Sleep and Blood Pressure – How Losing Sleep Hurts Your Blood Pressure

If you’re struggling with high blood pressure, you’re probably aware it’s important to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

But did you know your sleep plays a role in contributing to high blood pressure?

Sleep and Blood Pressure

Though small, a study by Mayo Clinic researchers found when subjects went without sufficient sleep for a prolonged period, they also registered higher blood pressure numbers during the night.

The study’s findings were presented during the American College of Cardiology’s 64th Annual Scientific Session in March.

In the study eight healthy, normal weight participants aged 19 top 36 underwent a four-day acclimation before being split into two groups.The first group slept just four hours each night for nine days and the other group slept for nine hours during the nine days. Both groups then completed three days of recovery. Each of the subjects’ blood pressure was monitored 24 times throughout the study.

While the well-rested participants averaged a blood pressure of 105/57 mm Hg, those with just four hours saw a blood pressure at 115/64 mmHg during the nighttime.

“We know high blood pressure, particularly during the night, is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, and Americans typically do not get enough sleep,” lead author Naima Covassin, Ph.D., said in a statement.

While sleep apnea has long been considered a factor related to high blood pressure, sleep deprivation is getting more attention.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, a drop in sleep quantity and quality related to sleep apnea can lead to hypertension and heart disease while also causing mood and memory problems.

Sleep is believed to play a role in your blood pressure because a quality night’s sleep helps the body regulate stress hormones and helps to keep the immune system healthy. A loss of sleep over time damages the body’s ability to regulate stress hormones and can lead to high blood pressure.

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help in treating and preventing high blood pressure.

Sleep offers a number of health benefits alongside the benefits it offers your blood pressure. Getting a healthy amount of sleep improves your memory, curbs inflammation, increases creativity, improves athletic performance, sharpens your attention and focus, improves your ability to lose weight and helps you better maintain a healthy weight, lowers your stress levels and boosts your mood.

Even partial sleep deprivation can cause problems when it comes to your blood pressure. For those who get less than six hours of sleep a night, there is also an increased risk for high blood pressure and obesity.

Research has found partial sleep deprivation is linked to obesity and can disrupt appetite and metabolism regulating hormones.

Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Consistency Helps – A consistent bedtime helps your internal clock and can optimize your sleep. Set a realistic bedtime that works with your schedule.

Avoid Oversleeping – Getting extra sleep can be tempting, especially on the weekends, but oversleeping for even just a couple hours can disrupt the internal clock. If you do catch yourself staying up too late, opt for a nap later in the day rather than sleeping in.

Be Careful with Naps – Napping can be a good way to recharge but can also disrupt your sleep pattern at night. If you really struggle to fall asleep, you should probably avoid naps altogether.

Pay Attention to the Light – Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s controlled by exposure to light. More melatonin is secreted when it’s dark. Getting plenty of light in the morning will also help you wake up faster.

Avoid the Screen – Light from the TV, a laptop or phone can interfere with your sleep particularly because of the blue light emitted from electronic devices. By turning the brightness down, you can reduce the effects, but avoiding light from screen two hours before bedtime will help the most.

Get Regular Exercise – Getting regular exercise increases your metabolism and raises your body temperature while activating cortisol. Exercising helps you utilize stored energy so you feel sleepier when it is bedtime. Be careful about when you exercise because moderate to vigorous exercise within three hours of going to bed may make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Wind Down – Take time to wind down before going to bed. This process will help you clear your mind. Stress and worrying can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.

Get Help When Needed – If you’ve tried everything to get to sleep and stay asleep but still struggle to get a good night’s rest, you may have a sleep disorder and may need additional treatment. If you’re feeling persistent fatigue, snore loudly, struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep regularly, wake up feeling tired, have frequent morning headaches or fall asleep at inappropriate times, visit your health care professional to seek more help in getting quality sleep.


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Lower Cholesterol without Drugs

Having high cholesterol significantly increases an individual’s risk for developing heart disease.

Yet, most people don’t even realize their bad cholesterol is too high. And the higher LDL Cholesterol levels rise, the chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack go up.

Of course, there are medications for helping to lower bad cholesterol, however many people want to lower cholesterol without drugs, but is it possible?

