Five New Ways You Can Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

View as:|
1 of 5


In a study led by a fellow at Mount Sinai, researchers found that after just 10 weeks of volunteering for one hour, one day a week, people had measurably lower levels of each heart disease risk factor (including BMI, inflammation, and cholesterol levels), compared to those in the control group.

Eat like a Greek

Research in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms what has long been thought about the Mediterranean diet, which is based on a diet of produce, olive oil, nuts, legumes, and wine. According to the study, it significantly reduces rates of heart attacks and strokes, as compared to a low-fat diet.

Women: Find a low-stress job

Research from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women with "high job strain" are 67 percent more likely to experience a heart attack and 38 percent more likely to have a cardiovascular event than their counterparts in "low strain" jobs. Based on self-reported job characteristics, the researchers found that higher job strain was correlated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Try to eliminate stress

Life stress early on, such as that experienced by babies who are sick, appears to have an impact on heart function, affecting the heart's ability to refill with oxygen-rich blood and relax. This research is especially important for neonatal intensive care units in hospitals, particularly in focusing their efforts to improve the environment for infants.

Stand up

Sitting for long hours is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to research published in International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. Men who sat for more than four hours a day were at a significantly increased risk of developing chronic disease compared to those who sat for less hours.