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10 Tips to Make Your Heart Healthier

Heart health is a serious issue, especially in America, where one in every four deaths is related to heart disease. Here are 10 helpful tips to keep your heart in great shape.

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Heart health is a serious issue, especially in America, where one in every four deaths is related to heart disease. That’s over 600,000 deaths a year.   Your heart is crucial to your overall health, and you need to take better care of it. Humans are living longer in general and our heart is working harder than ever.

Cardiovascular health isn’t easy, so strap in and get ready for another full time job.   Just because you are younger doesn’t mean you are out of danger, heart disease affects people of all ages.

Here are 10 helpful tips to keep your heart in great shape.

See Your Doctor

You should be having a physical every year, not just to keep your doctor’s wallet full either. A yearly check up will keep your health on track and make sure you aren’t in any risk. I like to put this one first because it really is so important. It is better to find out if you have any risk or issues that need attention early, so they can be addressed. Most insurance plans allow one yearly physical so it shouldn’t cost you more than your co-pay, so you have no excuses.

Make sure your doctor checks your ticker with a full cardiovascular workup, along with your normal checkup.

 

Exercise

Your heart is a muscle, so you have to exercise it. Most people workout to lose weight or stay in shape, but they don’t realize they are working their heart out as well. Doctors recommend a 30-minute workout five times a week to keep your ticker pumping blood.   It’s not easy to get these workouts in everyday so try and keep yourself motivated with a workout partner or maybe a FitBit.   Regardless of how you do it, just do it, like Nike always says.

 

Lose Weight

Overweight people have a much higher chance of getting vascular disease so you have to lose weight. Weight problems can cause a litany of problems including high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Get on a diet and start working out, it will literally save your life. No one wants to die young, so eat healthy and live longer, period.

 

Laughter

Well, they say that laughter is the best medicine and they are right. Laughing releases endorphins into your body and releases good cholesterol into your bloodstream. So go see a stand up show or just goof around with some friends to keep your heart healthy.

 

Sleep

Doctors recommend 6-8 hours of sleep a night for a reason, its healthy. Your heart will thank you. Sleep is your body’s recovery time so getting enough is key to overall health. Too little sleep cause normal functions of the body to be less effective, putting stress on the heart.

 

Stress Less

Stress is a silent killer but it is a main cause of high blood pressure in America.   When your body is stressed, it has to work extra hard for normal routines, this added workload hurts your heart. Try and relieve some stress every day, whether it is by meditating or breathing techniques.

 

Quit Smoking

Wait, why are you still smoking anyway? Science has proven that cigarettes are horrible for your health overall and are killers to hearts. The CDC says that smoking greatly increases your risk of heart disease, so do you need any more reasons to quit. Second hand smoke is a killer too, so keep smokers out of your life and for the love of al that is good, please don’t smoke near kids.

 

Eat Heart Healthy

Your food is your body’s fuel, so don’t put junk in your tank. Eat a heart healthy diet and you will have a happy heart. Follow the American Heart association’s diet plan and you can still eat all your favorite foods, just healthier. You don’t have to be on a seriously restrictive diet, just be smart and eat less bad foods.

Fill up on omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish oil pills to supplement your heart.

 

Brush Your Dang Teeth

Who knew that brushing your teeth would stop you from having heart disease, but it does. Researchers have found that people with gum disease often end up with cardiovascular disease. The bacteria involved in gum disease can make its way to the heart and destroy it from the inside.

So, basically brush twice a day and floss regularly. Get checked out by the dentist as well, so you don’t get gum disease.

 

Sexual Activity

Sex is another way to work out your heart, and more fun than running on a treadmill. Just being touched by someone lowers heart risk, by lowering blood pressure and stress.  Love truly can cure all and it certainly helps with your heart. Find some love out there or at the least some human contact.

 

Follow these easy 10 tricks and keep your heart in great shape and pumping life juice for years to come.

 

Photos courtesy of Fellowship, st.Marys, epainassist, NewHealthCorp

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Beauty

A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health

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Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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