There are many things you can to do take charge of your health and lower your risk of heart disease. Not all of them are considered particularly fun, like starting an exercise program if you are used to being a couch potato. Here are some suggestions that are both healthy and pleasurable for your consideration:
1. Have a good laugh.
Laughter really is the best medicine and it will help keep your blood vessels healthy. Laugh easily and often, and you will get the same heart benefits that aerobic exercise gives you.
2. Make love regularly.
Speaking of aerobic exercise, don’t forget that having sex is a good way to get your heart rate elevated. Not only that, but it helps you to relax, relieves chronic pain, and helps your body to release endorphins (“feel good” hormones).
3. Get a good night’s sleep.
It may be tempting to cut back on sleep to try to get more done during the day, but this would be a mistake. People who are sleep deprived find it harder to concentrate and to deal with the stress that comes from everyday life. Sleeping less than six or seven hours at night means that the body will release stress hormones that cause the heartbeat and blood pressure to increase. Sleep deprivation may also lead to obesity, which also increases your risk of heart disease.
4. Spend time with your family and friends.
While we all need some time to ourselves from time to time, make a point of spending time regularly with the people who are most important to you. People who are (or feel) isolated socially are at a higher risk for heart disease. Even having a pet will help to lower your risk.
5. Have a drink.
Drinking alcohol in moderation, which means one or two drinks each day, may lower your risk of heart disease. This doesn’t mean that you should start bending the elbow if you are used to being a teetotaler. If you enjoy a drink, then you can continue to do so, and your risk of heart disease may be reduced from one-third to one-half.