Give To Receive Heart Health
The spirit of giving should be all about helping others, right? Well, not entirely. Psychologists have long understood the notion that altruism activates regions of your brain associated with pleasure, creating a mentally and physically rewarding ‘warm glow’ effect. But if you want to give your heart a genuine gift, we have the bow and ribbon for your needs.
A study in theAmerican Journal of Epidemiologyfound that people who gave blood on a yearly basis were a back-slapping 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Why? Too much iron in your blood can increase its viscosity, which puts extra strain on your heart and can even lead to life-threatening clots. Scientists speculate that donating your blood on a regular basis balances iron levels, ensuring all that plasma is pumped around your body with increased ease.
You’ll also pocket a calorie burn from your philanthropy. The University of California found that giving blood torches more than 650 calories, the equivalent of a lung-searing HIIT session. Need any more incentive? Well, according to Harvard University, we also derive pleasure through charitable acts in what’s been called ‘self-interested giving’. So, inject a little selfishness into your life and everyone – including yourself – will be better off for it. ’Tis almost the season, after all.
(Related: Blood-Pumping Foods)
Avo Up: The magnesium in every hipster’s favourite fruit, avocado, has been found to cut BP. Enjoy it smashed for maximum effect, obvs.
Exhaust Options: Road traffic noise at night can rack up heart attack risk by 12%, says Plos One journal. Move to the country. Or buy earplugs.
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