Doing these three odd daily habits could help boost your heart health
Heart disease is one of Australia’s biggest killers, accounting for one death every 12 minutes in Australia1. You can boost your heart health in more ways than one. For starters with the known culprits healthy eating and an active lifestyle, but these three weird and wacky ways have also been scientifically proven to help your ticker, trick.
1. Order the big breaky
Well, you are going to need to avoid the lashings of bacon, hashbrown and the chipolata’s but a 2018 study has revealed that those who ate a high-energy diet had healthier arteries than those who ate little or no breakfast at all. Dr Sotirios Tsalamandris, a cardiologist at the First Cardiology Clinic at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, reported "eating a breakfast constituting more than 20 per cent of the total daily caloric intake may be of equal or even greater importance than a person's specific dietary pattern, such as whether they follow the Mediterranean diet, a low-fat diet or another dietary pattern.2" Whilst the cause of these findings were not clear, the researchers thought it may be because people who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier food overall and have fewer unhealthy habits such as smoking. It may also be that specific breakfast foods consumed in the high-energy group, such as dairy products, may benefit heart health.
2. Switch off the TV
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s time to abandon the sofa once and for all. Researchers have found that people who enjoy tuning into television regularly are almost twice as likely to have plaque buildup in their arteries in comparison to those who don’t. Why’s this? “Even activities of low energy expenditure, such as socializing with friends or housework, may have a substantial benefit to your health compared to time spent sitting and watching TV," Tsalamandris said. Not only that, the study revealed that TV watchers also had an increased risk of other cardiovascular factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
3. Exercise snacking
It’s time to ditch the escalator and take the stairs or chow down on a ‘exercise snack’. Yes, ‘exercise snacking’ is a new buzzword and it’s a real thing, doctors and scientists around the globe can’t get enough of it. Forget using time as an excuse for skipping a workout, exercise snacking is defined as short bursts of high-intensity exercise three to four times a day.
A Canadian study released in 2018, found that participants who climbed stairs for 10 minutes at a time 3-4 times a day saw an improvement in cardiovascular fitness and strength. “We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” says Jonathan Little, assistant professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus and study co-author. “Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness.”
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