How To Care For Heart Health
In general, heart problems in later life are caused by inadequate health care throughout your life. You need to step up and take responsibility for the health of the most important muscle in your body! Here are some of the most common causes of heart problems and what you can do about them.
People often associate smoking with lung problems. But smoking takes a terrible toll on… well, basically everything in your body. The heart is absolutely no exception. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, causing them to narrow. All that carbon monoxide reduces the levels of oxygen in your blood.
Smoke fills your blood with toxins, which then find their way into your heart. Smoking also reduces your ability to maintain heart health via other methods; energy levels and stamina are basically destroyed if you’re a frequent smoker, which makes it very difficult to get frequent exercise. Inadequate exercise won’t do your heart any favours at all!
Honestly, we could go on for quite some time about all the ways in which smoking directly hurts your heart. But let’s just leave it for now; the bottom line is that you need to quit smoking. Consider getting yourself a vape starter kit if you don’t feel like you can quite cold turkey. While vaping isn’t exactly healthy, it’s far better for you than smoking tobacco and is extremely useful if you want to cut it out entirely.
The health effects of stress are underestimated by many. A lot of people are aware that stress harms your long-term health, but they’re often a bit fuzzy on the details. Basically, among other problems, frequent stress increases the levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body.
Cortisol is known, appropriately, as the stress hormone. Too much cortisol coursing through your body messes with your immune system interferes with concentration, and – more pertinently – it increases blood pressure and cholesterol. Those things aren’t exactly your heart’s BFFs.
Are you stressed all the time? Figure out why. Is it your job? Is a personal relationship causing problems? Whatever it is, it’s more important that you may have thought to resolve the issue as soon as possible. If your job is effectively causing you to have problems with your heart, you should consider whether it’s worth keeping that job.
Now that I think about it, this is starting to sound like a pretty general list of “things that are bad for you”! Still, a lot of people are only vaguely aware that these things are problems, and don’t fully appreciate how much all of this directly affects their heart.
When it comes to diet, people tend to be a little more in the know than they are when it comes to other areas. But sometimes it’s useful to properly explore the effects – because it sounds really gross, and that’s often the best way to get people to rethink their lifestyle.
Fatty foods increase your cholesterol. This clogs up your veins, meaning they can’t transport blood properly. While some sugar every now and then is okay, too much will affect your heart. Your body will take the sugar it does need and then basically turn all the surplus into fat. More fat means your heart has to work harder to pump blood around your body – and the bigger you get, the more blood you need pumping around, a function that’s already being hampered by all that cholesterol.
Lack of sleep
Sleep causes your blood pressure to drop, and this is essential if you want to maintain the health of your heart. High blood pressure creates unnecessary strain, but keeping a regular blood pressure going for too long does the same thing. Too many people are getting less than six hours of sleep a day.
You may think you’re functioning okay, but you’re really not! Getting less sleep also increases your stress levels (cortisol!) and can contribute to desires to consume snacks and energy drinks to stay awake (sugar! fat! cholesterol!).
While it’s true that “eight hours a day” doesn’t suit everyone, getting at least seven is pretty viral. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, then there are several things you can do to help yourself. Do you like coffee? Don’t drink more than four cups a day (even four cups is probably too much); stay away from caffeine after 4pm.
Don’t use computers and smartphones just before bed; it puts your brain into a hyperactive state. Your brain needs to wind down before your head hits the pillow. Try reading a book before bed instead of playing with your smartphone!
All of these tips will go a long toward proper heart health. Be healthy