Leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial for overall well-being. This is why improving one’s health is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions ever. However, there are things people keep on doing that are actually bad for their health, particularly the heart.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone dies of a stroke every 3.5 minutes. In the United States alone, more than 795,000 people suffer from a stroke each year. People can prevent most of these cases if they would only take better care of their hearts.
You may already know that improving heart health is the best way to reduce your chances of stroke. However, not many people that their seemingly innocent habits are already putting them at risk. If you want to give your heart a break and reduce the chance of stroke, then it’s time you rethink the following habits.
Skipping Dental Care
You might not know it, but oral health can affect your heart. Poor oral care can lead to infections in the mouth, which in turn can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. This is a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries, making them narrower and less elastic. This increases the chances of your arteries getting blocked, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
So, if you want to keep your heart healthy, take good care of your teeth and gums. Floss daily, thoroughly brush your teeth at least twice a day, and visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings. If you haven’t found your go-to dentist just yet, then a bit of research can help.
Find a reliable dental office near you with great reviews, and offer various services such as dental implants, teeth whitening, and Invisalign. Don’t forget to get a feel of the clinic and talk to the dentist. The right clinic will have a group of professionals treating your oral health needs with compassion and care. It would be even better to find a family dental clinic so you and the whole family can go to the same place.
Wearing Tight Clothes
Tight clothing may be fashionable, but did you know it can negatively affect your circulation? When you wear tight clothes, it constricts the blood vessels in your body, which can impede blood flow. This can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.
For instance, men wearing tight neckties and women always wearing tight-fitting shirts cut the circulation around your neck and upper chest at risk. Wearing tight belts can also have the same effect on your circulation. Researchers tested the results of a tight tie on 40 healthy males in a study with a necktie instrument. At the end of the trial, they found modest changes related to brain arteries’ ability to dilate. This was a potential marker for stroke.
Choosing your clothes carefully can help keep your circulation in check and reduce the risks to your heart health. When picking out clothes, always make sure they’re not too tight. And when you do wear something tight, try to loosen it up every few hours to give your circulation a break.
Drinking Too Much Coffee
Many rely on their favorite cup of joe to wake them up in the morning or get them through an afternoon lull. And while there is nothing wrong with enjoying a cup of coffee, drinking too much can actually be bad for your heart.
Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that temporarily causes your blood pressure to rise. This effect is usually short-lived and goes back to normal soon after you finish your cup. However, if you drink too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages, the effects can start to add up. This can lead to long-term elevation of your blood pressure, which puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
So, how much is too much? As much as possible, limit yourself to up to three cups of coffee per day. You can also consider switching to decaf coffee or tea, which still has some health benefits but doesn’t contain as much caffeine.
Thinking All Teas Are Equal
Teas are generally good for you, but some teas can be bad for your heart health. If you are not careful with the type of tea you indulge in, nor do you have no care for how much tea you are consuming, tea drinking can put your heart at risk.
For instance, black tea has cardio-protective benefits. This can improve blood vessel function and blood flow. However, it also has the highest caffeine amount out of all teas. This means drinking up to four cups of black tea each day can have adverse effects on your cardiovascular system. If you drink black tea, it is best to keep it at two cups or less per day.
White tea, on the other hand, has very low levels of caffeine and is rich in flavonoids. These two compounds work together to improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation. However, there is limited research on whether or not white tea can have an impact on heart health. So, more studies need to be done in this area before making any definitive conclusions.
If you’re an avid tea drinker, keep this in moderation. Stick to two cups or less of tea daily, and be sure to let your doctor know to be the err side of things. They can tell you if your favorite drink is good or bad when combined with your medications. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of both without putting your heart health at risk.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial for maintaining a strong and healthy heart. While you might already be doing a lot to take care of your heart, there are some habits that you might not realize are actually bad for it. Now that you know what they are, take steps to avoid them and keep your heart healthy!