Few of us make it into adulthood without suffering a broken heart. Of course we all know that our heart is not broken – the emotions that we are experiencing are coming from our brain. However, we consider the heart as the centre of our being so perhaps we should spend a little more time looking after it! Here we look at 8 daily habits that can cause cardiac (heart) problems and make some suggestions about how you can keep your ticker in the best shape!
The heart is basically a muscular pump located in the circulatory system and its function is to pump blood to the entire body. Within the blood there are the essential nutrients, oxygen and hormones that our bodies need along with the waste products (such as carbon dioxide) that we need to expel. Think of it as a giant road network and think about what happens when that road network grinds to a halt.
When the heart and blood vessels don’t work efficiently – cardiovascular diseases are the result.
Things that can go wrong with the cardiovascular system
- Atherosclerosis: This is the thickening and hardening of the arteries. Less blood can pass through and the heart has to work harder.
- Angina: Caused by the heart receiving insufficient blood. This causes sharp pains in the chest.
- Heart arrack: The arteries supplying the heart get blocked because of a blood clot for example. The blood flow is interrupted to a part of the heart which fails to function.
- Brain haemorrhage or stroke: The rupture or blockage of a blood vessel resulting in a part of the brain receiving insufficient oxygen.
Are you breaking your own heart?
If you are adopting any of the following lifestyle choices you are breaking your own heart. If you are adopting them all then you storing up serious problems for the future. Take a look and then make some changes – for your heart’s sake!
A sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the main causes of numerous diseases that result in the poor functioning of your circulatory system: diabetes, atherosclerosis, and obesity. Frequent exercise will help you eliminate the fat deposits in tissues as well as strengthen your heart and make your blood vessels more flexible.
This truly is a terrible habit. It causes serious issues within your respiratory tract (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer) and causes artery constriction, accelerates cardiac frequency, reduces the amount of oxygen your heart receives, and makes the heart have to work harder. This can result in hypertension.
Eating junk food
We all know that junk food is rich in saturated fat, refined sugars, salt, and white flours. None of these are good for your heart! Anything that your body cannot get rid of everyday through metabolic processes is stored as fat in bodily tissues. If there is too much, the blood vessels and organs will also start to get covered by it. Narrow and inflexible arteries are a definite route to cardiac problems. Preventing obesity is not complicated! Make sure that your diet is packed with fruit, vegetables and fibre.
Working long hours
A work-life balance is essential for the health of your heart. If you don’t take any time for yourself and work too hard you are harming your heart. This increases the risk of suffering from cardiac problems. Stress is to blame for many modern diseases. When we stressed out our immune system does not function correctly and we become susceptible to infection. It also increases the chances of a heart attack because of its strong relationship with the variations in blood pressure. You need to rest, enjoy life’s simple pleasures and stop chasing impossible goals. value your health and your heart whilst they are both in good shape.
Most adults require around 8 hours sleep every night to take care of their heart and allow their body to prepare itself for a new day at work. Hormonal problems caused by a lack of sleep can cause problems in the heart and circulatory system.
Lack of hydration
Not drinking enough water is bad news for your heart. Toxic substances can accumulate in your body. Help your heart by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Add in some herbal teas and fruit juices for variety but avoid carbonated, sugary drinks!
The odd glass of wine is fine but frequent consumption of alcohol can seriously harm your liver and heart. Take at least two alcohol days a week and only drink in moderation.
A strictly vegetarian diet
Some studies show that a strictly vegetarian diet can cause a lack of vitamin B12, which will affect your cardiovascular system. Have a balanced and healthy diet.