Everyone feels stress in different ways and reacts to it in different ways. How much stress you experience and how you react to it can lead to a wide variety of health problems — and that’s why it’s critical to know what you can do about it.
Stress and Your Heart
More research is needed to determine how stress contributes to heart disease — the leading killer of Americans. But stress may affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. Some people may choose to drink too much alcohol or smoke cigarettes to “manage” their chronic stress, however these habits can increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.
And your body’s response to stress may be a headache, back strain, or stomach pains. Stress can also zap your energy, wreak havoc on your sleep and make you feel cranky, forgetful and out of control.
When stress is constant, your body remains in high gear off and on for days or weeks at a time. Although the link between stress and heart disease isn’t clear, chronic stress may cause some people to drink too much alcohol which can increase your blood pressure and may damage the artery walls.
What can you do about stress?
Exercising, maintaining a positive attitude, not smoking, not drinking too much coffee, enjoying a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight are good ways to deal with stress.
Locally, here in Colorado, the American Heart Association has fun events and ways to get your hearts pumping and help reduce stress! Join us in June for our digital Heart Walk experience, and in September for our in-person CycleNation event.
The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers – heart disease and stroke. This year’s Heart Walk will be the biggest ever. While you celebrate with us, you’ll also join 1 million walkers from across the nation as we all move as one.
Take a moment to consider your impact. You will keep hearts beating. The hearts of moms, dads, brothers, aunts and babies. And this year’s donations will help fast track COVID-19 research and train front-line workers while we continue the fight against heart disease and stroke. Register today by clicking here!
Are you ready to get in gear? The American Heart Association’s CycleNation event aims to stop the cycle of heart disease and stroke and gets the Colorado community moving and out having fun, all while raising money to support the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Come ride with us! The event is scheduled to take place later this year in September.
Ready to beat stress and get your hearts pumping? Contact Chelsea Trimble, Vice President of Heart Challenge at [email protected] for additional information.
Or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook on @AHAColorado for additional information on the events.