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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

By Virginia Anderson
WebMD Feature

The wild stock market ride, rising foreclosure rates, and increasing layoffs may give you a queasy feeling in your stomach, but it’s your heart that is really at increased risk during a recession, cardiologists say.

Because of the stress that often comes with a recession, it’s important to take extra care of your heart’s health.

“Stress, anxiety, and depression all affect heart health,” says Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, section head of preventive cardiology and rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. One major effect is accelerated atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Elevated blood pressure and heart rate are also side effects of stress.

Although a recession does not kill tens of thousands of people in a single catastrophic event, it harms health in the long run. The consequences of dealing with financial uncertainties can be devastating, experts say.

So what can you do to protect your health during the recession? Plenty. And you can do it with just a little extra effort — and very little money.

  1. Look the other way
  2. Get moving
  3. Become a Sleeping Beauty
  4. Watch your stomach
  5. Watch out for recession depression
  6. Limit the booze
  7. Establish a routine
  8. Take your medicines
  9. Know your numbers
  10. Chill out

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