Well according to this study “Long Work Hours Tied to Double the Risk for Recurrent MI” by Batya Swift Yasgur, more than 55 hours per week is too many! For those of you who don’t know MI stands for myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. The outcome of this study shows that those who have already suffered from a heart attack may increase their chance of having another if they work more than 55 hours a week.
Apparently lowering to 35-40 hours per week can lower the risk of another heart attack. On top of that, the risks were higher for people who had more stress, smoke, had a large alcohol intake and low physical activities. Well most of these we already knew right! We can certainly add more to this list like keeping good blood glucose control and a waist circumference right? But if we are post an MI then being mindful of work hours could be a worthy target.
These factors alone can make you rethink the way you work? Can you cut down the hours at work to dedicate some time to better your health?
Here are some tips to lower your risks!
- Reduce stress: Get support from your family and friends or from a professional if you are suffering from emotional or social stressors at work. Learn to reduce stress by practising breath work, yoga or guided meditation – practice makes perfect! Relaxing the nervous system can lower cholesterol, inflammation and balance blood sugar levels (https://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/20/lower-your-risk-of-heart-disease-without-drugs/).
- More exercise: This study show (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6378495/) 150-300 minutes per week can lower the risk of heart attacks. Mix things up by doing walking/cycling/running/swimming and weight training a few times per week.
- Healthy diet: increase the number of vegetables, fruit, oily fish, whole grains (if the body tolerates and not white refined grains), legumes and nuts. Eat blood sugar balancing meals (include protein in every meal, and avoid consuming carbohydrates alone, plus avoid the white stuff). Avoid processed foods, alcohol and unhealthy fats like margarine, shortening and vegetable oils.
- Look at the underlying cause: are you deficient in any minerals or vitamins? Getting the proper tests done is important in knowing what your body needs. Supplements like fish oils especially EPA, vitmain D, B viamins might be needed. Check your inflammatory markers, homoycsteine, insulin, lipids including triglycerides, HBA1c are just some of the markers which will let you know how you are tracking from a risk perspective and then you can work to normalise these.
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