You might be hurting your heart without even knowing it. You probably have some bad habits hurting your heart. Let’s take a look at what you’re probably doing that you should stop doing immediately!
6 Bad Habits Hurting Your Heart
1. Binging Netflix
Binging that new season of your favorite show is so much fun. There’s no debate about that. But, sitting down for hours at a time increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, even if you exercise regularly. Intermittent exercise doesn’t cancel out long periods of sitting. Try to limit your TV time and spend more time moving around.
2. Going Out for Drinks Every Night
The 9-5 grind can be rough. That’s why so many people go out for drinks after work. This could be a very harmful habit, though. Excess alcohol is connected to high blood pressure, high blood fats, and heart failure. The extra calories in alcohol can also lead to weight gain. To protect your heart, stick to just one drink per day for women, and no more than two for men. A standard drink is 12 oz of beer, 4.5 oz of wine, and 1.5 oz of distilled spirits.
3. Skipping the Floss
Flossing is related to your heart health. Crazy, right? If you’re like the rest of the world. You probably don’t floss every day, and you’re probably lying to your dentist about it. Skipping this important dental step has more ramifications than just unhealthy gums. Gum disease is linked, for an unknown reason, to heart disease.
One theory is that the bacteria-laden plaque build-up that leads to gum disease triggers inflammation. Inflammation is a big factor of heart problems.
72% of men and 64% of women in the US are overweight or obese. American diets are high in processed foods, sugar, and fat. Portions in restaurants are much larger than they should be and people often overeat.
Cut down on portion size and try to eat less. Reduce refined carbohydrate intake and watch out for “diet” foods.
5. Smoking or Living with a Smoker
You know that smoking is bad for you. That’s not news. What you might not know is that it’s just as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. Smoking causes your blood vessels to constrict, restricting blood flow. This leads to high blood pressure which damages your arteries and leads to other cardiovascular diseases.
Smoking also promotes blood clots, which can block blood flow to the heart and contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries.
It’s also extremely dangerous to live with a smoker. 46,000 nonsmokers die every year from heart disease because of secondhand smoke.
6. Eating Empty Calories
Snacking on things like crackers, cookies, and chips is a bad habit that you should quit. They’re super high calorie and contain little to no nutrients that your body can use to nourish itself. Consuming empty calories increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Eat foods that are rich in nutrients and low in calories, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, eggs, legumes, and some nuts and seeds.