Unemployment is heartbreaking in more ways than one. Discouraged and overwhelmed, most job seekers would categorize themselves as having a high level of stress. To cope, some fall into a sedentary lifestyle and/or increase their consumption of alcohol, cigarettes and calories. While this may bring instant gratification momentarily relieving emotional stress, the toll it’s taking on their heart could be deadly.
Many assume youth, gender or body type alone excludes them from the possibility of heart failure but that’s not always the case. Family history is one of the best indicators of the likelihood of a heart attack but lifestyle can override the prewritten DNA either way.
The most common risk factors for heart disease are:
- High blood-pressure
- Unhealthy blood fat and cholesterol levels
- Tobacco smoking
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of exercise
Coronary heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the United States. Lowering risk factors associated with lifestyle change however can increase life expectancy by approximately 10 years. Here are some suggestions that can be accomplished on the job hunt to encourage heart health.
Stop smoking – There are so many reasons not to smoke and heart health is on the top of the list. Sparing the expense will add to available cash flow as well.
Start drinking – Never imbibe before a job interview but a celebratory drink in the evening will help with heart health. Former studies suggested red wine worked best but recent results show any alcohol in moderation can be beneficial.
Pick the perfect parking place – Consistently parking farther from the entrance at interviews and other destinations increases heart health with each added step. It’s a simple change that subtly supplements the daily routine with physical activity.
Stash a snack – Keeping dark chocolate, almonds, walnuts, pecans, or other tree nuts on hand will satisfy the need for a quick caloric pick-me-up with heart healthy results. Studies show chocolate can positively affect blood clotting and the flavonoids it contains can also ward off heart disease. Other research indicates that substituting saturated fats with fat from nuts helps reduce bad cholesterol.
Kick back with a comedy – Laughter makes hearts healthy as well as happy. Skipping the adrenaline rush that comes with viewing an action-packed thriller and substituting a laugh-out-loud-knee-slapper instead relieves the stress that specifically harms the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels. It also helps promote blood flow.
Trade coffee for tea – Black and green tea still offer a caffeine infusion in the morning routine but offer additional heart healthy benefits over coffee consumption. Drinking tea, whatever the color, can improve arterial health.
Sing in the car – Music is mood-lifting and singing solos in the car proves an effective form of stress relief. Belting tunes uninhibited and as loud as possible also tightens the diaphragm and tones the midsection because hauling too much weight around the middle increases blood pressure and affects blood lipids in a bad way.
No one gets to choose their family medical history, age or gender. The most control that can be asserted over risk factors that lead to heart problems is living a heart conscious lifestyle. It’s important to make heart health a full time job.