Keeping your heart healthy should be one of your top priorities. Your heart performs several important functions that help keep you alive and healthy. You should already be aware of how diet and exercise can affect the health of your heart, but you may not know about these unexpected ways to keep your heart healthy.
Catch Your ZZZs
Staying up too late and waking up too early might be doing more harm to your body than you realize. In 2011, a review of sleep studies conducted on almost 475,000 participants revealed that people who received fewer hours of sleep (less than 7 hours on average) had a 48% increased risk to develop or suffer a fatal episode of coronary heart disease. Those who get less sleep also have a 15% higher chance of developing or suffering a fatal stroke.
Evidence is still a little unclear as to why this connection exists. Doctors speculate that the lack of sleep negatively affects essential internal processes such as blood pressure and metabolism. Either way, you want to strive for a solid 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Clean Mouth, Healthy Heart
You may be surprised to learn that your overall health begins with your mouth. The most common dental health issue that can lead to cardiovascular conditions is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can show itself in a myriad of different ways including bleeding of the gums when you brush, sour or bad breath, or even loose teeth.
The connection between periodontal disease and heart disease is thought to start with the bacteria in your mouth which cause periodontal disease. When these bacteria are swallowed or get into the bloodstream via cuts/abrasions, the toxins they secrete can travel through your bloodstream to your heart. They are also thought to be connected to the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries.
To prevent this series of unfortunate events, follow the instructions from your dentist regarding the care and washing of your mouth on a daily basis. Beyond that, misaligned teeth can also increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, so teeth aligners can be another prevention strategy.
Relieve Your Stress
When your physician tells you that you need to reduce the amount of stress you’re under, they’re not saying that just to be kind. Stress is incredibly toxic to your body. It can cause increased blood pressure, weight gain, cardiac disease, and premature aging.
One great method you can employ to help to reduce your stress levels is to meditate. Meditation has been used by humans for decades to help mitigate the symptoms of stress and return the mind and body to a relaxed, harmonious state. Due to blood pressure-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil and edibles are being studied as a supplement for those prone to heart disease. Coenzyme Q10 is another popular supplement for heart health that plays an important role as the co-enzyme for at least three mitochondrial enzymes as well as enzymes in other parts of heart cells.
Owning a dog can also relieve stress. Because dogs provide emotional comfort and love, studies show that dogs can have a therapeutic effect on people. Dogs can lower blood pressure, stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, and produce general feelings of calmness. If stress is a problem in your life, then owning a dog could help alleviate some of your symptoms.
Don’t take your heart for granted. Look for ways to improve your health and keep your heart working at peak efficiency. Sleep, dental care, and meditation are all simple ways to stay heart healthy. For more information on improving your health and vitality, contact us at Achieve Health USA.