Lower Cholesterol without Drugs

Whether you are currently taking cholesterol-lowering medications or may need them, there are a variety of things that can help lower your cholesterol.

We’ve compiled a list that will help you lower cholesterol without drugs:

Eat a healthy diet – When it comes to the health of your heart, a healthy diet is always going to be key. Whether you want to improve your cholesterol or blood pressure, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Include oatmeal with your breakfast – Eating oatmeal doesn’t have to be at breakfast, but offers a variety of benefits whenever you eat it. Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber, which helps to flush bad cholesterol from the bloodstream.

Get a full night’s rest each night – A lack of sleep does more damage than just leaving you feeling tired. Sleep deprivation can increase bad cholesterol while increasing your appetite to increase your chances of increased cholesterol related to your diet.

Have you vitamin D levels checked – A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to high cholesterol levels. As we age, our body’s ability to absorb and synthesize vitamin D is reduced so it’s important to have your vitamin D levels checked.

Have your blood sugar level checked – If you’re blood glucose level is too high it can also lead to high cholesterol and high triglycerides, a dangerous fat remnant of cholesterol.

Exercise 60 minutes daily – When it comes to improving just about any aspect of your health, you can’t get away from exercise. Exercising, even just an hour walk each day, will help to lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure.

Add cinnamon to your food – Studies have shown cinnamon can help reduce cholesterol. Sprinkling cinnamon on foods like low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt or oatmeal can boost the foods’ benefits to protect against high cholesterol.

Don’t smoke – Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your health. Quitting means you’ll see some serious benefits from lower cholesterol and blood pressure to reducing your risk for heart disease.

Lose weight – If you’re eating a healthy diet and exercising consistently, you’ll be able to see the benefits of losing weight. Just losing 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help you reduce your cholesterol.

Drink in moderation – Excessive drinking can lead to serious health problems, but drinking in moderation can help increase HDL cholesterol slightly. If you do drink, women should stick to just a single drink a day while men should have no more than two drinks.

Choose healthier fats – Saturated fats raise your cholesterol but monounsaturated fats can help to lower your cholesterol levels. Pick leaner cuts of meat to avoid unhealthy fats better and use olive and canola oils in your cooking to reduce bad fat in your diet.

Eliminate trans fats – Trans fats work against us in two ways: they lower good cholesterol while increasing bad cholesterol. Avoid fried foods and most pre-packaged foods to reduce your trans fats.

Increase your soluble fiber – Soluble fiber has been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels by helping flush cholesterol from the body.

Add a whey protein supplement – Studies have shown whey protein can help to lower both LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol.

Monitor your sugar consumption – Consuming too many added sugars has been shown to triple your risk of having low HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol). People in one study who ate the most amount of sugar had the lowest good cholesterol levels and the highest triglyceride levels.

Can You Really Lower Your Cholesterol without Drugs?

Making the right lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels. For some people, changing a few things might be enough to significantly lower their cholesterol without drugs. However, these lifestyle changes may not be enough for everyone. If your doctor does recommend medications, be sure you’re taking them as prescribed and continue to make the lifestyle changes we’ve listed above.


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High Blood Pressure and Heart Health

Usually long before you ever notice symptoms, high blood pressure is working against you and damaging your heart.

If you leave your high blood pressure unchecked, it could even lead to a disability, poor overall health or worse. Uncontrolled blood pressure can damage your arteries, brain, kidneys, eyes, sexual health, sleep patterns and of course your heart.

high blood pressure and heart health

However, with treatment and lifestyle changes, you can improve and control your high blood pressure and heart health.

When it comes to your heart, high blood pressure can lead to the following problems:

Coronary Artery Disease – Coronary artery occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart can’t deliver adequate amounts of blood because the arteries are narrowed. Most people begin to notice chest pain, have a heart attack or notice an irregular heart beat.

Enlarged Left Heart – Having high blood pressure means your heart has to work harder to supply blood to the rest of the body. As the hard works harder, the left ventricle thickens or stiffens and reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood throughout the body. An enlarged heart increases your risk of having a heart attack, suffering from heart failure or having a sudden cardiac death.

