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7 habits that put your heart at risk

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death among both men and women in the US. The good news is that some simple, everyday habits can help you lower your risk for heart disease and live a healthier life.

Below are the heartbreakers—the worst habits that put your heart at risk—and some recommendations on how to deal with them.

1. Watching TV

Even if you exercise regularly, sitting in front of a TV for hours each day can put you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

Instead, try to walk around periodically and stand up during commercials.

2. Stressing out

How you handle stress, depression and hostility can take a toll on your heart. Those who internalize emotions are at a higher risk.

Find someone you can discuss stressful issues with. Research proves that laughter and social support provide benefits to your health.

3. Snoring

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Snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that can lead to high blood pressure if left untreated. This leads to a higher risk of heart disease.

If you snore and often awake feeling tired, consult with your physician. They can perform a simple screen to determine if your snoring is affecting your heart (as well as your spouse!).

4. Skipping the floss

Although the exact reason isn’t known, there is a strong link between gum disease and heart disease. One theory is that the build-up of plaque initiates the inflammation process in the body. Inflammation is the primary cause of atherosclerosis.

So, floss! A simple two minutes each day can save your heart.

5. ‘Yo-yo’ exercising

Diving headfirst into an exercise routine with goals set too high can lead to failure. Exercise has many benefits to heart health, but the key is being consistent with your movement.

Start off exercise regiments slowly and build up gradually. It is better to keep a constant exercise schedule than to burn yourself out and stop exercising all together.

6. Becoming a hermit

People with strong connections to family, friends and society tend to live longer and more healthy lives. Stay in touch with the people in your life. They probably miss you!

7. Consuming too much alcohol

There are studies that suggest a small amount of alcohol consumption can be beneficial for heart health. However, if you overdo it, you are actually causing harm to your health. Excess alcohol is linked to greater risk of high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats and heart failure.

Limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

So, get off the couch and start living! By following the above recommendations, you can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attack and death.

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7 habits that put your heart at risk