|10 Helpful Tips to Prevent Heart Disease|
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1. Whittle your middle
If you're shaped more like an apple than a pear, you're at a higher risk for heart disease. The risk rises when waist size goes over 35 inches for women and over 40 for men. The best way to reduce your waist size is by losing weight and exercising, but a study published in the journalLipids noted that dietary supplements with coconut oil may also help shrink belly fat.
Studies point to a link between gum disease and higher rates of heart disease. Experts suggest two theories about why this is so. One is that mouth bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and increase artery plaque, which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Another is that our bodies create inflammation in response to the infection, causing blood cells to swell and narrowing arteries. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends flossing at least once a day to prevent gum disease.
Floss at least once a day to reduce your risk of a heart attack.
3. Sweat when you exercise
It's not how much time you spend working out but how hard you're doing it. You need to pump up your heart rate until you're perspiring. Experts advise pushing till you're modestly out of breath. (If you can sing, you're not working out hard enough. If you can't talk, you're overdoing it.)
4. Get enough vitamin D
"Low levels of vitamin D can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack," says Steven Masley, M.D., author of The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up. Ask your doc to test your levels and prescribe the right supplement dosage for you.
5. Cuddle more
Snuggling not only feels good — it reduces stress and triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure. Don't have a reliable cuddle partner? Rescue a pup from the pound.
6. Think outside the pillbox
If you're taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for chronic pain, you might want to try promising alternative treatments instead. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just strengthened its warning against NSAIDs, saying they can increase heart attack and stroke risk even if you've been taking them only a short while. Possible relief alternatives for chronic pain include acupuncture, biofeedback, therapeutic touch, Reiki, hypnosis, chiropractic adjustments — even medical marijuana.
7. Keep it down
Research shows that for every 10 decibels of added roadway traffic noise near your home, your risk of stroke increases by 10 percent.
8. Stick with your statins
If you've been prescribed statins, take them as directed. Studies show they're effective in preventing heart attacks, particularly for those with a genetic predisposition or who have survived a heart attack. A new study published in theJournal of the American Medical Association confirms that when statin use is widened to include people at medium risk, this further reduces deaths from heart disease.
9. LOL at those online cat videos
Laughing out loud — we always crack up at the vid of the kitten in the hamster ball — causes your blood vessels to dilate by 22 percent, which helps improve blood flow and, in turn, lowers blood pressure. Purrrrfect.
10. Stop stewing
Forgiveness helps to reduce blood pressure and lower your heart rate, especially when it comes to betrayal and conflict, according to a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.Researchers hypothesize that releasing anger decreases stress, a known trigger of heart disease.