In the News: Innocent Ways you are Hurting your Heart

Written by Lisa Jillanza

With February being Heart Health Month, we bring you this feature that highlights the innocent things that you may be doing daily that can be hurting your heart (among other parts of your body) and how to fix it!

 

How you cross your legs…  Sitting with your legs crossed at the knees increases your blood pressure.  According to studies, leg crossing increased systolic blood pressure nearly 7% and diastolic by 2%.  Studies say that you should avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time, like 10 to 15 minutes, and get up every half hour or so to walk around and get the circulation moving. 

How you stand… If you are a person who frequently locks their knees when standing, you are no longer efficiently using the muscles that surround the joint.  Therefore, forces to the joint are increased.  Causing this additional stress to you knee joints isn’t helping your heart at all.

How you sleep… If you are a stomach sleeper, this puts your neck in a titled-back position, leading to pain or numbness in your upper extremities.  Nerves are also affected when people sleep on their stomach.  To avoid the pain, numbness and affect to the nervous system, people should avoid sleeping on their stomach. 

How you wear your belt… It sounds strange, we know, but the tighter your belt the more pressure you put on your intra-abdominal area, which can result in acid reflux.  Acid reflux could include a bitter taste in your mouth, burning or pain the upper chest and stomach, a chronic cough or even difficulty swallowing.  Doctors say that your belt shouldn’t be any tighter than your waistband.  You should be able to inhale and exhale comfortably.