Heart problems are a major medical issue. Over 28 million U.S. adults have heart disease. There are certain habits that put us at more risk for developing it. Research has shown that having just one of these habits significantly increases the risk of death related to heart issues. Below are the habits in detail.

1. Smoking: While it’s well documented that smoking is bad for the lungs, it is also bad for the heart. It damages heart tissue and hardens the arteries, making it harder to pump blood. This causes the heart to have to work harder.

2. Lack of physical activity: There is an increasingly large body of scientific evidence showing how exercise is the closest we have to a magic potion that guards against chronic illness.

3. Eating a poor diet: Lack of proper nutrition can lead to many negative health consequences, heart issues being one of them. A diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good sources of protein goes a long way to overall health. Try to eat as few processed foods as possible and limit salt intake.

4. Not aiming for a healthy weight: Extra pounds, especially around the belly, strain the heart. For those who are overweight, losing just 5% of body weight makes a major difference for blood pressure and blood sugar.

5. Heavy drinking: While studies show some alcohol intake is fine, it’s best to drink no more than two drinks a day if you are a man or one if you are a woman.

6. Not getting enough sleep: Our cardiovascular system gets a rest while we sleep. Studies show that the rhythms the heart undergoes during slumber promote heart health.

Our hearts are a vital organ. They keep our blood pumping and us going. Living a balanced and healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure our hearts stay in working order.

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