Being healthy is about so much more than how much we exercise or what we put on our plates. Health is a reflection of all the little things we do each day that contribute to our overall experience of well-being.
When it comes to building healthy habits, there’s no better place to start than with those that increase heart health. Here are a few small things you can do regularly to achieve that goal.
Believe it or not, this small habit makes a huge difference to your health. Studies have shown that our dental health is heavily correlated with our overall health. Part of the reason for this is that bacteria in the mouth can more easily enter the bloodstream, which over time, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The best way to prevent this is to simply floss every single day.
Doctors are increasingly noting the importance of moving more throughout the day, especially for those of us who work at desks. Long periods of sitting are not healthy – in fact, sitting too much increases our risk of heart disease by a staggering 147%! So remember to exercise every day (a simple walk is enough), and break up your stationary time with three to 10 minutes of moving, standing, walking, or stretching each hour.
Get Enough Sleep
Studies are clear that most people need at least six hours of sleep a night – and aren’t getting it. Lack of sufficient sleep is often the underlying cause of multiple health problems (including unwanted weight gain), but none more so than heart disease. It’s important to get six to eight hours of sleep per night in order to regulate blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and maintain a healthy heart.
Check Your Diet
You don’t need to make massive changes in this department – in fact, a series of very small changes can make a huge difference. Simply cut back on foods that increase the risk for heart disease. This includes soda, red meat, sugary treats, and trans fats (hydrogenated oils).
Manage Your Stress
It’s well-known that stress increases inflammation in the body and can be a major factor in heart disease. It’s important to manage your stress with exercise, meditation, and other coping strategies.
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