The holidays are a time for celebration – but they can also be a time for danger to your heart health. That’s because many people tend to let their guard down during the holidays, and that can lead to bad decisions when it comes to eating and drinking.
Research shows that more people have heart attacks and die from them during the last week of December. This is because of all the stress from the holidays. A study published in the American Heart Association journal, “Circulation,” showed that more cardiac deaths occur on Dec. 25 than any other day of the year, followed by Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.
But don’t worry – we have some tips from the experts at the American Heart Association that can help you keep your heart healthy during the holidays.
Stay Heart Healthy This Holiday Season
The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a very stressful time. With all the parties, shopping, and family gatherings, it’s easy to let your health fall by the wayside. But did you know that the holidays are actually a risky time for your heart? According to the American Heart Association, more people die of cardiac events during the winter months than any other time of year.
So how can you enjoy all the holiday festivities without putting your heart at risk? Consider these tips from the experts at the American Heart Association.
1. Know symptoms and take action. The symptoms of a heart attack can be different for men and women. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat, don’t wait! Call 911 immediately and get to the nearest hospital.
2. Celebrate in moderation. Alcohol can increase your blood pressure and aggravate other health conditions, so it’s important to drink in moderation. If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, avoid alcohol altogether.
3. Practice goodwill toward yourself. The holidays can be a very hectic time, so make sure to pencil in some “me time” on your schedule. Whether it’s getting a massage, taking a long walk, or just taking a few minutes to relax with a good book, carving out some time for yourself will help reduce stress and keep your heart healthy.
4. Keep moving. It’s easy to let your exercise routine slip during the holidays, but staying active is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. If you can’t make it to the gym, try incorporating some activity into your everyday life by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from stores when you’re out shopping.
5 . Stick to your medication. If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, it’s important to take your medication as prescribed and to see your doctor regularly. Don’t let holiday travel throw off your schedule—set reminders on your phone or pack your medications in a carry-on bag so you don’t forget them when you’re en route to your destination.
By following these simple tips, you can enjoy all the holiday festivities worry-free! There are many ways to live a heart-healthy lifestyle during the holidays and all year long. To find out more, visit heart.org. Stay safe and happy holidays!
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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.