The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American women in the U.S. It is more important now than ever to take a serious look at how we are caring for our hearts. Here are five common habits that may be doing us harm, and tips to help us treat our hearts better.
LIKE BlackDoctor.org on Facebook! Get Your Daily Medicine…For LIFE!
1. Well, don’t just sit there…
One of the most common activities that we engage in may be putting our hearts at risk for heart disease and stroke: sitting for prolonged periods of time in front of the computer or TV screen. Whether for work or play, our increasingly digital society has also led to a more sedentary society. So when it comes to what is increasingly being referred to as “Sitting Disease,” Dr. Michael Blaha of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, says “if you have a relatively sedentary job, you have to be creative.”
Tips: Work a walking session into your lunch breaks. Skip the coffee house for the courtyard, have meetings while walking around the office or outside. The idea is to keep moving throughout your day.
2. Need to get something off your chest?
Research has shown that harboring anger may be bad for your heart. A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital has shown that “people who have angry outbursts appear to be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, especially within the first two hours of an outburst.” While it’s hard to sometimes “let it go” when it comes to stressful relationships or situations, the opportunity for a longer, healthier life may depend in part on a more optimistic outlook and effective stress management.
Tips: Sing your blues away. Listening to music you enjoy is an easy way to help brighten your mood. Allow yourself a short amount of time, maybe 15 minutes, to feel upset and then commit to changing your focus. Work it off. Exercise has been shown to be an excellent way of putting negative energy to good use.
3. What about your friends?