Heart Failure – As high blood pressure goes untreated, the additional strain on your heart can weaken the heart. Eventually, your heart wears out and it leads to heart failure.

Managing Your High Blood Pressure and Heart Health

What can you do to ensure your blood pressure isn’t ruining your heart? There are a number of ways you can prevent and overcome high blood pressure.

Get Your blood Pressure Checked – If you’re not aware of your blood pressure, it’s important to have it checked. Without a blood pressure check, you’re in the dark as to whether or not your blood pressure is too high and causing problems for your heart.

Examine Your Diet – Take an honest look at the food you’re consuming. If your diet is high in sodium, cholesterol, sugar and/or fat, you’re not doing your blood pressure or heart any favors. Look to see where you can reduce sodium and increase potassium to improve your diet while including a variety of healthy grains and eating fruits and vegetables as a staple.

Increase Your Activity Level – If your health permits, look at increasing the amount of exercise you’re completing each week. The American Heart Association recommends individuals with high blood pressure get 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise three to four times a week.

Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol – Cigarette smoking will raise your blood pressure and increase your risk for heart disease. If you smoke, look at how you can quit. Drinking too much alcohol can also raise your blood pressure. Experts recommend men drink no more than two drinks a day and women stick to just one.

Lose Weight – If you’re exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, it will be much easier to lose weight. It’s important because being obese increases your risk for high blood pressure. Just losing 5 to 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure.

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L-arginine Workout Benefits

As a non-essential amino acid, L-arginine gets a lot of attention when it comes to the cardiovascular benefits it offers, but taking l-arginine provides much more.

L-arginine Workout Benefits

If you’re looking to get more out of your workouts, l-arginine is worth taking a close look at with all the l-arginine workout benefits you can get from this amino acid. As a key ingredient for boosting workouts you’ll notice a variety of pre-workout supplements also include l-arginine.

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So what does l-arginine do for your workouts?

Here’s a list of the l-arginine workout benefits that make it one of the best supplements you can take to get more out of your workouts.

L-arginine Workout Benefits – Muscle Growth and Development

L-arginine is needed for protein synthesis so it’s going to improve muscle growth to increase the amount of l-arginine your body can use.

And as your muscles increase in size, l-arginine signals the release of growth hormone and improves your body’s ability to metabolize fat. As fat is depleted, l-arginine continues to promote increased muscle development.

L-arginine Workout Benefits – Exercise Endurance

As one of the most effective precursors to nitric oxide, l-arginine helps increase endurance during your workouts. As more nitric oxide is released, the blood vessels expand and your blood flow improves.

By increasing blood flow, your body is able to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This process helps reduce muscle damage, improves your recovery and boosts your overall workouts so you can exercise harder for an extended amount of time.

L-arginine Workout Benefits – Boosts the Immune System

While it might not seems like a strong immune system plays a role in how effective your workouts are, a healthy immune system is key to getting the most out of your workouts.

Regular exercise, especially weight training, can put stress on the body and diminish the immune system. A weakened immune system leaves you more susceptible to infections and illness.

L-arginine strengthens the immune system by fighting free radicals and improving nutrient delivery to help fight infections more effectively.

How Much L-arginine Do You Need?

While there is no specific standard dosage to receive the l-arginine workout benefits, experts recommend taking 5 to 10 grams of l-arginine daily.

When is the best time to take L-arginine for your workouts?

L-arginine is a versatile amino acid when it comes to boosting your workouts. To improve your endurance and extend your workouts, take l-arginine about 45 to 60 minutes before your workout. Taking it before a workout will help to open the blood vessels and allow you time to take a protein shake or creatine before your workouts as well.

To help boost protein synthesis, l-arginine can also be taken after a workout.


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Cholesterol Medications May Not Actually Be Needed

Most people taking medication would rather not have to take it.

And some may not actually need it according to a new study on individuals taking cholesterol medication.

Cholesterol Medications aren't needed for some

Half of Americans over 40 have considered or are now taking cholesterol-lowering drugs even though, according to the recent study, their chances of having a heart attack are small.

Some cardiologists are now saying cholesterol alone isn’t going to cause heart disease by itself.

