Set your heart to island time
Calm a racing heart by cuing up Bob Marley on your iPod. The beat of a typical reggae tune is 60 per minute, about the rate of a normal heartbeat. Matching your heart rate to the fluid beat will chill you out in no time.
Take a quick run
Think you don't have enough time for a workout that will benefit your health? Think again. A new study finds that running as little as 5 minutes a day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease. Research on more than 55,000 adult runners and non-runners showed that over a 15-year period, runners were 45 percent less likely to die from heart disease than non-runners were. So take five and get moving!
Put on the pressure
Long-term exposure to stress hormones can cause increased risk of health problems – including heart disease. That's not exactly a relaxing thought. So what do you do when deep breaths and chamomile tea don't work? Try pressure point therapy, a form of do-it-yourself acupuncture that helps release muscular tension and promote blood circulation. Start with the Third Eye Pointe, the space between your eyebrows just above the bridge of your nose, then place your middle and index finger on it and hold the position for one to two minutes using gentle to firm pressure. Release and repeat as necessary over a 15-minute period. Feel better?
Laugh out loud
Whether you like watching Modern Family or The Office reruns, if it gets you chuckling, it's good for your heart. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center shows that laughter helps relieve the stress that damages the endothelium, the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels and helps your blood flow. It also promotes the healthy function of blood vessels.
This story first appeared in the February 2015 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.