Is Your Hectic Life Hurting Your Heart?

From dealing with traffic-clogged commutes to going nonstop at work to cramming in meet-ups with friends and family, most people don’t have a lot of time to unwind during their day. But that packed schedule can put a lot of pressure on a very important part of yourself: your heart. Going nonstop all day long can lead to chronic stress, something that can cause an array of heart problems including high blood pressure and irregular heartbeats.

In honor of American Heart Month, vow to slow down a little bit and release the pressure on your mind and heart. Need help adding moments of calm to your days? Here are a few simple suggestions:

  1. Slow down your workout. A regular fitness routine protects against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and strengthening your heart muscle. While any form of exercise is beneficial, there are specific workouts that are especially good at helping you feel relaxed afterwards. Try something like a long walk surrounded by nature or a yoga class to de-stress while you burn calories.
  2. Unplug your gadgets. When you never stop looking at your screens, you never get to disconnect. That might be why separating yourself from your smartphone has been shown to decrease heart rates and tension. Step away from the computer and your never-ending emails every two hours by getting a cup of tea or walking around the block.
  3. Take a laugh break. A 2010 study in the American Journal of Cardiology found that laughing improves blood flow while boosting your mood. Call your funniest friend to relieve workday tension or take five minutes to watch a hilarious YouTube clip.
  4. Schedule in downtime. If you’re not someone who can naturally find downtime in your day, schedule it out like you would a meeting. Giving yourself 10 minutes in the afternoon to relax can actually make you more productive afterward and ultimately help you de-stress.

With these few simple moves, you’ll benefit both your stress levels and heart health. Looking for more heart healthy tips? Check out these blogs:

Photo Credit: Cristiano Betta

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