The heart wants what it wants. Or to be more precise, the heart wants what you want to give it. Unnecessary stress is the one of the reasons of heart attacks and it actually accentuates the other factors associated with heart diseases. Smoking, physical inactivity and overeating can lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol which can eventually lead to heart attack. But these things increase when a person is stressed or his or her anxiety levels are above par.
According to a research published in The lancet1 and published in major newspapers like The Telegraph2, the brain’s amygdala (an area of the brain that deals with stress) signals to the bone marrow to produce extra white blood cells when one is stressed. This results in arteries to become inflamed and inflammation of the heart is one of the sole reasons for heart attacks, angina and strokes. People who were more stressed had much more activity involved in the amygdala. In another small study, the researchers again found that due to increased bone marrow activity and arterial inflammation caused due to stress, people were getting prone to heart related disease.
Emily Reeve, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, in fact mentions how the brain’s management of stress will help cardiologists understand the combination of heart diseases with other psychological stresses.
Effective ways to reduce stress can be through various exercises. Yoga styles like Ashtanga and Bikram can offer cardiovascular benefits, as your heart rate is elevated throughout the class. Circuit training exercises can help in stretching the arteries and improves the elasticity for better cardiovascular fitness. High intensive exercises like weight lifting and lane swimming can help in increasing our cardiovascular aptitude. But even a 30-minute job in the park and a proper diet can help you keep your heart fit.
For a stress-free lifestyle, an 8-hour sleep and drinking adequate water is essential but indulging in a hobby or a craft and being open about how you feel can help you have a burden less lifestyle and is actually a great way to keep your heart healthy.