4 Heart Healthy Surprises

Diet and exercise aren’t the only factors that positively influence your heart’s well-being.

Here are four unexpected things you can do to promote good heart health.

1. Make time for a laugh.

A hearty laugh reduces the levels of blood vessel-constricting stress hormones circulating in your bloodstream, enhancing blood flow. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), laughter’s heart-healthy effects may continue for up to 24 hours.

2. Own a furry friend.

The exact reason pet ownership benefits the heart is an ongoing topic of study. Most of the research surrounding this topic focuses on dogs. According to the AHA, one potential explanation for improvements in dog owners’ heart health is that they are often more active thanks to Spot’s need for exercise. The companionship pets offer may also play a role.

3. Think optimistically.

A 2015 study published in Health Behavior and Policy Review that assessed and ranked the cardiovascular health of over 5,100 adults found that optimists are twice as likely to have cardiovascular scores in the “ideal” range. Those who see the glass as half full also tend to be healthier overall and are less likely to have high cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

4. Say “I do.”

Married people have lower levels of cardiovascular disease, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology, underscoring the potential importance of relationships on heart health.

Source: Vista Health News • vistahealth.healthnewsforme.com/issue/campaign/article/20693/19500/modern