How Does Stress Contribute to Heart Disease?

Is stress ever a good thing?

We have all experienced stress at some point in our lives.  Most people experience some degree of stress every day. In fact, a little bit of stress can be a good thing! It provides you with the motivation to get things done. Without stress, it would be quite an unproductive world that we live in. Good stress can also occur when starting a new job, getting married, or going on a trip.

When does stress become bad for you?

However, it can become a bad thing when the stress becomes prolonged, and does not go away. Consequently, you may begin to exhibit signs and symptoms of stress. When this happens, stress can become detrimental to your heart and blood vessels within your body.

What does prolonged stress contribute to?

  • Increased cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Increased risk of clots

Your heart works harder during times of stress as your pulse may also increase.  It is common to see an increase in the risk of a heart attack, if you are dealing with a stressful event for many months.  As a result, stress cannot be taken lightly.

So, what can you do to help your heart?

1) Get regular medical check-ups — It is important for your physician to know if you have a family history of heart disease.  He can also check your blood pressure, and take a blood test to check your cholesterol levels.

2) Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress — Surprisingly, you may not recognize when your body is under stress.  This is actually quite common, but unfortunate.  If it is something that has been going on for a long time, you may even have forgotten what it feels like for your body to be in a relaxed, non-stressed state. Here are some symptoms of stress:

  • Chronic Fatigue — When stress never goes away, you will begin to feel tired all the time. Activities that you normally could perform, begin to feel like a chore. You may prefer to sleep all the time, and socializing with friends and family may drop to the bottom of your priority list as you just do not have the energy to entertain and be entertained.
  • Feeling Burnt-Out — Burn-out may demonstrate as fatigue, but also as feelings of nausea, general unwellness, irritability, decreased concentration, decreased interest in things, and decreased coping skills.  You may also experience a sore stomach or diarrhea.
  • Increased Susceptibility to Infection — You may notice that you get sick more often and you catch more colds. A negative effect of stress is that your immune system, which is what protects you from germs and viruses, becomes weaker and cannot ward off infections as well as it used to.
  • Trouble Sleeping — You may find it hard to fall asleep at night or to stay sleeping at night, because you are thinking about all the stressful things in your life.
  • Inability to Relax — You may feel like your heart is always going a mile a minute, and taking your pulse confirms it. You may even feel shaky and weak at times. Feeling anxious is another thing that you may experience.
  • Depression or sadness —  This can be another symptom of stress.  It can result from a feeling of hopelessness or feelings of being overwhelmed.

3) Take control over your stress — Find healthy ways to let off steam such as through exercise (once approved by your physician), changing your mindset, and talking with friends. Meditation, or Yoga is also a popular method of easing off stress. Try out different ways to see which suits you and helps you.

4) Take your medications as prescribed — If you have already developed heart-related health problems such as high blood pressure or increased cholesterol, your physician may advise you to take prescription medications.  There are many people who have been on anti-hypertensive (high blood pressure) medications for years, and can live long and happy lives.  Failure to comply with medications may result in further damage to your heart and blood vessels.

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to get rid of all forms of stress in your life, but you can certainly learn to recognize it and control it before it gets the best of you.  It is never too late to make changes, even if stress has already started to take its toll on your body. 

20 Steps to A Healthier Heart

The Remarkable Human Heart and facts!


The human heart is a remarkable organ that supports life. In fact, the heart is accountable for just about everything inside your body that provides you life.

  • The heart is positioned in the center of the chest, and points a little to the left
  • It is approximately the size of a big fist
  • Men’s hearts weigh about 10 to 12 ounces; while ladies’ hearts weigh about 8 to 10 ounces
  • It pumps around 6 quarts of blood throughout the body
  • In a single lifetime, the heart will beat around 3 billion times, this means its about 100,000 times each day
  • Adult hearts beat 60 to 80 times each minute, while newborn baby’s hearts beat quicker at a rate of about 70 to 190 beats per minute

What Does Our Remarkable Heart Do Each Day?

The heart pumps blood throughout the whole body by way of the circulatory system, to provide oxygen and necessary nutrients to the body’s tissues, and to eliminate wastes that may do it harm.

