Hello Holiday, Goodbye Stress and High Blood Pressure
December 17, 2006 7:34pm CST
Take a little extra time off this week if you can. You -- and your blood pressure -- deserve it. Burning the midnight oil night after night is not only bad for your psyche -- it's also bad for your blood pressure. So when it's time for a holiday, log off that computer, douse the lights, and get the heck out of there -- both physically and mentally. Your heart will be better off for it. When researchers compared the hours people worked to their blood pressure, they found an interesting relationship: People who worked 41 to 50 hours a week were more likely to have high blood pressure than those who put in fewer than 40 hours a week. When time on the job jumped to more than 51 hours, hypertension was practically commonplace -- almost a third of the men and women had it. Anyway you slice it, long work hours mean less sleep, family time, and activities that your body needs to stay strong and healthy. Because -- unless you've pulled a Michael Keaton and figured out how to clone yourself -- the extra time at your desk cuts into the time you could spend doing good things for yourself, like exercising, cooking healthy meals, and relaxing with friends and family. All things you really need to do to keep your heart and arteries young. So regardless of the kind of work you do or how much you love it (or don't), be sure to balance it with other good-life priorities. You'll feel better, do a better job, and add years to your life.