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How Stress Impacts Your Chances of Cardiovascular Disease

We live in a fast paced, demanding, and stressed out world. According to a 2013 study by the American Psychological Association and the American Institute of Stress, top causes of stress in the U.S. include health, poor nutrition and work with over 70% of people regularly experiencing physical or psychological symptoms caused by stress.


A 2008 study showed that “work stress” caused biological changes that increased the risk of Cardiovascular Disease. In fact, research shows a powerful cardiovascular benefit from taking time off from work to recharge. A nine-year study tracked 12,000 middle-aged men at high risk for heart disease. Those who take annual getaways had a 29% lower death rate from Cardiovascular Disease.


Another study regarding stress and work showed that women who take vacations once every six years were nearly eight times more likely to suffer a heart attack or die from cardiac disease than those who vacationed at least twice each year, even when factors such as smoking and diabetes were taken into account.


Even though stress is such a big factor in our lives, most Americans don’t make it a priority to incorporate activity that can significantly manage stress: exercise.


Scheduling time for physical activity is one of the best ways to decrease stress, enhance your sense of well-being, and improve your overall level of health. Exercise helps manage stress in a variety of ways including improving confidence, lowering symptoms associated with depression and even enhancing energy and sleep patterns.


While exercise is great, it is important to keep these tips in mind before you begin any exercise regimen:

        • Always consult your doctor before you exercise. Keep in mind your personal limitations and health risks before trying any new form of exercise. Be sure to talk to your physician about your health risks and appropriate physical activity for you before beginning.
        • Start out slow with short bouts. Concentrated workout sessions can be great, but start slow and work up. Keep your physical activity levels in mind when building your regimen.
        • Find a family member or friend to exercise with. Exercising is easier in pairs. Find a “workout buddy” to take a class with, or maybe just to walk with. You’ll enjoy the company and can hold each other accountable, too.
        • Be consistent. Schedule your daily exercise and stick to it! Consistent physical activity is key to lifelong health. When you schedule time for exercise, be sure you are keeping that time free. You wouldn’t miss a home repair appointment, so why skip out on your daily dose of exercise?
        • Mix it up. Incorporating a variety of exercise methods is best to decrease boredom and obtain the greatest health benefits. When you switch up your physical activity, it helps you stay mentally and physically engaged.

Looking to be proactive about your health and risk for cardiovascular disease? Call 480-941-0800 today for a free wellness consultation.

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