You’ve heard it before. Stop smoking. Be less stressed. Lose the extra weight. But why are these things important? When you understand the reasons, it makes it easier to take action.
A cardiologist at St. Luke’s University Health Network explains, “The reason smoking is bad is simple: the chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your heart, your blood cells, and the structure of your blood vessels. It leads to a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up, then hardens in your arteries, limiting the blood supply to your vital organs.”
They go on to say, “Stress is a factor because it affects blood pressure; too much stress can cause high blood pressure; high blood pressure puts a strain on your heart and your arteries.
“And if you’re carrying extra weight, it means your heart has to work harder. If you’re carrying that extra weight around your belly, it’s especially bad for your heart; stomach fat is linked to conditions such as high blood sugar and increased blood pressure.”
Thinking of your heart as the muscle it is, and picturing it under these conditions: bombarded by smoke, with its chemicals; being squeezed in a vise, under stress; and carrying a brick on top of it, too much weight for its size, can give you the visual inspiration to stop any bad habits and start a better, clearer, lighter path for your heart.