10 Ways to Protect Your Heart From the Tolls of Recession
Healthy Diet, Exercise, Relaxing Techniques Can Go a Long Way in Reducing Ill Effects of Economy-Related Stress
6. Limit the booze
It may be tempting to drown our sorrows in libations, but it’s not very wise
in the long run.
First, remember that alcohol is a depressant. Second, it adds extra
calories. The list goes on. And remember that it costs money that you could
spend on something good for your body.
Although studies have shown that alcohol in moderation can promote heart
health, remember that more is not better.
7. Establish a routine
Having a routine during the recession helps your health by bringing peace of
mind and lowering your stress hormones.
“When you are used to a routine, you can minimize your risk,” Gandy says.
Facing a foreclosure or being laid off makes us feel out of control. When we do
things that help us feel in control, such as having a routine, we feel
Also, a routine is particularly important for those who have been laid off,
Gandy says. When workers suddenly become nonproductive, they often experience a
profound sense of loss that can lead to depression. Having a routine, as well
as a plan for how you are going to find work, is essential.
8. Take your medicines
When budgets are tight, many people are tempted to cut out or cut back on
their prescription medications. Don’t do either, because it may harm your
health. If you are having trouble paying for your medicines, talk to your
doctor. You can also consider going generic, if a version exists for your
medication, or ask if the manufacturer has a financial assistance program.
9. Know your numbers
We’re not talking about financials -- we’re talking blood pressure,
cholesterol, and triglycerides. If you already have related medical problems,
make sure to continue your doctor's recommended checkups. During the recession,
your health may be more stressed than you realize.
10. Chill out
Learn relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, mindfulness, or
meditation. Even sharing your experiences in support groups can help your
health during the recession. “You’ve got to find a happy place,” says Cleveland
Many health centers and some places of worship offer free or inexpensive
classes on relaxation techniques. Deep breathing can help lower your blood
pressure as well as reduce the amount of stress hormones gushing into your
bloodstream, and mindfulness relaxes you and helps you sleep better.
Such techniques can also help you avoid anger, an inevitable consequence of
feeling out of control, which can lead to spikes in blood pressure during the
day, Hazen says. Those spikes, though brief, put you at increased risk for a
Above all, while the financial news is horrible, focus on the good things
going on in your life. Even if you have lost a great deal in your retirement
fund, maybe you still have your house. Maybe you still have a job. And with a
little extra attention, you can still have your health.