Three Lifestyle Habits That Are Killing Your Heart

Everyone has some risk of heart disease due to genetics. However, all other risk factors are dependent upon lifestyle choices: eating healthy vs. junk food, for example. Certain things you do every day may increase your risk of developing heart disease. So what should you avoid to give your heart a fighting chance?

Here are three lifestyle habits to nix now for a healthier heart:

1. Diet Soda Drinker

Most people understand that soda is unhealthy, so naturally they swap it out for diet soda. Unfortunately, diet soda isn't any better. In fact, it may be worse than regular, full-sugared, soda. According to NBC News, diet soda drinkers are more likely to develop heart disease. In particular, women are 30 percent more likely to develop the deadly disease if they drink more than two of the zero-calorie fizzy drinks a day.

So if you are looking to live a healthier lifestyle, limit your intake of soda — even if it is a low-calorie or zero-calorie substitute. Your body and heart will thank you.

2. Too Little Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun is quite controversial. The sun is bad one day and the next it's good. It can be confusing. However, sun exposure is important to the body. Without the sun, you don't get enough Vitamin D. According to John Hopkins Medicine, a lack of Vitamin D can lead to heart disease, heart failure, and other heart disorders.  

So while you shouldn't spend all day soaking up the UV rays, you should spend some time outdoors each day. If you live in an area that doesn't get much sun, consider investing in a sun light, which mimics the sun's natural rays. Alternatively, you can take a Vitamin D supplement.

3. You're Too Stressed

Most everyone feels stress. However, high levels of prolonged stress can contribute to heart problems. According to the American Heart Association, stress can cause high blood pressure and ulcers. It can also exacerbate current heart problems as adrenaline causes the heart to beat faster.

While you cannot eliminate stress, you can find healthier ways to manage it. Exercise, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. If you feel particularly stressed, try to meditate or do some yoga to calm down. 

Heart disease is a deadly problem for many Americans. If you want to limit your chance of getting the deadly disease, incorporate these healthy lifestyle habits and nix the bad ones. Talk with a doctor at a place like Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology if you believe your child is at risk for developing an unhealthy lifestyle that could lead to heart disease as the factors mentioned above affect them as well.