The importance of stress management for a healthy heart

The importance of stress management for a healthy heart

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Stress is increasingly becoming the root cause of many negative health conditions. Although stress is a normal part of life, excessive amounts of stress can be harmful to your overall health, especially your heart [1]. How much stress you experience and how you react to it can increase your risk of heart disease [2]. Understanding this cause and effect as early as possible is critical in the management and treatment of stress-related health concerns.

As your body perceives stress, the hormone cortisol is released into your bloodstream [2]. If you find yourself navigating life highly stressed and constantly operating in high gear, your body may keep producing this responsive stress hormone. High levels of cortisol have been associated with an increase in blood cholesterol, truncal obesity, elevation of blood pressure, insulin levels and blood sugar [3]. These are all common risk factors for heart disease. Chronic stress can further increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks and may lead to the formation of plaque in arteries [4], as well as impact your quality of life and mental wellbeing.

Some tips to aid in stress reduction include:

1. Exercise

Physical exercise helps to alleviate stress while counteracting its harmful effects by controlling weight, improving cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure. Research indicates that people report feeling calmer after a 20-30minute bout of aerobic exercise with the calming effect lasting for several hours post exercise [5].

2. Enjoying a healthy diet 

A proper, healthy and balanced diet can counterbalance the impact of stress by strengthening the immune system, stabilising moods, and reducing blood pressure [6].

3. Get enough sleep 

As we sleep, our bodies use this time to reset and rejuvenate, helping our minds and bodies recover and recharge to take on the next day. Getting enough sleep is widely known as a key factor to helping increase your quality of life as well as mental health by restoring the body, improving concentration and regulating mood [7]. Not getting enough sleep is associated with increased cortisol levels, making your stress even worse [7]. Research shows that adults should aim for at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night to feel refreshed and energised the next morning [8]. 

4. Take an Ubiquinol Supplement 

As a powerful antioxidant that naturally occurs on our body, Ubiquinol has been proven to maintain overall health and wellbeing, including to support heart health. Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10, reduced to make it more readily usable by our body. To support your heart, it is worth ensuring that you are receiving your recommended daily intake of Ubiquinol, either through foods naturally high in this antioxidant or through supplements.

Seek advice from a healthcare practitioner to determine if supplementation is right for you. Always read the label.


[1] Urmc.rochester.edu. 2021. Stress Can Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. [online] Available at: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2171 [Accessed 31 August 2021].

[2] Harvard Health. 2021. Stress and your heart – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/stress-and-your-heart [Accessed 31 August 2021].

[3] Whitworth, J. A., Williamson, P. M., Mangos, G., & Kelly, J. J. (2005). Cardiovascular consequences of cortisol excess. Vascular health and risk management, 1(4), 291–299. https://doi.org/10.2147/vhrm.2005.1.4.291

[4] Yao, B. C., Meng, L. B., Hao, M. L., Zhang, Y. M., Gong, T., & Guo, Z. G. (2019). Chronic stress: a critical risk factor for atherosclerosis. The Journal of international medical research, 47(4), 1429–1440. https://doi.org/10.1177/0300060519826820

[5] Jackson, E. M. (2013) Stress Relief: The Role of Exercise in Stress Management, ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal, 17(3), pp. 14-19. doi: 10.1249/fit.0b013e31828cb1c9.

[6] Wongvibulsin, S (2014) Eat Right, Drink Well, Stress Less: Stress-Reducing Foods, Herbal Supplements, and Teas, Explore Integrative Medicine. Available at: https://exploreim.ucla.edu/nutrition/eat-right-drink-well-stress-less-stress-reducing-foods-herbal-supplements-and-teas/ (Accessed: 21 June 2021).

[7] Choi, D. W., Chun, S. Y., Lee, S. A., Han, K. T., & Park, E. C. (2018). Association between Sleep Duration and Perceived Stress: Salaried Worker in Circumstances of High Workload. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(4), 796. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040796

[8] Sleephealthfoundation.org.au. 2015. SLEEP NEEDS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN. [online] Available at: https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/files/pdfs/Sleep-Needs-Across-Lifespan.pdf [Accessed 24 August 2021].

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