2 Wise Paths to Heart Health - Stress Less, Rest More

By Sandy Schroeder

All of us want to keep our hearts healthy, but sometimes we get off track. Harvard Health cuts to the chase with two key ways to protect the heart: Stress less and rest better. These two choices could be well worth the effort, along with regular doctor checkups, weight control, a healthy diet, and regular exercise,

Stress Less  

Researchers suggest constant stress from daily pressures may contribute to cardiac risk.  When anger boils over, work stacks up, depression settles in, or anxiety never leaves, the heart may pay the price.

Researchers say relentless stress can impact the heart, triggering high blood pressure and artery-clogging deposits. Constant stress may also lead to impulsive eating, smoking, sleepless nights and lots of sedentary habits. We all know how this works. After a long frustrating day, it can be super easy to order pizza and kick back on the couch instead of eating healthy and going for an evening walk.

To lick the stress demons before they lick you, think about ways to relax and enjoy life.

  • Sign up for yoga, tai chi or mindfulness meditation classes
  • Find a buddy and make morning or evening walking a daily habit
  • Reach out to your family and friends to fill the weekends with good food and great times
  • Return to an old hobby or a favorite sport to step away from the daily grind

If stress persists in spite of your efforts, see your doctor and consider seeing a psychologist to work through issues.

Rest More

Harvard Health says sleep apnea and ongoing loss of sleep are potential triggers for heart disease.

Sleep apnea – Eighty percent of people with heart disease also have sleep apnea, according to research estimates. With sleep apnea, individuals snore and temporarily stop breathing as they sleep.  If you suspect you have sleep apnea, see your doctor to start work on solutions.

Ongoing sleep loss -  When sleep deprivation becomes a way of life, the risk for chronic health problems, including heart disease, begins to climb. If you find you are slipping into an ongoing pattern of lost or poor quality sleep, it may be time to rethink what you are doing and work on fixing the problem. You may be able to redo your schedule, offload some work, or fix whatever else is happening that is chipping away at your sleep.

Think about where you are right now, and then find ways to lower your stress levels and collect 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. You’ll be happier, and so will your heart.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in  Phoenix, Ariz.

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