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Why a steady heartbeat is bad for you

Written by Editorial Team |Published : October 1, 2014 7:16 PM IST

stressAccording to a recent study, if a person has a steady heartbeat when he is worried about something than he might be more susceptible to stress. The research conducted by the Concordia University showed that a less variable heartbeat when worried makes a person highly stressed later on.

'At rest, a more variable heartbeat is a good thing. It shows that your parasympathetic nervous system is hard at work. That is the system that is responsible for the 'rest-and-digest' state of being - the opposite of 'fight-or-flight',' explained psychology professor Jean-Philippe Gouin. The rest-and-digest phase puts you in a calm state that allows you to conserve and replenish your energy. During the study, Gouin followed 76 university students during periods of lower stress at the beginning of term and higher stress during the exam period. He found that, although all students experience similar challenges during finals, only some of them develop significant distress.

Researchers recorded participants' heart rate variability while they were relaxing and while they were thinking about things they tend to worry about most. They also tracked participants' moods at low stress and high stress periods during term. 'By pinpointing those in the general population who are most vulnerable to stress, we can intervene before they hit the breaking point - and hopefully prevent the negative consequences of stress by doing so,' Gouin added.The paper was published in the journal Stress.

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Here are some expert tips to reduce stress and keep your heart healthy

Decide to change your lifestyle: Somewhere down the line, we all know we need to change our lifestyle but we don t act upon that thought. Think about what changes you need to make and target them one by one. Changing your lifestyle in a positive way can help you cope up with the expectations of people around you.

Eat a balanced diet: Good nutrition is a powerful weapon to deal with stress. Your nutrition requirement shoot up when you re under stressful situation. Your body needs extra B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc for building resistance against infections. Eat a balanced diet, with adequate amount of complex carbohydrates that keep you energised for a long time and prevent mindless eating along with proteins and healthy fats. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to meet your nutritional requirement.

Exercise regularly: Physical activity releases stress-busting hormones that induces a feeling of relaxation and keeps you happy. Even 30 minutes of daily exercise will be sufficient for reducing stress. It will also reduce cholesterol and increase your heart rate, improving heart function. Read more about Expert tips to reduce stress and keep your heart healthy

With inputs from IANS

Photo source: Getty images

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