“We used to just think of it as ‘Your cholesterol causes plaque build-up, cholesterol causes heart disease,’” Dr. Mike Miedema, a cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern, said. “It’s very clear that it’s your cholesterol plus your blood pressure, plus what you eat, plus how much you exercise and your stress level.”

Dr. Miedema, who also took part in the study, suggests high cholesterol does not mean you will have a heart attack but patients who are concerned with their cholesterol or high blood pressure should have a simple scan to determine how much plaque is in the arteries. He says how much plaque in the arteries is a better indicator of heart disease risk.

This simple scan could help individuals not at risk with higher cholesterol avoid having to take cholesterol-lowering medications.

Dr. Miedema says heart medications can lead to side effects and don’t benefit individuals with very little risk for having a heart attack.

For more information, read the full story on the report:

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Heart Disease Prevention – Half of Deaths are Preventable

As the leading cause of death – accounting for more than 30% of all deaths in the United States – heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are taking their toll on millions of people, despite the fact that most cases can be prevented.

Heart Disease Prevention

According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, cardiovascular disease related deaths could actually be cut in half if prevention was more prevalent.

Researchers from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta looked at cardiovascular death rates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and tallied the rates of the modifiable risk factors that affect cardiovascular disease – smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Researchers found that 4 out of 5 people in the United States had at least one modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Researchers then looked at what would happen if the risk factors disappeared – if all smoking ended, every obese individual lost weight, etc.

Eliminating these five risk factors would prevent more than half of the U.S. deaths related to cardiovascular disease. Researchers then asked what would happen if the nation could reach the same rate of deaths for cardiovascular disease as the states where the rate is at it’s best. With that reduction, we would see 10% fewer deaths related to cardiovascular disease.

“Since 1960, deaths from cardiovascular disease in the U.S. have been reduced by half,” said cardiologist Dr. Gregory Curfman, Editor in Chief of Harvard Health Publications. “But we still have a long way to go. Further reducing the death rate by focusing on five modifiable risk factors is a critical goal for all Americans.”

Heart Disease Prevention – What It Really Takes?

Of course risk factors including genetics, age, air pollution and some other factors are impossible to change. Unfortunately, the factors most of us can control go without attention.

Modifiable risk factors are the key cause of heart disease and recognizing how to change your lifestyle could save your life.

The fact is a lack of exercise; a bad diet and other bad habits can damage your heart over time.

Here’s what you can do based on your age to reduce your risk for getting cardiovascular disease:

Heart Disease For Any Age

Eat a Variety of Healthy Foods – Your diet plays a critical role in the risk you have for heart disease and stroke.

To reduce your risk of heart disease, eat a variety of foods and select foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains rich in fiber, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Limit calorie-heavy beverages sweetened with sugar and limit how much red meat you eat.

Get Regular Exercise – Like your diet, regular exercise helps support the health of your heart. Combining regular cardio exercise with strength training offers the biggest benefits. Exercise helps to strengthen your heart and offers so many benefits when it comes to your entire health.

Heart Disease Prevention in Your 20s

  • Have Regular Wellness Exams with Your Doctor
  • Develop Habits that Keep You Physically Active
  • Avoid Smoking, Tobacco and Secondhand Smoke

Heart Disease Prevention in Your 30s

  • Get Your Family Involved
  • Learn Your Family History
  • Control Your Stress Levels

Heart Disease Prevention in Your 40s

  • Keep Your Weight Under Control
  • Have Your Blood Sugar Levels Checked
  • Be Aware of Sleep Apnea

Heart Disease Prevention in Your 50s and Beyond

  • Learn about the Warning Signs of a Heart Disease and Stroke
  • Develop a Treatment Plan if Necessary


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Vascular Disease Symptoms and Signs

Just about every individual is at risk for vascular disease with close to one out of every two people suffering from some form of vascular disease during their lifetime.


And the future of vascular disease is even more bleak. As obesity rates rise and Type II diabetes is diagnosed in more and more Americans, vascular disease is expected to kill more than two million people in the United States each year.

Vascular disease, an abnormal condition of the blood vessels, can cause severe disability and even lead to death.

But what vascular disease symptoms and signs can you look for to prevent more serious problems? By taking early, preventative action, you can overcome the statistics and keep your cardiovascular system as healthy as possible.

