How Stressing Affects Your Heart
Many people have very busy lives in this day and age. We move from one stressful activity to the next, with very little time in between to stop and recuperate. But constant stressing affects heart health in various ways, and could be a contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease. It might be necessary to take a look at how much you stress and find ways to reduce it to protect your heart from damage and disease later in life.
There are several factors which govern how healthy the heart is ranging from diet to lifestyle to unmodifiable things like genetics and age. It is important to control these risk factors to reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Customer Review is a website devoted to maintaining health in natural ways. Click the link to read more about it.
The cardiovascular system is regulated by a number of things in the body. There are two parts of the nervous system which work in opposite ways to maintain a healthy internal environment. These are the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is activated during times of stress and is responsible for increasing the activity of the heart. There is also the hormone system and the immune system that play a part.
Stress can increase your blood pressure
When the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it causes several blood vessels in the body to tighten up and for the heart to beat faster and with more force. This causes the blood to be under much more pressure and push harder against the blood vessels. In the short term, this is a very helpful way to make sure your body circulates oxygen faster, but when it happens consistently and over a long period of time, it actually causes damage to the heart and walls of the blood vessels. Over time, this can cause the blood vessels to become hardened, and the heart muscles to fail.
Stress can cause irregular heartbeats
When the sympathetic nervous system causes the heart to beat faster, it changes the electrical activity within the heart and certain parts of the heart can contract out of sync. Through various complex mechanisms, this can lead to irregular heartbeats, also known as arrhythmias. Certain arrhythmias are not very serious at first, but just like any factor that affects the heart, their presence over a long period of time can lead to severe consequences.
Stress can encourage bad lifestyle habits
Researchers have noticed the link between the high levels of psychological stress that a person experiences and their likelihood of making poor lifestyle decisions. People who are constantly stressed are more likely to smoke and overeat. During very stressful periods, it is easier to eat large amounts of processed foods to save the time of cooking. If you are stressed, you are also probably very busy and don't have as much time to exercise.
Stress inhibits your immune system
Long-term stress releases a hormone called cortisol. One of the main effects of cortisol is to inhibit the immune system. When your immune system is down, you are more likely to pick up an infection which places even more strain on the heart and blood vessels.
Stress produces inflammation
Scientists have also found that in the presence of consistent stress, the different cells in the body release several different molecules that stimulate inflammation. Inflammation in the short-term is also not a bad thing, but over time it causes damage to the body's own tissues and aggravates the hardening of blood vessel walls.
What to do about it
The purpose of this article is not to stress you out more about your health, but just to get you to consider that stress actually does cause quite a bit of harm to the heart in the blood vessels. Try to take more opportunities to reduce your stress levels by taking a bit of time off to recuperate and regenerate. Activities like meditation and yoga are very effective in reducing stress. Exercise is also a great stress reliever that has a very positive impact on the heart. Finally, make sure to keep an eye on your heart health by getting your blood pressure checked regularly and visiting the relevant professional if you feel anything that doesn't feel right.
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