5 Tips to Reduce Stress and Keep a Healthy Heart

>> Apr 25, 2019

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Constant stress can take a toll on your health—particularly, it can put a strain on the heart and increase one’s risk of getting heart disease. While there is no concrete evidence that links chronic stress to heart damage, it is likely due to the fact that stress triggers inflammation, which results in negative effects on the heart.

Show your heart some love—keep it away from stress with these five easy and effective tips.

1.   Get enough sleep.

The next time you plan on pulling an all-nighter, think about the consequences that it can do to your heart. A study shows that young to middle-aged adults who had about 7 hours of sleep at night had less calcium in their arteries than those who only had 5 hours of sleep or less. Having a good night’s sleep also led to healthier arteries than having a restless slumber.

If you find it hard to hit the sack at night, consult your doctor so you can discuss the appropriate remedy for your condition.

2.   Quit smoking.

Smoking does not only negatively affect your lungs, but it will also take a toll on your heart. Particularly, smoking damages the blood vessels that bring blood to your heart and to the rest of the body, reducing the amount of oxygen that your blood and other organs rely on to function. This increases one’s risk for heart disease that may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

If you have been smoking and have a family history of heart disease, it’s best to set an appointment with your doctor to know the condition of your heart. Your doctor will come up with a diagnosis and treatment with the help of certain procedures such as an electrocardiogram that uses ECG cables and leadwires.

3.   Eat a heart-friendly diet.

What you eat greatly affects your heart and health. Make sure to eat the right foods that will nourish and strengthen your heart. Skip the junk and turn to healthier options, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Lean meats, fish, beans, and fat-free dairy products are also the best foods that your heart will love.

You may follow heart-healthy diets, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) plan or the Mediterranean diet, but it’s best to consult with your doctor or nutritionist before anything else.

4.   Keep normal blood pressure levels. 

A high blood pressure means extra force that can damage the walls of your arteries and create a scar tissue, which does not do good to your heart at all. This is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you are at high risk for a heart disease.

There are plenty of interventions that you can do to keep your blood pressure on its normal levels. Cutting back on salt, eating healthy, working out, and keeping stress at bay, are just some of the tips that you can do to keep the pressure off.

5.   Be physically active.

Constant stress may be damaging to your health, but that doesn’t give you the hall pass to just lead a sedentary lifestyle. You will be surprised at how exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can do to your body and to your heart! Each time you do something physical, whether you’re just taking a walk down the park or doing a favorite sport, your body releases endorphins, which are mood-boosting chemicals that beat the stress away.

Not only will exercise put you in a great mood, it also helps lower blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen your heart muscle.

Don’t let stress take the better of you. Learn how to manage it and take a break sometimes. Your heart will thank you for it.

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