What can I do Every Day to Help my Heart Health?

Heart Health

Diet and exercise. Anyone who’s concerned about their heart health has heard doctors repeat these two words time and again as the prime weapons against heart disease. While eating right and exercising are still the best ways to stay on top of your heart health, there are many other helpful strategies you can adopt to stay heart healthy.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep plays an integral role in your heart health. Failing to get enough sleep ups your chances of developing heart disease at any age or fitness level. One study of 3,000 people older than 45 showed that getting six or fewer hours of sleep makes you two times as likely to have a heart attack or stroke versus those who slept more than six hours.

Research suggests that repeatedly missing out on sleep complicates underlying health issues and disrupts healing biological processes that regulate blood pressure and inflammation. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Recent studies show that people with gum disease are also at risk of heart disease and stroke. Mouth bacteria responsible for gum disease can make its way into the bloodstream, causing an increase in C-reactive protein. This protein is an indicator that blood vessels are at risk of inflammation. Follow dental guidelines like brushing twice a day and flossing daily to reduce your chance of getting gum disease.

Lower Your Stress Levels

Constant stress from a bad job or relationship can take its toll on your health in many ways. Doctors believe stress can cause damaging inflammation to the heart in addition to making you less likely to exercise and eat right. Take steps to reduce stress by taking a long walk, enjoying a hot bath, meditating, and unplugging from electronic devices.

Avoid Secondhand Smoke

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. Different chemicals in cigarettes contribute to plaque buildup in arteries. You must stop smoking to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you’re exposed to secondhand smoke at home or in the workplace, your risk for heart disease jumps by 20 to 30 percent. The American Heart Association reports that inhaling secondhand smoke leads to 34,000 heart disease deaths and 7,300 deaths from lung cancer every year.

Insist that your home remain smoke free and take steps to avoid secondhand smoke in work and social situations.

Eat the Right Kinds of Fat

Not all fats are created equal. Although you need fat in your diet to stay healthy, you don’t need one specific type—trans-fat. Trans-fat, labeled as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on food packaging, is a man-made fat added to prepackaged baked goods, snacks, and margarine. It’s used to add flavor, texture, and extend shelf life. However, trans-fat offers no nutritional value while raising your bad cholesterol levels and lowering the good.

Read all food labels to avoid buying anything with trans-fat. Instead, eat healthy levels of good fat, which includes saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Don’t Sit for Too Long

Recent studies show that sitting for extended periods is detrimental to your health regardless of how much you may exercise. Combined studies that observed about 800,000 participants concluded that those who sat longest had 147 percent higher chance for a heart-related event. Doctors are now encouraging office workers to take breaks away from their desks or install standing work stations.

If you’d like to get on top of your heart health, make an appointment today with one of the skilled physicians at Park Avenue Medical Professionals. Our team specializes in cardiology and offers outstanding, compassionate care. Fill out the form on this page to request an appointment or call 212.427.2000 to learn more.

Request Appointment Now

Someone from our office will contact you as soon as possible. For immediate assistance during regular office hours, please call 212.427.2000 and select the correct prompt. If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest hospital.
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You can contact us by email at info@parkavedrs.com for all matters.


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