Health Tips from Heart Doctors
Heart disease kills more people in America than cancer, respiratory disease and Alzheimer's combined and that's especially true for women and it's very preventable. Here are some health tips from cardiac physicians.
Eat Smaller Portions
Have you ever been at a restaurant and placed your order only to find that the portion is way more than you think you can eat, but you eat it all anyway? Yeah. Don't do that. Twenty years ago, when you ordered spaghetti and meatballs, you'd get one meal with a cup of pasta, sauce and three small meatballs which registered about 500 calories. Now, it's twice as much! That's a thousand calories. Keep that in mind when you order that it's actually about two meals. One cardiologist says that "the secret to maintaining heart health is to consume an adequate portion size and burn off the calories." It's also a good idea to drink a lot of water with dinner so you eat less.
When you watch a funny movie and laugh, your blood vessels relax and increase blood flow. When you watch a movie that stresses you out, the opposite happens. If you don't unwind and laugh every now and then, it could be bad for your heart. One study at the University of Maryland showed that those who had heart disease laughed 40 percent less than those who didn't have it.
If you don't get enough sleep, your heart can weaken and lead to heart attacks. Especially in older people. Lack of sleep can also lead to high blood pressure and raise your risk for an irregular heartbeat, so if you're tired, go to bed or take a nap.
Catch Some Rays
No idea why, but apparently low vitamin D levels seem to increase your chances for having heart disease and your body makes vitamin D when you expose it to sun light, but don't forget to wear sunblock otherwise you may create a whole new set of problems.
Even if you only smoke a few cigarettes per day, you're still significantly increasing your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. In a study of 15 thousand heart attack patients, smoking between one and five cigarettes per day increases your risk of a heart attack by 40 percent, so stop smoking.