Dr. Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City reports that tissues and organs in the body need a continuous circulation of nutrition which the heart provides, and if they do not receive it, they will die.

Why it is Important to Think About Heart Health?

Considering your heart health and looking after your heart is very important since it is the # 1 killer of both men and women in the United States.

Did you know?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  • One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  • About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

Factors We Should be Looking Out For – The American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7


The American Heart Association’s 2016 upgrade currently tracks key danger factors and way of life options and habits that are understood to increase threats and add to heart problem; these are called AHA Life’s Simple 7:

  1. Smoking of cigarettes— about 19% of males and 15% of men still smoked in 2014, though rates of smokers have actually dropped because 1998.
  2. Healthy diet— Numbers of individuals following a healthy diet increased about 0.7 to 1.5% in grownups because 2003, in reality these numbers are pretty disappointing.
  3. Body weight— 160 million United States grownups and kids were overweight or overweight in between 2009 and 2012, of these 69% were grownups and 32% were kids; 13 million or 17% had some level of weight problems.
  4. Cholesterol status— Approximately 43% of US grownups had an overall cholesterol of at least 200 mg/dL or greater in between 2009 and 2012.
  5. Exercise— 1 in 3 Americans reported no exercise throughout 2014.
  6. Blood pressure status – around 80 million, or 33% of American grownups had high blood pressure in between 2009 and 2012.
  7. Blood sugar— Type 2 diabetes is at epidemic levels, with 9% of Americans currently identified and 35% having pre-diabetes.

Why Early Action Is VERY Important For Heart Attack Management…

Understanding heart attack indication and all possible signs can save your life as the opportunities for survival increase significantly when first aid is administered rapidly.

A 2005 study found that while 92% of those surveyed recognized chest discomfort as one of the signs of a cardiac arrest, only 27% in fact knew all the other major signs, and when to call for emergency situation healthcare. The Centers For Disease Control report that 47% of unexpected cardiac arrest deaths take place outside of a health center; this might imply that more than half of Americans do not act on early indication.

Emergency Warning Signs Of Heart Attack

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Pain or pain in the upper body, including the neck, jaw, arms and upper stomach.
  • Nausea.
  • Feeling lightheaded.
  • Cold sweats

20 Steps To A Healthier Heart

There are lots of things you can do every day to support the health of your heart.

1. Quit cigarette smoking— cigarette smoking is among the top risk elements for heart problem. If you utilize other tobacco products or smoke, the American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Blood Institute all encourage you to stop. It can make a huge difference to your heart along with your general health.

2. Focus on your middle part— research study into the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has linked excess stomach fat to an unhealthy blood lipid level and greater high blood pressure. If you are carrying extra fat around your stubborn belly, it is time to trim. Exercising and consuming less calories can make a huge distinction.

3. Knit a scarf— put your hands to work to reduce tension, and relax your mind. Participating in activities such as crocheting, knitting, and sewing can help you eliminate stress and do your heart some good. Other peaceful pastimes, such as finishing jigsaw puzzles, cooking, or woodworking are other unwinding pastimes that soothe your stress.

4. Let music move you— whether you prefer a two-step tune or a rumba beat, dancing makes your heart much better. Like other types of workout, it increases your heart rate and gets your legs going. It likewise burns up to 200 calories per hour, according to the Mayo Clinic.

5. Go fishing— eat a diet high in omega-3 fats can likewise eliminate cardiovascular disease. Lots of kinds of fish, such as herring, sardines, tuna, salmon, and halibut are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least two times a week, suggests the American Heart Association. If you’re worried about mercury in fish, you might be thrilled to find out that the heart benefits of fish tend to surpass its threats.

6. Laugh aloud— don’t simply laugh aloud in Facebook posts or in e-mails. Laugh aloud in your life. Whether you like breaking jokes with your good friends, enjoying funny movies, or splitting jokes with your loved ones, laughter can reduce the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing swelling in your coronary arteries and can increase your levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins, also known as “good cholesterol.”

7. Stretch your muscles— yoga can help you enhance your versatility, strength, and balance. It can assist you eliminate tension and relax. Yoga has the ability to improve your heart health. According to clinical research study released in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, yoga has the potential to minimize your risk of heart problem.

