Heart Healthy Tips for the Holidays

Heart Healthy Tips for the Holidays Photo

Have a Holly Jolly Holiday Season

While the holiday season is full of good food, late nights, family gatherings, and time with friends, it typically comes with additional stress due to travel, finances, hours of preparation, and lack of sleep.

For various reasons, the holiday season can have a detrimental effect on your overall health. According to the American Heart Association, cardiac deaths are significantly higher during the holidays. This could be due to common holiday habits such as:

  • Indulging in foods that are higher in fats, sodium, starches, and sugars.
  • Increasing drinking alcoholic beverages during celebrations.
  • Traveling to spend time with friends and family.
  • Forgetting necessary medications during travel.
  • Emotional stress is due to an increase in depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
  • Additional stress due to financial obligations.
  • Exposure to illnesses and viruses such as the flu, a common cold, or COVID-19.

So how can you have a holly, jolly holiday season while keeping your heart healthy? Follow these tips to take care of your health into the new year:

Manage Your Stress

Holiday stress is a genuine and prevalent emotion felt by many from November to January. People often forget to take care of themselves between scheduling activities, hosting parties, attending gatherings, cooking big meals, and financially contributing to daily obligations in addition to gifts.

Manage your holiday stress by committing to something you love to do that relaxes your mind. Yoga is an excellent option for relieving stress as it focuses on flexibility, stretching, and breathing. Journaling, reading, lighting candles, taking baths, getting adequate amounts of sleep, and reducing caffeine intake are other great solutions to lowering

your stress.

Indulge in Moderation

Holiday food is not typically known for its healthy ingredients; frequently, these foods can be full of sodium, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. Although holiday meals only occur once a year, you should only indulge in moderation if you are concerned for your heart health.

Try substituting water for sugary beverages, low-fat dairy products for heavier, creamier dairy products, and have vegetables without additional sauces and dressings. Another suggestion is to have smaller portions of your favorite traditional dishes. Always consult with your doctor for other heart-healthy dietary recommendations to ensure you have a happy and healthy holiday.

Be Active

One of the most significant ways to keep your heart healthy is to get active and exercise! Whether that means going for a morning jog, an evening walk, or signing up for a gym membership; you should participate in something you love. Exercise strengthens your heart muscle and improves your circulation, thus decreasing your risk for heart disease.

Quit Smoking

Ending a smoking habit is extremely difficult but is highly effective when pertaining to your heart’s health. Smoking increases the building of plaque in your blood vessels leading to the formation of blockages to your heart. Reduce your risk of having a heart attack by committing to quitting smoking this holiday season.

Emergency Chest Pain Treatment in San Antonio

If you experience any unexplainable or severe chest pain, visit Full Spectrum Emergency Room and Urgent Care immediately. Our emergency care providers can determine the cause of your pain and provide you with the proper treatment for your situation. Contact us online, or call (210) 429-8313 to learn more about our chest pain treatments today.

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