Tips to reduce your stress and keep your heart healthy

Ben Henry
Updated: February 08, 2021 07:56 AM
Created: February 08, 2021 07:45 AM

There's never a bad time to think about how stress is impacting your health — but since February is 'Heart Month,' and we're almost a year into a deadly pandemic, now is a better time than ever.

"The pandemic has added a lot of stress to people's lives," said Dr. Jeremy Van't Hof, preventive cardiologist with M Health Fairview and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

"Stress raises adrenaline levels, which can cause you to have higher blood pressure. Higher blood pressure over time can lead to heart disease," Dr. Van't Hof added.

Checking in with your doctor, or M Health Fairview, about your heart is an important step, but health experts also have things you can do at home to decrease stress:

  • Spend time with friends and family – including virtually,
  • Meditate,
  • Make time for hobbies – including trying new ones,
  • Reduce your caffeine intake,
  • Exercise regularly,
  • Eat a healthy diet and strive for a healthy weight (find that out by connecting with a doctor),
  • Limit alcohol and don't smoke.

"For some people it's space, alone time, reading, music, for other people it might be interacting with people that they love — getting on that video chat," Dr. Van't Hof told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.

Van't Hof said it's a matter of taking small steps on a path toward a less stressful life with the hopes of healing a heart that may need some help.

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