Taking regular time off can cut your heart attack risk by almost a third. Yet, according to an Expedia.com survey, Americans ditch an estimated 465 million vacation days a year, which cranks up the rate at which their bodies age. How? Over-commitment leads to chronic stress, and too much stress puts you on the fast track to heart disease. Whatever your excuse for not taking a break (too little time, money, or energy), it probably isn’t worth the consequences.
Heart-Healthy Tip: Do this to get that blissed-out vacation feeling any time: Close your eyes, focus your attention on your heart, and take slow breaths in and out. After a few breaths, imagine something that puts you at ease — a pet, a child, flowers, or a sandy beach. Hold that image and keep breathing in and out. Do this once a day for 10 minutes. Your heart will love it, and so will you.