Smoking; if you do give it up, if you don't then don't start.
If you want to have a healthy heart then no amount of smoking is safe. So called low tar or mild cigarettes also are dangerous, as is breathing in other people's smoke.
Cigarette smoke contains thousands of different chemicals. Many of these can damage your heart and blood vessels, making you more likely to have hardening or narrowing of the arteries.
Narrowing of the arteries can ultimately lead to a heart attack.
Also nicotine in cigarette smoke puts stress on your heart forcing it to work harder by constricting blood vessels and pushing up your heart rate and raising your blood pressure. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke is very toxic and replaces some of the oxygen in your blood. This pushes up your blood pressure by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen. Even occasional smoking while at a bar or restaurant with friends is dangerous and increases the risk of heart disease.
Women who smoke and take the pill are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke than are those who don't. Worse, this risk increases with age, especially for those over 35.Also worth noting pregnant women who smoke are taking serious risks with the health of their unborn child.
The good news, though, is that when you quit smoking, your risk of heart disease drops significantly within just one year. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you'll feeling better and be recovering as soon as you quit.
There are many groups and programmes to help you quit smoking you could ask your doctor for details of health service programmes.
Regular exercise and reasonably energetic physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease by almost a quarter. And when you combine physical activity with a healthy lifestyle, such as looking after your weight,and keeping to a healthy and balanced diet.
Regular physical activity helps prevent heart disease by increasing blood flow to your heart and strengthening your heart and lungs so that your heart pumps more blood with less effort. Physical activity also helps you maintain your weight and can reduce your chances of developing other conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also reduces stress, which may also be a factor in heart disease.
So make the effort a thirty minute brisk walk every day can have very beneficial effect on your heart and blood pressure,remember even small changes can reap big benefits.
A healthy balanced diet is essential in maintaining a healthy heart, fruits vegetables and wholegrains are amongst the elements that should be consumed regularly.
Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may lower your risk of heart attack, and lower blood pressure. Some fish are a good natural source of omega-3s. Omega-3s are present in smaller amounts in flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, and they can also be taken in supplements.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle also means drinking alcohol only in moderation no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. Above that, it becomes a health hazard.
Remember before making any major lifestyle or dietary changes make an appointment and discuss your changes with your doctor.