As a person ages, their risk of heart disease increases. There are several different factors that increase a person’s risk of heart disease, while other factors lower a person’s risk. The biggest drivers of heart disease are diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, which many Americans currently live with.
A good way to lower your risk of heart disease is through lifestyle changes. But unfortunately, many of us don’t adhere to the healthiest lifestyle and continue to make mistakes that hurt our heart.
Here are six common heart health mistakes than many of us are making along with how you can fix them.
Being overweight: As you age, your metabolism slows down, which makes weight gain far easier. But carrying around those extra pounds puts added stress on your heart, increasing your risk of heart disease. This is why it’s so important to maintain a healthy weight by regularly exercising and eating the right foods.
Overeating: Sure, a second serving may sound like a good idea, but bigger portions mean more calories. Your portions should be balanced and include a healthy portion of proteins, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Having an unbalanced diet can lead to weight gain as well. Lastly, stop eating if you feel full, regardless of how delicious the meal was.
Lacking a social life: Social isolation is a severe threat to your heart. Without friends, family, or a support system, you begin to feel lonely and depressed. Studies have shown that social isolation is equally as bad as smoking for your heart. Making an effort to stay close to loved ones is a key factor to keep your heart healthy.
Working out too hard or not enough: Balance is important when it comes to exercise. If you push yourself too hard, you put additional stress on your heart. On the other hand, not exercising contributes to heart disease. Creating a regular workout routine that offers your heart the right enough of challenge can keep it strong.
Not de-stressing: Stress wreaks havoc on all areas of your body and health. Chronic stress causes your heart to always be in an overworking state, which contributes to disease. Finding useful ways to destress can go a long way in protecting your heart.
Smoking: Whether it be cigarettes, vapes, or even marijuana, smoking is bad for your heart. If you’ve tried quitting in the past and have been unsuccessful, speak to your doctor about options to help you quit or join a group for support.
The sooner you begin to change these habits, the healthier your heart will be.
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