Why, I Oughta… Help You Out

Does your blood pressure often come close to the boiling point? If you’re prone to hypertension – a leading cause of heart attack and stroke – you probably know that factors like smoking, sitting on your butt all day, and, yes, getting stressed and angry all contribute to the problem.

A study at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has found one way to bring down that high blood pressure: Help someone. Researchers at the university recruited more than a thousand older adults with normal blood pressure. When they interviewed the same folks four years later, they discovered that those who had done volunteer work were much less likely to have developed a blood pressure problem in those four years.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t quit smoking or ever step on a treadmill. But it’s good to know that helping others is another way to protect yourself from hypertension. In a way, by giving from the heart, you’re giving back to your own.

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