Five Unexpected Practices Which Will Protect You From Heart Attacks
Many scientists are of the opinion that the greatest risk factor for heart problems is aging. You don’t see much heart failure before the age of 40. But age itself is just a statistical fact, a frontier of sorts, after which unhealthy habits begin to have a more severe effect.
Theoretically, decreasing the amount of traumatizing factors over the course of one’s life can delay the development of cardiovascular diseases. According to the American Heart Association data, risk factors that may not seem that important to you when you are 40 years old can manifest after you reach 60.
You probably don’t need to hear from us about the benefits of taking walks or the adverse effects of white flour or sugar. But here are five more factors that are less talked about:
- Get rid of fears
For most of us, our heart begins to beat slower with age. But for others, the opposite happens, it begins to beat faster. Israeli researchers believe that faster heart rates appear in those who have lived in constant fear. First of all, this concerns those who live in war zones. But there can also be reasons to panic in peacetime: getting fired, divorce, debt… Often the expectation of unpleasant things is scarier than the things themselves. Women living in abusive relationships are also at risk. It might be possible that an appointment with a psychologist will protect your heart more than aerobics.
- Don’t sleep more than 8 hours a night
In recent years much has been said about the harmful effects of lack of sleep, and many have come to the conclusion that “the more you sleep, the longer you’ll live.” It turns out this is a mistake. Lots of research proves that people who sleep 9 or more hours a night (like those who sleep less than 7 hours a night) are one-and-a-half times more likely to have a heart attack in the next 6 years. 7-8 hours a night is ideal, whereas deviations in either direction are not healthy.
- Reconsider your medicine cabinet
Around the age of 40, many people face the severe problem of hypercoagulation (or, more simply, blood clotting).
Over the years, factors that contribute to blood thickening accumulate, leading to blood clots. These clots can block arteries in the brain, heart, liver, or lungs, which in turn can cause heart attacks, strokes, or even death. According to data from the American Heart Association, hypercoagulation is caused by a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, medications containing estrogen (like birth control), and changes in metabolism. This is a good time to reexamine your medicine cabinet, discuss alternate methods of contraception with your doctor, and choose supplements that support your metabolism as well as blood-thinning pills (anticoagulants).
- Dress more warmly
Obviously, doing physical activities in the fresh air is better for you than doing them inside. For this reason, many would rather ice skate than run on the treadmill in the winter. However, the American Heart Association also warns that hypothermia causes additional risks to the cardiovascular system. It’s especially dangerous when you suddenly cool down after a run. You may not even notice when your body temperature falls below 35 degrees, which means your body is no longer able to support basic life functions. Your blood vessels, heart, and brain suffer first; this is why doctors advise us to dress in layers during the winter. You should also always wear a hat, gloves, and warm socks; ears, hands, and feet are the main points at which heat escapes. In the summer, the danger of hypothermia can be found when swimming outdoors. While we’re swimming, we may not notice the cold. But being in water less than 20 degrees for a long period of time has the same effects as taking a walk in winter without a hat and gloves.
- See the dentist regularly
Yes! This is connected to a healthy heart! Research confirms that gum disease is directly connected to heart disease. Keeping your teeth healthy and following basic mouth hygiene seriously lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future.
If you start following this advice right now, your chances of retiring in good health will greatly increase.