Your heart is the primary organ you need to protect for a healthy and long life. In addition to obvious methods, getting adequate amounts of sleep, losing weight and even laughing is beneficial for your heart
As a heart surgeon, I touch the hearts of approximately 100 people on average and through this platform I try to share my experiences and recommendations and the clues to a healthier life, reaching thousands of people. Thus, I strive to ensure that they stay away from the surgery table.
You need to act meticulously and look after the center of the power you need to live located in the middle of your chest. Of course, that is if you want to lead a long and healthy life. First, you need to be aware of the main duty of your heart. Your body needs blood and oxygen to survive. The heart is the main source for these basic needs.
But what are the supportive actions to take in this respect? The long-term research conducted says that in order to protect your heart, you first need to develop healthy habits. These are not just formulas, but habits that need to be learned and continued. Sleeping comes first on the list. These days many people are faced with sleeping problems. Not having enough and quality sleep also leads to various problems during the day. Research indicates that the average sleeping time has dropped 1.5-2 hours a night on average within the last 50 years. According to a meta-analysis published in the European Heart Journal, those who get less sleep are 48 percent more prone to heart diseases. Similar research exploring the relationship between sleep and heart diseases also indicated that seven to eight hours of sleep protects the body against cardiovascular diseases.
The second most important factor after sleep is getting rid of excess weight! Losing weight to improve your heart health isn't just a cliché recommendation; moreover, it's a must. Excessive weight leaves irreversible damage on your heart. Don't forget the structure and size of your heart muscle doesn't change at the beginning. However, excess weight causes your body to expand, meaning your heart has to pump blood to a wider area than it's used to. Can you imagine how hard and damaging this would be? If we consider heart diseases on their own, we may list high blood pressure as one of the triggers. Research proves that even losing five kilos is adequate to lower blood pressure. Losing excessive weight also enables you to become more energetic during the day. When you consider that your larger body will be using the limited energy you have to carry itself from one place to another, you can realized that once you lose weight, you can achieve many others things with this extra energy you have.
Did you know that another way to protect your heart health is smiling, and even laughing? Smiling is like a magical wand for your heart. When you smile, your body undergoes physiological changes. Your muscles, starting from your face, tighten. Your tightened muscles cause your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Thus, you have more oxygen in your blood meaning more oxygen reaches your tissues. Smiling is the simplest form of exercise. Moreover, you can lose about 50 calories by smiling for about 10 to 15 minutes a day. Other research on the benefits of smiling also demonstrated that the levels of stress hormones drop, good cholesterol (HDL) increase and the chances of vasculitis decrease during smiling. That is why I recommend you watch a comedy at least once a week. Have you heard of the good effects of comedies on health before?
Human relations also have positive and negative impacts on your heart health. Did you have a bad day? Don't sit and brood about how bad your day was, just forget it! It was revealed that spending time with people you enjoy, who makes your troubles go away also decreases the pressure on the heart. Therefore, meet people you love at least two times a week. Being away from stress also provides great benefits indirectly. You can lose belly fat more easily when you're stress-free. As a result, you take another step toward protecting your heart.
Daily intake of aspirin is also another method. However, this doesn't apply to everyone! Baby aspirin, when used regularly, decreases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The latest research also proves that aspirin may also have another surprising benefit. It is effective on preventing certain types of cancers. Men above 50, women above 60, who haven't had heart attacks but are in the risk group, may take an aspirin a day upon the recommendation of their doctors. However, doctors' recommendations and approval are crucial at this point. You shouldn't start an aspirin cure on your own.
Before getting into any habits for a healthier heart, thus a better and longer life, consult to your physician. Something that may be beneficial for your heart may be damaging another system. If you experience shortness of breath and chest pains, these may be signs of heart diseases. Starting exercising or other activities in this case may be dangerous and it's crucial to seek medical advice. Focus on the messages your body is trying to convey. Don't forget that no one can know your body better than you nor can they read its signs.
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