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Habits That are Damaging Your Heart Without You Knowing It

A healthy heart equals to a healthy life. But there are certain habits that may take a toll on your heart without you even realizing it. This story tells you more about some habits that affect your heart, so that you can stop or reduce these habits, and remain healthy.

Did You Know?

According to a Danish study, a smaller thigh circumference (less than 60cm) is associated with a higher risk of developing heart disease, in both men and women.
The human heart is the strongest, as well as the weakest, organ of the body. It is the strongest because it performs the most vital function of providing oxygenated blood to all the organs for their smooth functioning.
On the other hand, it is the weakest organ because it can take pressure only in moderation, and excessive pressure may bring along a lot of health problems and diseases.
Hence, it is important to care for the heart and avoid certain things that pressurize your heart, thereby making it weaker and susceptible to diseases or even failure. Many of us are aware of some commonly-talked about things that may have damaging effects on the heart, and try to avoid them in our routine.
However, there are small things like certain habits that can cause ill-effects to your heart with you being completely ignorant about it.

Therefore, instead of burning a hole in your pocket on medication, try to do away with certain habits that are the actual cause of the problem.
Not Eating Enough Fruits and Veggies
We all know that fruits and vegetables are the main building blocks of our diet. However, sometimes, we often tend to avoid eating them in the necessary amounts. Research has proven that people taking more than five servings of fruits per day are at lower risk of a stroke than those not consuming, or eating fruits in lesser quantities.
Overconsumption of Salt
Although salt is an important part of a healthy diet, it is required in minimal amounts. When this amount is exceeded, it becomes toxic for the body. Furthermore, there is additional pressure on the heart to remove the toxins from the body, thereby causing the problem of high blood pressure. It further increases the risk of a stroke or heart failure.
Overconsumption of Alcohol
Alcohol consumption in moderation can be advantageous for health as well as offer some enjoyable moments in life. Research has shown that the risk of stroke is lowered in people who have one or two drinks per day, as compared to people who don't drink at all, or drink in large amounts.
However, over drinking may have some really adverse effects on your heart like high blood pressure, increased risk of a stroke, and heart failure.
Ignoring Sleep Disorders
Too much sleep (more than nine hours) or too little (less than six hours) sleep is equally damaging to your heart. Both these extreme conditions increase blood pressure and levels of stress hormones. Insomnia, i.e., lack of sleep, leads to depression and anxiety, which further leads to high blood pressure.
Also, a study carried out in the University of Chicago, in 2008, suggested a link between shorter sleep and increased coronary artery calcification (calcium buildup in the coronary arteries).
Ignoring Snoring
Apart from a mere nuisance, snoring can be a serious health problem associated with sleep apnea. Apnea is a disorder that is marked by interrupted breathing while sleeping, which may put pressure on the heart. Furthermore, this sleep disorder may increase the risk of heart disease.
Thus, if you happen to snore and wake up feeling exhausted, contact your health care provider right away and get appropriate treatment for your snoring problem.
Excessive Anger
While expressing anger in moderation is a good way to release tension and mental pressure, frequent and explosive anger may increase the risk of heart disease. When people internalize their anger and a constant suppressed feeling of rage dwells inside, it may weaken their heart and make it susceptible to a stroke or a heart disease.
Negative emotions in human beings trigger the stress-axis, and if the stress responses are activated repeatedly, they become harmful for the heart.
Ignoring Depression
Everyone of us goes through ups and downs in life and experiences an emotional breakdown.
However, it is extremely important how you handle these situations. If a person experiences repeated instances of emotional stress, it affects the heart in a negative way. To be more specific, stress followed by depression is associated with increased intima-media thickness (a measure of arteries), which signifies the worsening of blood vessel disease.
Studies have found that depression, moreover, has some indirect contribution to heart disease. Depression fosters certain unhealthy habits like smoking and lack of exercise in some people, which further leads to problems in the functioning of the heart.
Weekend Warrior Syndrome
A lot of people realize that they don't have time for themselves. Therefore, the day they find some free time, they dive into exercising and expect that it will bring them in shape and they can keep up good health. However, this is known as the weekend warrior syndrome and it will only work adversely with your body.
It will cause discomfort to your body and pressurize the heart for more blood circulation, which may lead to some serious problems.

Other Habits Damaging Your Heart

▶ Overeating and eating empty calories
▶ Withdrawal from the world
▶ Assuming that you're not at risk
▶ Eating red meat
▶ Skipping or stopping medications
▶ Watching TV
If you focus on these habits and try to get rid of them sooner, it will keep up the good health of your heart for a longer time.
Procrastinating, delaying, or avoiding health checkups altogether can also be potentially bad for the health of your heart. Also, signs and symptoms of chest pain and loss of breath may be a serious cause of high blood pressure, and ignoring these symptoms will be harmful for your heart.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical professional.

 Snehal Motkar

Jason Tuinstra