RELATED: Read More About the Different Types of Heart Disease

Here is a list of vascular disease signs and symptoms to be aware of and what you can do if you notice the symptoms of vascular disease in your life or the life of those close to you.

Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

For many people, signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease don’t show until it’s a little too late. Because signs and symptoms aren’t always present, it’s important consult have your doctor check for problems if you’re 70 or older, 50 or older with a history of heart disease or smoking or are 50 or younger and have unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure, are overweight, lack physical activity or have a poor diet.

If signs do show, they typically show in the following ways:

  • Skin discoloration
  • Decreased or absent pulses
  • Pain (during exercise) which worsens as disease worsens
  • Rest pain (pain that occurs when lying down)
  • Tissue loss (ulceration and/or gangrene)
  • Sores or wounds on the toes, feet or legs that heal slowly or not at all.
  • Poor nail growth on the toes

Signs and Symptoms of Venous Disease

While venous disease typically doesn’t pose a serious health threat, the condition can lead to disability and chronic pain. Look for the following symptoms and if you notice any, be sure to discuss the symptoms with your doctor.

  • Sudden pain/swelling of one leg
  • Pain and swelling of extremity(s)
  • Unhealing ulcer(s)
  • Large, protruding veins
  • Tight feeling in calves
  • Itchy painful legs

Signs and Symptoms of Cerebrovascular Disease

Cerebrovascular disease can be a serious sign of problems with your veins and blood flow. If any of the following symptoms occur, be sure to get checked immediately.

  • Temporary cerebrovascular event or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Stroke
  • Vision Loss
  • Speech Loss
  • Weakness, numbness or paralysis
  • Abnormal noise in artery of neck heard by doctor through stethoscope

Your vascular system is the highway within your body and without taking care of that highway; blood carrying oxygen and vital nutrients can’t reach where it needs to go.

Vascular disease can be a sign of more significant cardiovascular problems but in most cases vascular disease can be treated and prevented.

How to Treat and Prevent Vascular Disease

Vascular is one problem that can strike suddenly without a lot of warning and in most cases a few lifestyle changes can help you avoid the disease altogether.

RELATED: Read More About Improving the Health of Your Arteries

To treat or prevent vascular disease, be sure you:

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
  • Eat a healthy diet balanced with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your blood pressure in a healthy range
  • Control your blood sugar levels if you’re diabetic
  • Have your health checked regularly

There’s never going to be a better time to begin taking your cardiovascular health seriously. If you’ve noticed any of the above symptoms, be sure you get your health checked regularly.


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Heart Healthy Breakfast

It’s said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that’s not always true.

Bacon, pancakes, pastries and sugary cereals are popular breakfasts, but they can ruin your heart health. When breakfast is loaded with high-saturated fat, foods high in trans fat and unhealthy carbohydrates you’re not getting the benefits breakfast offers.

Heart Healthy Breakfast

A healthy breakfast, however, can reduce your risk for heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart failure. According to a collection of small studies, eating breakfast reduces rises in blood sugar and insulin. By controlling your blood sugar and insulin you reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Related: 7 Reasons to Eat a Heart Healthy Diet

Breakfast also helps curb your appetite the rest of the day making it easier to eat less, improves concentration and strength and endurance to participate in physical activities.

It’s not just eating breakfast though that helps, it matters what you eat.

So what can you eat so you are getting a heart healthy breakfast each day?

Follow these tips to eat a heart healthy breakfast so you can start improving your heart’s health and overall health.

Tips for Eating a Heart Healthy Breakfast

Give Yourself Enough Time – If you don’t typical have a habit of eating breakfast, begin planning to eat breakfast and make sure you’re giving yourself enough time. Plan to eat breakfast by getting up so you have enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast. A key reason people skip breakfast is not having enough time in the morning. And even if people are eating breakfast in a rush, most are eating something high in sugar and high in fat.

Shop for Healthy Breakfast Foods – When you’re at the grocery store, remember to buy healthy foods you can eat for breakfast. If you’re not shopping for healthy breakfast foods, you’ll struggle to find something healthy to eat in the morning.

