Smoking and obesity are two of the top habits that put us at higher risk for heart attacks. But did you know that there are other common behaviors that are harmful to your heart? Browse this list of heart-risky behaviors to see if you need to kick these habits… your heart will thank you!
- You’re Set in Your (TV) Ways
We get it. After a long day, sometimes you just want to plop down in from of the boob tube and watch some TV. No harm, no foul. Right? Wrong. Researchers now say that sitting just might be the new smoking in terms of your heart. You see, even if you go to the gym daily, you’re not making up for it when you’re sitting on the couch doing nothing. However, you don’t have to toss the TV, just consider combining it with your time on the treadmill or at least get up during the commercials and stretch, do some jumping jacks or take a walk around the house.
- Seeing Red (Meat)
You don’t have to swear off burgers and steaks forever, but limiting red meat, particularly processed red meat, is wise. High consumption is linked not only to heart disease, but to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well. Nutritional experts say to protect your heart, it’s smart to eat a more plant-based diet. Follow the Mediterranean Diet philosophy or aim to fill your plate two-thirds with veggies and one-third lean protein, such as chicken or fish. Can’t bear to say goodbye to red meat? It’s OK to make it a once a week treat, but just make sure it’s a lean cut of meat.
- Ignoring the Warning Signs
Many of us put our heads in the sand when it comes to being heart health smart. You should know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels because if you’re unaware you may be a walking time bomb prime for a cardiac event. The simple truth is you are unlikely to “feel” any of these major heart attack risk factors until it’s too late. That’s why it’s wise to know your numbers and discuss trends and treatment with your doctor.
- Glass Half Empty Mindset
Researchers have found a huge connection between emotions and heart health. Stress, anxiety and depression are now widely recognized as risks for cardiovascular disease. This triple threat of emotions release hormones into the body that are damaging to the heart. We all face these emotions daily, so it’s smart to figure out how to manage them by exercising, meditation, socializing or consider seeing a mental health professional. You’ll not only feel better, but your heart will, too!