Fun Things To Do For Your Heart

Fun Things To Do For Your HeartHigh blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is prevalent in men between 35-44. Some studies suggest that approximately 25% of men in this age group have symptoms of hypertension. The statistic is not much better for younger guys. About 12% of men in the 20 to 34 year age range have hypertension. Hypertension is a leading cause of health issues, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Take heart, though! There are a few fun things you can do throughout the course of your day that are good for your heart.

1.) Turn up the jams!

Listening to music with a slower but steady beat for 30 minutes tends to lower your systolic blood pressure. While listening to your favorite music, practice some breathing exercises. Inhale and exhale at the rate of 1:2 to the rhythmic beat. This means that you inhale for one second and then slowly exhale for two. Breathing to slower rhythmic beats relaxes the blood vessels which is good for the heart.

2.) Get your game on!

Generally, video games do nothing for your heart health. However, with the introduction of physically active video games, such as the Wii and the Microsoft’s Kinect for the Xbox, your gaming time can actually take the place of regular trips to the gym. Games for the Wii like Wii Sport jogging and boxing and Wii Fit will get you up off the couch and moving. Playing the game for about 150 minutes per week can lower your systolic blood pressure by as much as five points.

3.) Laugh like crazy!

Laughing for an extended period of time can cause blood vessels to dilate by as much as 22%! When your blood vessels dilate, you experience an increase in blood flow. Whether you are hanging out with a funny friend or watching a funny movie, laughing is great for your heart. Laughing is also known to reduce stress.

4.) Eat some chocolate!

One recent study showed that when participants ate 3 and 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate per day for 15 days, they were able to lower their systolic blood pressure by as much as 4 and 1/2 points. The darker the chocolate, the more health benefits it will provide. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and less sugar than milk chocolate. Select dark chocolate with at least 65% cacao. Enjoy some dark chocolate today. It’s good for your heart.

5.) Have a cocktail!

A recent study in Denmark found that men who enjoyed two alcoholic beverages per day were 31% less likely to develop heart disease. Have a cocktail and toast to your heart, but be sure to not overdo it. Those who consumed more than two drinks per day experienced a rise in their blood pressure. One drink is defined as a 12 ounce beer, a mixed drink with 1.5 ounces of alcohol or a 5 ounce glass of wine.

6.) Get your groove on! (aka Have some sex!)

Having sex twice per week or more is known to reduce blood pressure in men. Men who have sex at least twice per week are 65% less susceptible to heart disease than men who have sex less frequently. In addition, regular sex defined as once every two weeks will lower your overall stress levels.

However, take note that “a solo performance” is not the same as having sex with a partner. Researchers are unsure of why this is the case, but they believe it may have something to do with intimacy. Oxytocin is released during an intimate sexual encounter, which lowers the blood pressure and reduces stress, too.

Sex may also be a good workout. You can burn up to 60 calories per 1/2 hour in bed with your partner. The more vigorous the sex, the more calories you will burn.

Doing heart healthy activities can be fun. Get creative and enjoy some ways to keep your heart healthy.