Everyday Habits Affecting Your Heart Health

Habits usually define a person’s life. Due to upbringing, situational circumstances, and personal preferences, various habits can be formed over time. They could be harmless; unless they affect the body adversely, and especially if they do not impact heart health.

The heart is easily one of the most vital organs of the body. Unfortunately, it naturally continues to cater to complications surrounding its working. The factors could range from underlying health disorders, to merely practicing certain habits for an extended period.

Types of Heart Damages

Before looking into which habits reduce the heart’s mortality, it is crucial to know how it can be damaged. There are majorly 4 types:

1.      Coronary Heart Disease

This is the most common heart problem. Plaque builds up within the walls of the coronary arteries, eventually blocking them. This limits flow to the heart’s muscles and slows down the pumping activity. Blocked arteries are usually the reason behind heart attacks.

2.      Heart Valve Disease

Four valves make up the pumping mechanism of the heart. There might be complications like:

  1. Thickening or fusing of any of these valves, preventing the valve from fully opening.
  2. Leakage of a valve, making blood to flow back into the heart.
  3. Congenital absence of a valve opening, which does not allow blood to flow through it.

3.      Arrhythmia

The heartbeat is caused due to an electric impulse being produced by certain parts of the organ. This enables the pumping function. Arrhythmia is a reference to a change in the normal electrical impulse.

This alteration can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly, leading to a wide range of symptoms and eventually, many heart diseases.

4.      Heart Failure

Sometimes the heart’s pumping rate is not enough to meet the body’s demand for blood and oxygen. This happens due to the weakening of the heart muscles. Over here, heart failure is indicated as the organ’s inability to work properly.

Habits that Affect Heart Health

Everyday habits formed over time are easily overlooked. All of them could collectively have an ill-effect on bodily health, including that of the heart. Some of the practices to watch out for are:

1.      Not Flossing

Flossing teeth has long been recommended to upkeep good teeth and mouth health.  However, the heart’s functioning seems to be related to flossing too.

While the exact relationship is unknown, people who flossed regularly showed a lower rate of developing heart diseases than those who skipped it. A sticky and bacteria-filled coating forms on the teeth if no flossing is carried out along with brushing. The bacteria in this plaque are said to trigger inflammation within the body, which is harmful to the heart.

2.      Sitting for a Long time

Lounging around all day is a health risk in many ways, and a lot of them can draw up various heart problems. People who do so are at two times the risk of heart failure than those who are active regularly.

Moving around for chores or taking walks daily is a much better option than working out regularly and then spending most of the day in one place. It is crucial to keep the arteries healthy and clear of plaque so that normal blood flow can carry on.

3.      Ignoring Mental Health

Mental well-being affects the health of the physical body more than people assume. One of the significant mental health influencers is stress.

Stress initiates an adrenaline rush in the body that increases the pace of the heartbeat. Long-term or hyperactive stress puts the heart in a semi-permanent emergency state. This would increase the chances of stroke or a heart attack since the organ is always working overtime.

Depression, anxiety, and isolation could lower the heart’s fitness, as well. It is crucial to get help for all of the above problems through therapy and medication. Exercise, a healthy diet, and self-love activities could aid in managing mental disorders.

4.      Excessive Salt Intake

Sodium increases blood pressure variably. High or unstable blood pressure is one of the leading reasons for heart failure or disease. The pressure is exerted on the organ’s muscles by the blood, adversely affecting the arteries’ pumping action and stability.

Salt is not easy to escape from. Modern-day foods like frozen meals, snacks, canned products, lunch meats, etc. are all rich in salt seasoning. Before buying preserved or instant food items, reading nutrition labels is advisable to steer clear from excessive sodium intake.

5.      Getting less sleep

A large chunk of the population does not have a good sleep cycle. Whether initiated by the person or not, various lifestyle choices make it challenging to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily.

The heart needs to rest. During sleep, the muscles relax, and the pumping slows down, promoting cardiovascular health. Exerting it to work through sleepless hours would give rise to high resting cortisol and adrenaline levels, similar to the effects of stress.

Any sleeping disorders like insomnia or apnea should be immediately treated with best sleeping disorders medications. In the long run, sleep deprivation can be the cause of a heart attack.

6.      Procrastinating Health

Assuming that a person is free of heart complications is not recommended. The age range of cardiovascular diseases is lowering, which calls for a focus on the body’s well-being as soon as one is above 18 years old.

Health check-ups for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. should be done regularly. These are significant symptoms of ‘silent’ killers like diabetes, stroke, and heart diseases.

7.      Extreme or No Exercise

The ‘weekend warrior syndrome’ is a tag for people who choose not to have any form of physical activity for most of the week, only to squeeze in intense exercise plans in a day or two.

Diving into strenuous activities for short periods or suddenly trying to intensely work-out would upset the heart’s functionality. The organ would find it hard to keep up with the pressure of changes and the imbalance, giving rise to the threat of chest pains and heart attacks. Regularity and moderation in all good habits is the way to go.

8.      Regular Alcohol consumption and Smoking

Everyone is well aware of the numerous negative notions surrounding alcohol and smoking. Limitations or complete restriction for both of these habits have been called for repeatedly and that too for a good reason.

Excessive alcohol is tied to increasing blood pressure, levels of blood fat, and heart failure. On the other hand, smoking encourages blood clots in the arteries and the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which would block the blood flow to the heart.


Many of these habits are either hard to give up or stay around due to lifestyle conditions. But the heart’s upkeep guarantees a long and healthy life, which is why some time, effort, and focus should be dedicated to bettering these conducts. In severe cases, professional and medical help should be readily taken.

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