Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

4 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now To Protect Your Heart Health

by Hugh Larson

Do you know how to prevent heart disease and heart failure? Sure, you know about the big things, like exercising and eating foods that are low in cholesterol. But there are a lot of lesser-known small changes you can make you your lifestyle that will help protect you from a heart attack. These are things that you can start doing immediately, and that you can easily incorporate into your regular routine. Take a look at a few of the things that you can start doing right now to protect your heart.

Take the Day off Work

Have you been working a lot of overtime lately? If so, it's probably time for a break. All work and no play isn't just dull, it may actually be dangerous. A British study found evidence that working more than eleven hours a day increased workers' risk of heart disease by a surprising 67%.

Researchers aren't completely sure why workaholics are at greater risk for heart problems. One theory is that it's the additional stress that long hours cause for the worker. Another possibility is that people who frequently work longer hours lack the time to take care of themselves by eating healthy foods and getting enough exercise. No matter what the reason, if you're worried about heart disease, this may be a good time to cut back on your hours, or at least take an occasional day off. Call it a heart health day.

Sleep in (But Not For Too Long)

Even if you don't consider yourself an insomniac, there's a good chance that you don't get enough sleep. That's because Americans have been steadily decreasing the amount of sleep that they get at night. If you sleep less than six hours a night, you have a 48% higher chance of developing coronary heart disease than those who get more than six hours per night.

However, sleeping too long has its own drawbacks. Sleep more than nine hours, and your risk of heart disease increases again. While very late sleepers aren't at quite the same risk as short sleepers, sleeping too long still increases your risk of coronary heart disease by a significant 38%.

This suggests that there is a specific amount of sleep that humans need in order to stay healthy and function properly, and that amount is somewhere between six to nine hours. If you're not getting the right amount of sleep, it's time to reexamine your sleep habits.

Make a Peanut Butter Sandwich

Peanut butter is more than just a delicious snack, it's also good for you. Peanut butter is full of important nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It's also a good source of monosaturated fats, which are known to be good for your heart.

As a matter of fact, research performed at Harvard Medical School discovered that these heart healthy benefits were so great that people who chose a snack containing peanut butter five days a week cut their risk of a heart attack by nearly half. Dieting? Don't worry about it. Peanut butter fills you up more than other snacks, so despite the calorie count, snacking on peanut butter means that you'll eat less overall.

Floss Your Teeth

Your oral health is inextricably linked to your overall physical health. Keeping your teeth clean is about far more than having a bright, attractive smile, though of course that's an important goal too. Poor dental hygiene leads to periodontal disease, and periodontal disease is linked to heart disease.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that builds up in the mouth when the teeth and gums are not properly cared for. That same bacteria can lead to hardened arteries when it is released into the blood stream, and the hardened arteries can cause a heart attack or stroke. That's why daily flossing, in addition to brushing after meals, and regular dental checkups, are important factors in preventing heart disease.

Your doctor can help you determine what your risk factor is for heart disease, and help you figure out a plan to decrease that risk. However, you can start right now by implementing these simple cardiology heart-healthy strategies. 


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.