Donna Hayek, RD
Increased stress can have a negative impact on heart health, which is why it’s important to work on removing stress as much as possible.
Here are some tips for positively decreasing stress:
- Exercise – Physical activity reduces production of the stress hormone cortisol, and can release feel-good hormones called endorphins. It’s important to try and exercise most days of the week, but the exercises you perform don’t have to be structured. You can exercise by doing something enjoyable, like dancing, gardening, swimming, playing catch with the kids, or playing fetch with the dog.
- Meditate – Yoga and meditation relax the body while calming the mind. It takes practice to meditate, but try doing it for a few minutes each day and increase it as you get the hang of it. There’s no “wrong or right” way to meditate; make it your own. Seek out a local yoga class or find an instructional yoga video on YouTube.
- Sleep – Getting a good night’s sleep or taking a nap are vital for energizing the body for the day ahead, but they can also help with weight loss. The longer you’re awake, the more calories you tend to consume.
- Laugh – Laughter releases tension, which in turn, relaxes the muscles and improves your overall mood. Hang out with “happy” friends or watch a comedy movie.
- Fresh air – Go outside for a walk, run, bike ride or hike. Go by yourself, with a friend or with your pet. Fresh air will do wonders for your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.