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Take A Deep Breath...

Feb 22, 2021

Take a Deep Breath…

In addition to improving our heart health by moving, we also improve our heart health by slowing down and smelling the roses, so to speak. Let’s talk stress!

Stress, like a sedentary lifestyle, can spell bad news for your heart. Long term stress raises your cortisol level, which can in turn raise your triglycerides, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and the amount of plaque in your arteries. Each of these are risk factors for heart disease.

What can we do to reduce stress?

  • Sleep! Most adults need 7-8 hours per night, but we rarely get it, for one reason or another. To help you get restful sleep, try to make sure your bed is reserved for relaxing activities only. No computers, no TV, and definitely no work. Put the phone on silent and try not to look at it or other screens an hour before bedtime.

  • Try a relaxing activity. This is different for everyone, but find an activity that encourages you to relax and slow down. Some people like to do an activity that encourages them to be present, such as meditation. Some like repetitive activities that let them zone out, such as gardening or a walk. Some like to leave this world entirely for some time, by reading or watching a show. Find something that works for you!

  • Exercise! Moving your body can help de stress and clear the mind. Maybe it’s a rough workout like strength training or kickboxing. Or maybe it’s something repetitive such as a run or bike ride. Just move your body!

Another important factor is controlling the stress we allow into our lives in the first place. Some of it, unfortunately, is unavoidable, and that’s where the tips above come in. But take a look at what in your life causes you the most trouble. Can you do anything to make it better? Maybe it’s finding a better balance between work and home responsibilities. Maybe it’s working on communication between you and your spouse or something else at home.

Take some time for yourself today and do something to reduce your stress. Remember… your heart health depends on it!


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