The Roles of Psychological Stress, Physical Activity, and Dietary Modifications on Cardiovascular Health Implications
- Chun-Jung Huang, Chun-Jung HuangFlorida Atlantic University
- Matthew J. McAllisterMatthew J. McAllisterMississippi State University
- and Aaron L. SlusherAaron L. SlusherVirginia Commonwealth University
Psychological stress disorders, such as depression and chronic anxiety contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. Acute psychological and physical stress exacerbate the activity of sympathetic-adrenal-medullary system, resulting in the elevation of cardiovascular responses (i.e., heart rate and blood pressure), along with augmented inflammation and oxidative stress as major causes of endothelial and metabolic dysfunction. The potential health benefits of regular physical activity mitigate excessive inflammation and oxidative stress. Along with physical exercise, complementary interventions, such as dietary modification are needed to enhance exercise effectiveness in improving these outcomes. Specifically, dietary modification reduces sympathetic nervous system activity, improve mitochondrial redox function, and minimize oxidative stress as well as chronic inflammation.