Whole Grain, Fruit and Healthy Protein – Foods like oatmeal, whole-grain breads, berries, bananas, yogurt, eggs and other whole grains, fruit and healthy protein serve as the best options for breakfast.

RECOMMENDED: Find Out How L-arginine Plus can Help Improve Your Heart Health

Replace a Bad Breakfast with a Heart Healthy Breakfast

Instead of Pancakes, Eat Whole-Grain Pancake or Waffle with Fresh Fruit.
Instead of Fried Eggs, Eat an Egg White Omelet or Scrambled Eggs.
Instead of Bacon or Sausage, Eat Lean Ham or Canadian Bacon.
Instead of a Croissant, Pastry, or Muffin, Eat a Whole Wheat Bagel with Low-Fat Cream Cheese.


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How to Reduce Stress at Work

When it comes to stress, it’s not a matter of if it will hit, but when.

For millions of people stress is the cause of everything from depression to disease. And with it so prevalent in our lives, more and more people are realizing they need to figure out the best way to deal with it – especially when it comes to how to reduce stress at work.

How to Reduce Stress at Work

Effects of Stress and Your Health

It unfortunate, but stress from a day at work doesn’t just disappear when you leave for the day. Consistent work-related stress can harm your health.

RELATED: Read more about the effects of stress on your health

Stress from your job can contribute to short-term health problems including headaches, stomachaches, sleep-deprivation, a short temper and difficulty concentrating.

But it’s chronic stress that can cause the most damage.

Chronic, work-related stress contributes to anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, high cholesterol and a variety of other problems.

While stress is not always harmful – good stress can help you stay alert and focused – most people need to understand how to deal with their stress.

Common Sources of Stress at Work

There are a few factors that tend to play in to most of the stress caused during work including:

  • Wage/Salary
  • Excessive Workload
  • Limited Opportunities for Growth
  • Lack of Social Support
  • Conflicting Demands
  • Unclear Performance Expectations

Recognizing Stress

Before dealing with stress, it’s important to recognize what’s causing your stress. In many cases, people don’t realize they’re under stress until it begins to cause harm to their health.

Experts recommend one of the best ways to recognize where your stress is coming from is to keep a stress journal. As you feel frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed or any other negative feelings, write down the situation and/or challenge you’re facing.

Writing down your stressors can help you recognize patterns and triggers.

Once you recognize your triggers, you can begin to manage and reduce your stress better.

How to Reduce Stress at Work

Time Management

  • Balance your schedule
  • Don’t over-commit
  • Plan breaks
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Delegate
  • Be willing to compromise

Take Care of Yourself Outside of Work

  • Eat right
  • Get enough sleep
  • Spend time doing what you enjoy
  • Exercise

Understand You’re not Perfect

  • Resist perfectionism
  • Fix the small things
  • Think the glass is half full
  • Learn and let it go

Work with Others more Effectively

  • Improve your communication
  • Cultivate a social, friendly atmosphere


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Why Kids Need More Fruits and Vegetables?

The case for kids to eat a more healthy diet just keeps getting stronger.

It may take decades to see the benefits, but young adults who eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day may be able to keep their arteries clear and heart free from disease later in life.

Study on Kids Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

According to a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, eating more fruits and vegetables as a young adult is associated with less calcified coronary artery plaque two decades later.

A CT scan can detect a disease that hardens the arteries and underlies many types of heart disease called atherosclerosis while it can measure calcified coronary artery plaque.

Researchers analyzed data from 2,506 participants between the ages of 18 to 30 from a study that begin in 1985. Participants were split into three groups based on the number of fruit and vegetable servings they were eating each day. Women in the top third ate close to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day and men in the top third averaged about seven servings each day. Women in the bottom third ate an average of 3.3 servings of fruit and vegetables each day while men in the bottom third were eating 2.6 servings a day.

The published research also reports the findings of scans 20 years later. Researchers found those eating the most fruit and vegetables each day had a 26 percent lower chance of developing calcified plaque compared to those eating the least amount of fruits and vegetables.

“People shouldn’t assume that they can wait until they’re older to eat healthy—our study suggests that what you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat as an older adult, ” said lead author Michael D. Miedema, M.D., senior consulting cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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