep your blood vessels flexible and enhance a smooth blood flow.

4. Overzealous Exercise

What overzealous exercise does is to stimulate the body to release stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol which increase the heart rate and shoot up the blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular phenomena such as heart attack, heart failure and stroke. It’s a good habit to indulge in 30min of moderate­intensity exercise about 5 times in a week because it improves the condition of your heart and blood vessels while also helping you to burn some fat.

5. Not Flossing

Flossing is important not just for your teeth but also for your heart. Studies have shown that bacteria associated with gum disease can cause inflammation and get into the bloodstream, leading to plaque formation and eventual narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart. This may predispose to coronary artery disease and heart attack.

6. Excessive Salt Intake

It is no more news that table salt has high quantities of sodium which can raise the blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular events. But what about the hidden sodium content in most processed foods including sardines, canned vegetables, chips and salty snacks? The American Heart Association recommends a maximum daily sodium intake of 1500mg. Hence be sure to read the nutritional labels of the products you consume and avoid those with very high sodium content.

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