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February: A Note from your Health Coach

Feb 17, 2021, 10:50 AM by Courtney Fitzgerald

Heart disease is the leading killer of Americans, and stress can play a significant role in increasing heart disease risk. Stress can lead to elevated blood pressure, cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and depression, all which may contribute to increased risk for heart disease.

Stress can play a role in how we perform our daily activities. It can affect our mood, heart rate, diet, and weight. It can also contribute to headaches, forgetfulness, back pain, and stomach issues. And it can lead to increases in smoking and alcohol consumption. Managing stress is good not only for your heart health, but for your overall health as well.

Perform a self-check, how do you handle stress?

  • Do you overeat?
  • Do you smoke or drink alcohol?
  • Do you sleep more or too little?
  • Do you procrastinate? Become forgetful? Lack concentration?
  • Are you moody? Argumentative? Hard to get along with?
  • Do you shut down mentally, physically, and/or emotionally?

Tips to managing stress:

  • Exercise, enjoy nature, fresh air, a change of environment.
  • Slow down, meditate, pray, practice deep breathing techniques.
    Put on relaxing music.
  • Practice positive self-talk (negative talk increases stress).
  • Act before you react.
  • Break down issues into smaller parts and tackle them one by one.
  • Visit with a friend
  • Read a book or work on a hobby you enjoy.
  • Eat healthy, limit caffeine and alcohol.

Having a healthy lifestyle and diet are important steps toward preventing heart disease. Consider scheduling a Health Coaching session on your HealthQuest portal for more tips about developing healthy habits.

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