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3 Best and Worst Things you can do for Your Heart

That's how it can appear, at least. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States – that much is clear. Every week, though, it appears that a new threat to one of your body's most critical organs is discovered in a news report or study.

Heart health, on the other hand, does not have to be difficult. To make it easier to understand, heart experts from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have narrowed down the options to the three best — and three worst — things you can do for your heart.

“If you can incorporate these things into your daily life, you're giving yourself a much better chance to live a long and healthy life free of heart disease,” says James Stein, MD, director of preventive cardiology at UW Health and professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Public Health.

Three Ways to Raise Your Heart Disease Risk

To begin, there is some unpleasant news. You're raising your chances of heart disease if you perform any of the following things.

Puffing. If you're one of the millions of Americans who still smoke, know that each puff increases your risk of a life-threatening heart attack by a factor of ten. Tobacco smoke contains substances that raise blood pressure, lower good cholesterol (HDL), and harm not only your blood vessels but also those of others. However, if you can quit smoking for good, you can cut your risk practically instantly and erase tobacco's detrimental effects in three years.

Dr. Stein adds that stopping smoking is the single most important thing you can do to improve your heart's health. “It's the most effective way to safeguard your heart, brain, and immune system, as well as to avoid cancer.”

Completing the six-pack in its entirety. Don't be fooled by news headlines that suggest having one or two drinks a day to keep your heart healthy — this is not a prescription. Alcohol is a calorie-dense beverage, and two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese. It's typically not worth the long-term hazards when a tiny drink has 100-150 calories. It also causes high blood pressure to rebound the next day, makes your heart more sensitive to aberrant rhythms, and can even damage and weaken your heart muscle.

“Alcohol has a complicated effect on the heart,” Stein explains. “However, for heart health, it's a good general rule not to drink alcohol. Drink strictly in moderation if you do consume alcohol. That implies one ounce of hard liquor, four ounces of wine, and 12 ounces of beer every day.”

The spare tire is inflated. Belly fat, or a large spare tire, has lately been proven to be a powerful predictor of heart disease risk, according to researchers. Indeed, according to one recent study, every two inches of extraintestinal length increases your risk of heart disease by nearly 20%.

There are three things you may do to lower your chances of developing heart disease.

Let's get on to the good stuff and improve your health.

Obtain an evaluation of your risk. The majority of Americans are gravely uninformed of how their age, genetics, and lifestyle choices influence their heart health. The single most critical thing you can do, according to UW experts, estimates your risk of a heart attack or death.

Your doctor can help you measure your risk by identifying the key statistics — blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and waist circumference.

Lose a few pounds. The term "diet" is conspicuously missing from this list. If you're among the majority of Americans who are obese or overweight, getting to a healthy weight is your objective. Experts at the University of Washington recommend achieving this goal by eating fewer portions of healthful meals rather than trying the latest fad diet or going without food entirely.

Dr. Stein explains, “The question boils down to the type and amount of food you eat.” “Not all diets are meant to promote heart health. Red meat, fried meals, and sugar are all avoided in a healthy diet. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and fowl are featured prominently.”

Exercise. Apart from eating well, getting off the couch and doing something, anything, to burn calories and stimulate your heart muscle is another strategy to lose weight.

“The more you exercise, the better,” Stein explains. “Improve your energy-burning abilities. Even a half-hour walk three times a week can help your heart – yet the more you do, the more likely you are to lose weight.”

Three steps forward and three steps backward. It'll make your heart happy. Share, like and leave a comment for more related articles. Thank you.

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James Stein University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health


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