Eyes to the sky. Sunlight through the leaves above. The gentle back-and-forth swing of a hammock.
Everyone knows that hammocks are the way to go for ultimate relaxation. They're easy to set up, they'll provide hours of satisfaction, and they're good for your mental health. But one of the lesser known benefits of hammocks is the role they play in cardiovascular disease prevention.
That's right, getting some R&R in a hammock is good for your heart. Not convinced? We're here to show you all the hammock health benefits that you're missing out on. Keep reading as we discuss how lying in a hammock might actually improve your heart health. But, let's start with the basics first.
What Is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular diseases are those that affect the heart and veins. Since they're a broad category, there are many specific kinds of cardiovascular disease with their respective symptoms.
They can include things like coronary heart disease, an issue with blood veins that support the heart muscle. Or they can be deep vein thrombosis, which leads to deadly blood clots in the legs. Whichever type of cardiovascular disease it is, it's a serious condition that requires treatment.
Believe it or not, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death across the globe. That means that of all the deaths annually, approximately 32% are from cardiovascular diseases alone. Yikes!
Who's At Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease can often be genetic. However, it also tends to affect a certain subset of people:
People with hypertension (high blood pressure)
People with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
People with diabetes, typically type-2
People who have generational incidence of heart disease
People with toxaemia or preeclampsia
People who have autoimmune conditions or experience chronic inflammation
People with chronic kidney disease
What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?
Most cardiovascular disease comes as a result of lifestyle behaviours. The following causes increase the risk of cardiovascular disease:
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
Lack of physical activity
Being obese or overweight
Having an unhealthy diet
Types of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease can be broken down into 4 main types:
coronary heart disease
peripheral arterial disease
If you experience any cardiovascular disease symptoms, you should seek out medical care ASAP.
Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease
Since every type of cardiovascular disease is different from the next, your symptoms may vary. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Extreme exhaustion or fatigue
Fainting or dizziness
Pressure on the chest, which may feel like a literal weight on your chest
Can Stress Cause Cardiovascular Disease?
The short answer is yes. Your heart is a muscle like any other. Overworking it can lead to heart problems.
The best way to overwork your heart is to stress out. When you're stressed, pay attention to your heartbeat. You'll notice that it's always way above your average BPM. That's because stress is your body putting itself into survival mode. It's preparing hormones and altering your breathing--and heartbeat--for fight or flight. Doing this on a regular basis puts unnecessary wear on your most vital organ.
Many wonder how to reduce cardiovascular disease once it has already manifested. The good news is, you can prevent the worsening of your cardiovascular disease. However, your cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention will require significant lifestyle changes.
The best way to go about cardiovascular disease prevention is to reduce its risk factors. That means quitting smoking, losing weight, and getting some exercise. But getting rid of the stress might prove to be a bit more difficult.
Stress can arise from a wide variety of life factors. There's no medical silver bullet that can do away with your stress. But, there are some incredibly effective things you can try:
Have A Healthy And Balanced Diet
People who have an unhealthy diet are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Unhealthy diets include those high in sugars, sodium, and processed foods. If you eat out on a regular basis and consume a lot of fizzy drinks, that puts you in this risk category.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be an unpleasant experience. Getting more leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits into your diet will give you more energy and make you feel better. Reduce your reliance on red meats, instead choosing chicken or fish.
A sedentary lifestyle is linked to a wide range of poor health effects. Even exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day will make a profound impact on your risk factor. Try to take every chance you get to go outside and walk. Get out and join a hiking group and go for a weekend camping trip. This is a great chance to pull out your new camping hammock and experience some proper R&R. Even going for a weekend swim will be better than nothing.
Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption
One's vices are always the last to go, especially when smoking and alcohol provide a helpful release. Unfortunately, you'll need to make the hard decision to cut these things out of your life for good. The harm of smoking is well-documented, and stopping provides you with a long list of benefits.
As for alcohol consumption, cut back to a few drinks per week at most. Adhere strictly to the recommendation by doctors to have only one drink per hour. If anything, try non-alcoholic versions of your favourite drink so you can enjoy the taste without the consequences.
Stress is a common contributor to cardiovascular health, for obvious reasons. While it may be near impossible to remove some sources of stress from your life, you can learn to manage your stress better. Adopt mindfulness practices such as grounding or meditation.
How to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease With Hammocks
A great way to destress your life and promote optimal cardiovascular help may just be with hammocks. Since stress plays such a large role in cardiovascular health, you'll need to do anything you can to reduce it.
Hammocks are versatile in this regard. They're perfect for all de-stressing activities, be they reading, or spending some time among the trees for your mental health. Hammocks are preferable for sleeping since they're better for your back. They provide even pressure across your body, allowing for quality naps and nighttime sleep. And at the end of the day, there's no better way to put your feet up.
If you're concerned about cardiovascular disease prevention, try a hammock! It's impossible to choose just one thing that people love about hammocks. They're comfy, and they force you to go outside into the sunlight and fresh air. It only follows that hammocks can do wonders for reducing your stress.
Let's cover just a few of the ways that hammocks can reduce stress and prevent cardiovascular disease.
Whether you're taking a daytime nap or spending the night outdoors, hammocks are ideal for sleeping. They spread the pressure evenly across your body, unlike a mattress. They let cool air onto your backside and rock you gently to sleep.
Bad sleep and stress go hand in hand. Waking up groggy with back and muscle pain only contributes to sleep deprivation. That only worsens your stress, compounding the problem over time.
That's not the case with a hammock. You'll sleep well, reducing your stress and making the next day even better.
Hammocks excel when it comes to quick naps. If you need to get away from it all, it's an unparalleled place to escape to for a quick cat nap.
2. They Get You Outdoors
There are so many benefits to getting outdoors that you have little reason to stay inside. A hammock puts you in nature, with fresh air and (potentially) the sounds of birds and animals. The smell of trees and the rustle of leaves will bring peace to your soul.
A hammock lets you put your feet up in the great outdoors. It's an excellent chance to finish that book you've been meaning to get to. And if you're into meditation, there's no better place than next door to Mother Nature.
There's no limit to the amount of time you can spend in nature. Make it a habit to spend at least a few minutes outside each day and you're guaranteed to see the benefits. A hammock provides a comfy place to lie when you go.
3. They're Great With Friends
Spending some time with friends is a wonderful means of destressing. So why not have a hammock party? As long as you have enough places to tie up on, you can bring as many people as you like.
The possibilities are limitless for social activities. You can chat, play games, listen to music, and play sports. Hammocks are easy to set up and provide a comfy place to relax all throughout your time together.
Plus, they're excellent for cuddling with a special someone. And if that isn't the best way to destress, nothing else is.
Find a Hammock for You
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death the world over. A common cause of cardiovascular disease can be stress. By spending some time in hammocks, you can reduce your stress and potentially mitigate your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So now you're sold on buying a hammock. But maybe you've never purchased one before, and you're not sure where to start. Look no further.
Check out Hammock Universe. From traditional to quilted hammocks, there's guaranteed to be one that's perfect for you.