By: Cecile Anthony-Bryan

There are many things that can cause danger to your ticker.  Here I give you seven of the most popular dangers that can lead to heart attacks and/or heart failures. You don’t need to be the neighborhood health addict, but you just need to stop making a few common blunders that elevate the risk of heart disease.

  1. Excessive Smoking

Heavy smokers know they should quit.  So, should occasional smokers.  In fact, no one has it worse than a second-hand smoker.  Innocently standing around with the avid smoker and while they are exhaling, the second-hand smoker is inhaling.

  1. Skipping Your Walk

When you tend to drive daily, your body gets relaxed and set in a state of comfortability.  Whether you drive or take public transportation, it is good to take a brisk walk on a daily basis.  You don’t have to be physically active, but try to a 30-minute walk or exercise into your daily regimen and you will start to see and feel a difference.

  1. An Extra Snack

Don’t skip a meal and figure you will take a snack instead.  Bypass those temptations (junk food) and grab a quick bite to eat.  If you are over 40, the weight creeps up on you quicker than when you were in your teens or early twenties. Start a better eating pattern and see the weight loss begin and/or see how much you start to not gain the extra pounds.  If you are one that needs a snack, then replace your junk food with fruits, nuts and/or a healthy chip.  A cheat day is good, but be mindful of how much cheating you are doing weekly.

  1. Eating Out of a Box

Fast food is the number health hazard.  Majority of fast foods are fried and saturated in oil.  If you venture over to a fast food joint, instead of getting a boxed meal, get something in a bowl, like a salad.

  1. You Ignore Your Veggies

A lot of foods seem healthy in nature, but most lack nutritional value.  Try to eat a serving of fruits and/or vegetables with every meal.  Don’t care for actual vegetables on your plate, the healthy alternative is a salad or a vegetable soup.  Maybe even consider adding your vegetables to your smoothies.  Try potassium-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, beets, beans and/or yogurt.

  1. Stress

Don’t lose your cool.  Chronic stress can put you and your heart at a health risk.  Raising your blood pressure can add stress to the heart.  Learn to ignore some things.  If you find that the same people are causing your daily grief or are part of the reason for elevated pressure, then change your circle.  Same way you have to cut out certain foods, cut out certain people.

  1. Over-Drinking

Yes, most people say “A Drink A Day, Keeps The Doctor Away!”  That may be particularly true with wine, but not with hard liquor.  Either way, drinking should be done in moderation.  Statistics show, that drinking on a daily basis should be kept to a minimum, 1 drink for women and no more than 2 drinks for men.  If you are a person who loves a beer with your drink, then consider the 2 together, your 2 drinks.  Tomorrow is always another day.  Also, be mindful if you are taking medication.  Same rules apply as drinking is prohibited for pregnant women, it is also prohibited with taking medication.

When you take into consideration certain things you do on a daily basis and you moderate the 7 blunders listed above, you will find that things change: You wake up feeling good, you feel motivated to walk and/or work out and you may even find that you get a better night’s sleep.

Make good choices to live a better life! We only have 1, so take care of it!