6 Habits That Can Keep Your Heart Healthy

To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, one does not need to do a complete overhaul of the lifestyle. Moreover many simple habits can keep heart healthy and easy to adopt.

"There are some small changes you can make in everyday life but can deliver tremendous impact on cardiovascular health," said Dr. Richard Becker of Duke University Medical Center and a spokesman for the American Heart Association.

Listen to-6 simple habits that can keep heart healthy as quoted from ABCNews, Monday (11/02/2013) following.

1. Yoga
A number of studies have revealed that yoga can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure and inflammation in blood vessels.

One of them, a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine who found that patients with AF or atrial fibrillation (the upper chambers of the heart to contract abnormally) who regularly do yoga in addition to taking drugs reported having contractions abnormal less than patients who only consume drugs medicines.

Moreover, although not completely cure AF, practice yoga regularly, at least twice a week for three months, patients also improve cardiovascular health by reducing levels of anxiety and lower resting heart rates (resting heart rate) significantly.

2. Close to the people who loved
Have an intimate relationship with another person, whether it be as a friend, lover or relative can lower the risk of heart attack by 50 percent, especially for people who've been there. This was stated by a study conducted in 2004.

Another study from the State University of New York, Oswego also found a person's blood pressure will decrease when the person in question to spend time with his partner.

Becker also agreed that either pairs or groups, in fact, interact with others it can help maintain heart health, although he admitted that he was not sure why.

"It could be that strong social bonds urge someone to have a better healthy habits and reduce depression. But it could also be due to neurological and hormonal changes that lead to reduced stress and anxiety," he explained.

3. Eating dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has high concentrations of cocoa. Though rich in antioxidant intake is known to relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.

As long as they do not overdo it. According to Becker, 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate alone is enough to give tremendous benefits for the heart without the need for added fat, sugar or other caloric.

4. Don't be Lazy
While a number of researchers from the University of South Carolina analyzed the daily movement patterns in lazy adult, they found that participants who were most active during the day 64 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease than men who do not really sedenter lifestyle.

Because spending too much time lazing on the couch or chair will accumulate unhealthy fat around the heart and improve cholesterol levels, blood sugar, triglycerides and waist circumference widen, even for people who exercise regularly though.

Even so, a study featured in the European Heart Journal suggests that taking a break or a short break from lazing day will cut the negative impact on the health of the heart.

5. Eating salad
Eat a heart-healthy salad. Start with a base of green vegetables as a source of vitamins and phytochemicals that can reduce the risk of heart disease and depression. Then add the steamed asparagus or a few slices of avocado. Both contain folate which helps prevent blood vessel inflammation.

To lower LDL or bad cholesterol, you may also add almonds or cranberries, then after it closed with vinaigrette sauce. A study from Harvard University shows that two tablespoons of vinaigrette sauce a day can lower the risk of heart disease in women.

6. Sleep
It feels awkward but too much or too little sleep can really hurt your heart. Last year, a study conducted by the Chicago Medical School found that people who sleep less than 6 hours two times greater risk for having a stroke or heart attack, including 1.5 times more likely to have heart failure.

Conversely those who sleep more than 8 hours a night are more likely to experience chest pain and coronary heart disease.

Hours allegedly inadequate sleep can trigger the immune system to release high amounts of stress hormones that result in increased blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar. Similarly, the short bedtime because they tend to be heavier than the average person, and this is dangerous for the heart.

Nevertheless, many researchers who claim to have no idea why too much sleep can also impair heart. But a number of studies show that people who sleep too much vulnerable depressed and unmotivated to exercise. Or it could be they are running out of time and energy to do some healthy habits are good for the heart.

"Maybe 8 hours seems pretty ideal. But sleep will not affect heart health unless nutrition, activity, stress management and healthy habits you are also a mess," added Becker.


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