Reduce Stress at Work for a Healthy Heart

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Is cleaning out the refrigerator (yes, including that green glob at the back) more appealing than putting up with stress at work? If so, it may be time to save your sanity, and maybe your heart.

Doctors have always worried about men’s and women’s hearts caving in to job stress, because those with a high job strain face up to a 40 percent higher risk of heart attacks and surgery for blocked arteries.

So what should you do? Try these strategies to reduce stress on the job:

  • Don’t mutter, “Calm down.” Move. The best way to counter the fight-or-flight stress response is to get active. Do push-ups against your office wall. Hike the hallways or walk around the block. Activity is a BOGO: You relieve tension and condition your heart.
  • Add color. Take charge of your space. Splashes of color from posters, photos, flowers or even a throw rug can improve your mood and your productivity. A combination of red and green is better than dull white, black and brown. In one study, those muted colors made people duller, too, scoring 12 points lower on IQ tests.
  • Take time for tea. Polyphenols in black tea may reduce stress hormones in your blood and help your body shed tension faster.
  • Instead of upsetting family life every night by taking work home (50 percent of people do), declare once a week official “FAB” night, as in Forget About Business. Watch a funny movie together. Tell jokes at dinner. Laugh it up. You’ll feel your tension fade, and your family will draw closer.

Additionally, research shows that – much like a healthy diet and regular exercise – a joyful, enthusiastic disposition and positive attitude may help keep your heart free of disease.

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In one 10-year study, people who scored high in emotions like joy, enthusiasm and contentment had a much lower incidence of coronary heart disease compared with folks who experienced those good feelings less frequently. More research is needed to confirm the link between a positive attitude and a healthy, good heart, but other research has already done a pretty good job proving the other side of the coin – that negative emotions like anger, hostility and depression can increase the risk of heart disease.

In addition to setting the stage for a good heart, studies have shown that happiness can boost your immune system, nip your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and help you live longer in general. And who doesn’t want to feel happy, anyway? It certainly makes life easier.

This content originally appeared on Sharecare.com.

For more healthy tips and medical information, continue to check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog. At Denton Regional Urgent Care, we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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How To Eat A Heart-Healthy Diet

Heart Valentine's day breakfastIt’s well known that a healthy diet is essential to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, by maintaining a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk of heart disease. And while most people try to make smart choices when it comes to diet, there are a few things to know if you’re trying to eat a heart-healthy diet.

Know Your Food Groups

It’s important to eat a variety of healthy foods for a well-rounded diet. A number of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein is vital for heart health.

Stay Away From Nutrient-Poor Foods

It’s important to limit foods and beverages that may be high in calories, but low in nutrients. This includes foods high in saturated fats, trans fats and sodium. High-sugar drinks like sodas, sugary coffee drinks and energy drinks also offer no nutritional value.

Embrace Healthy Fats

Many people are under the misconception that all fats are bad, but that’s definitely not the case. Foods like avocado, fatty fish and nuts are essential to your body and can provide energy and support cell growth.

Learn To Love Fish

Seafood is one of the best things you can eat for a heart-healthy diet. Not only is it a excellent source of protein, it’s a great way to get omega-3 fatty acids and healthy polyunsaturated fats, which also fight against depression, stroke and even skin cancer.

Enjoy Your Food

The most important thing about eating a heart-healthy diet is finding foods you love. Not only does this make it more enjoyable, but more sustainable in the future.

If you have health concerns, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even evenings or on the weekend, as well.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

3 Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease

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Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that by 2030, more than 23.6 million people globally will die each year from cardiovascular disease. With nearly 69% of adults in the U.S. overweight or obese, it’s unlikely we will see reprieve from this disease in the near future. However, there are signs and symptoms that you can watch for so you’ll know if you or someone you love may be suffering from heart disease.

There are several different types of heart problems – including coronary artery disease, heart attack and atrial fibrillation – with different treatments, but very similar symptoms.

Coronary Artery Disease

Angina, or chest pain, is the most common symptom of coronary artery disease. This symptom involves discomfort, pressure on the chest, burning and aching in the chest. Shortness of breath, palpitations, a quickened heartbeat and nausea or dizziness may also associated with coronary artery disease.

Heart Attack

Although some people may have a heart attack with no symptoms, typically symptoms will last 30 minutes or longer during a heart attack. These symptoms include discomfort and heaviness in the chest, chest pain radiating to the back, jaw, throat or arm. Other symptoms associated can be sweating, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and irregular heartbeats.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is found in an estimated 2.2 million Americans. For someone who has AF, electrical impulses do not travel in order through the atria; rather, they spread through the atria. Symptoms of AF include heart palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, chest discomfort and shortness of breath.

If you or a loved one experiences any of the symptoms above, it’s crucial that medical attention is sought immediately. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for convenient hours and online check-in that provide you a quick and easy experience. If you or someone you know may be having a heart attack, you should dial 911 immediately.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.