8. Drink some alcohol— moderate intake of an alcohol can assist you increase you high-density lipoprotein levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can drink red wine in particular as it might use advantages that may assist your heart. It doesn’t indicate you ought to have alcohol at every meal. It just indicates that you can help prevent artery damage and embolism development.

9. Avoid the salt— If the whole United States population lowered its mean salt consumption to simply a half teaspoon per day, it would significantly reduce the number of individuals who establish heart artery disease each year. Scientists have validated this at the New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists suggest that salt is among the leading causes of increased healthcare expenses in the United States. Processed foods tend to be particularly high in salt. You require to believe twice before eating a lot of fast food. Think about using some kind of salt alternative, such as potassium hydroxide

10. Workout frequently— it doesn’t matter just how much you weigh, sitting for long periods of time could decrease your lifespan. Individuals who live desk jockey way of lives or are couch potatoes suffer from unhealthy effects on blood sugar and blood fats. If you work at a desk, take regular breaks and walk around a bit. Walk on your lunch breaks and consume your launch while strolling.

11. Monitor your numbers— keeping an eye on your blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood sugar can assist you keep a healthy heart. Find out the optimal levels for your age and sex. Take actions to maintain those levels, your doctor can inform you how. Keep in mind to set up routine checkups with your physician to remain on top of the numbers, and get routine examinations.

12. Eat chocolate— consume dark chocolate. It is not only delicious but it contains heart-healthy flavonoids. These particles assist decrease your danger of heart problem, according to scientists at the Journal Nutrients. Consuming low quantities of dark chocolate, not milk chocolate can in fact benefit you. The next time you want to eat some sweets, eat a little square of dark chocolate. You don’t need to feel guilty about that.

13. Do more housework— vacuuming or mopping up the floorings may not be as extreme as a Zumba class or a treadmill, nut it can assist improve your heart health. They can burn calories while giving your heart an exercise. Place on your favorite music and increase you’re your weekly task activity.

14. Consume some nuts— if you consume walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts, you will get a lot of fiber, protein, and fats. Including them in your diet can help reduce your danger of heart problem. Remember that the serving size is little, recommends the American Heart Association. While nuts are full of heart-healthy stuff, they likewise have a lot of calories in them.

15. Be a kid— physical fitness doesn’t have to be an uninteresting thing. Let your inner child take the lead by enjoying an evening of laser tag, bowling, or roller-skating. You can have a good time while burning calories.

16. Attempt family pet therapy— pets provide more than unconditional love and good company. They also supply numerous health advantages. Research studies reported by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) suggest that owning a family pet might assist improve your lung function and heart health. It might likewise assist decrease your opportunities of having heart problems.

17. Reduce unhealthy fat consumption— slicing your saturated fat to less than 7% of your day-to-day calories can reduce your danger of cardiovascular disease, according to the USDA. If you do not read nutrition labels, consider beginning today. Analyze what you are eating and stay away from foods that are high in fat, particularly hydrogenated fat.

18. Take the picturesque route house— forget the shortest, however traffic busy route house and take the picturesque route so you can enjoy your ride. Removing tension while driving can assist you decrease your high blood pressure and stress levels. That is something your heart will appreciate.

19. Make a long time for breakfast— the first meal of the day is crucial. Consuming a nutritious high fiber and high protein breakfast helps you to keep a healthy weight and optimum levels of energy throughout the day. To develop a heart-healthy meal, grab fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, such as cheese, yogurt, or low-fat milk, lean protein sources, such as a small serving of nuts or peanut butter, and fiber found in whole grains, such as oatmeal, entire grain cereals, or whole-wheat toast.

20. Take the stairs— exercise is vital for good heart health, so why not slip it in every chance you get. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park far from the shopping malls’ door so you can walk further. Walk over to a colleague’s desk to talk, instead of just emailing them. Take the kids to the park and run around. Play a sport every weekend instead of just sitting on the sofa and enjoying TELEVISION or playing video games. Every little bit adds up to better heart health.

Last But Not LEAST…

Heart health is very important. Hopefully, these tips will help you discover how to have a healthy heart for the rest of your life.

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