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Bad Habits That Are a Heart Attack Trigger

Apr 15, 2019
Cardiology Clinic Suffolk County Ny

Protecting your heart not only benefits your health and potentially saves your life, it also helps you feel better and look better. The medical staff at Peconic Bay Medical Center want you to know that your heart health doesn’t have to be a mystery. You have more control over your health than you realize. The key to a healthy heart and cardiovascular system comes down to breaking a few habits. Learn more about the 5 bad habits that affect your heart and what you can do to start making changes today.


Even though most people know the risks associated with smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products like cigars and pipes, it’s important to continually stress how this affects your heart. Smoking isn’t good for your arteries or your heart. Taking steps to quit as soon as possible can drastically reduce your chances of having a heart attack. Also, don’t forget that secondhand smoke is just as bad for your heart. You should minimize contact with people who smoke while you’re around.

Lack of Physical Activity

Physical activity like walking, jogging, running, and playing sports can help regulate your blood flow and heart rate. Exercise strengthens your heart and improves circulation. If it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active, take it slow. Don’t put too much strain on your heart if you haven’t exercised in a long time. Aim for 30 minutes a day with light exercise routines like walking or swimming. Gradually increase your exercise level to jogging and running for 30 minutes to one hour a day.

Weight Gain

Anyone who carries extra weight, especially around their mid-section, is at an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. The good news is that you don’t have to lose a lot of weight to make a real difference. Dropping just 5%-10% of your frame makes a huge impact on heart health.

Unhealthy Diet

Are you eating the same unhealthy foods every day? The ideal healthy diet includes whole foods from all food groups. You want to eat foods that help lower blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. This reduces your risk of having heart disease. Eat more fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. The fewer processed foods in your diet, red meat, and sugar-sweetened drinks, the better your overall health will be.

Cardiology Clinic Suffolk County Ny

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. It also contributes to weight gain. Ideally, you want to cut as much alcohol out of your diet as possible. Women should stick with one drink a day, and men should not have more than two alcohol drinks a day.

If you struggle with one or more of these unhealthy habits, it’s a good idea to start making changes. It’s not always easy to change your lifestyle, especially if you have been eating unhealthily, smoking, drinking excessively, or not exercising for quite some time. However, making the effort will go a long way toward improving your heart health and safeguarding you from having a heart attack.

Change can feel overwhelming, so take it one step at a time. Look at your lifestyle and note an area you can begin to change immediately. Also, schedule a visit with a heart health doctor at Peconic Bay Medical Center’s cardiology clinic in Suffolk County, NY. We can help you stay ahead of a heart attack.