Heart health is a major medical issue in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year more 700,000 Americans have their first heart attack. With February being American Heart Month, its important that you're aware of everything you can do to prevent heart disease and form better habits for better, healthy living. Below are 5 everyday habits that put your heart at risk.
Smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of heart disease and creates a high risk factor for lung cancer. This is one of the most dangerous habits you may have. Quitting smoking will immediately improve your health and reduce your chances of developing any major heart disease. If you are exposed to second-hand smoke, do all that you can to change your environment or encourage those close to you to stop smoking. For this reason, Aventura Hospital recently transitioned to a tobacco-free campus.
Not exercising. Its easy to put off being active because of work, kids, family and life. However, its very important that you stay active as much as possible. Staying active keeps the heart healthy and strong and promotes excellent cardiovascular health, as well as blood flow. By spending most of your time sitting or relaxing, you're slowing down your metabolism and putting yourself at risk for illness.
Avoiding flossing. You may be asking yourself, What does flossing have to do with heart health? A lot, actually! The gums have a direct impact on your heart. When bacteria and germs build up in your mouth after eating, they can have a very negative effect on your heart health and put you at risk for heart disease. Instead, floss every day, use mouth wash and brush at least twice a day.
Losing your temper. Life has its ups and downs and isn't without its major stress points. Not being able to control your anger and temper can put a lot of pressure on your heart. Try to remain as stress free as possible. Yoga and tai chi are excellent ways to not only stay active but also calm the mind and body while reducing stress.
Heavy drinking. If you drink more than the recommended amount for adults (two drinks for men, one for women), then you're putting yourself at risk for heart disease. Excessive alcohol consumption can spike your triglycerides and cause high blood pressure. Sticking to the minimum will keep you healthier.
Not Knowing Your Scores. Do you know what your ejection fraction number is? How about your DASI score? Exercising and abstaining from drinking and smoking is a positive step in the right direction, but knowing where your heart stands is just as important. Tools like the DASI assess valve disease while others monitor other heart functions. To learn more about your heart, come join us on Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for our Heart Healthy Fair.
By paying attention to these everyday habits, you can better yourself and your wellness. For more information on heart health or to consult a physician, visit us online at Aventura Hospital. You can also contact our Consult-A-Nurse service 24/7 at 888-256-7692.