There are many ways to stay healthy during the holidays while still enjoying the traditional joys of the season. Try these five tips to keep your holidays heart-healthy:
- Plan ahead. Make a shopping list before going to the store, and plan your budget ahead of time to avoid the stress of overspending. Remember, added expenses can put unnecessary strain on your budget – and on your heart!
- Stick with healthy habits. The holidays come with large feasts and an abundance of food. Moderation is the most important way to stay healthy during holiday time. If you go overboard, return to your healthy practices as soon as possible afterwards. Avoid or limit your alcohol consumption. Drinking in excess can be harmful to your heart and increase stress as well.
- Remember to relax. Make some time for yourself (even just 15 minutes without distractions can reinvigorate you and clear your mind). Spend quality time with family or friends. Go to a movie or enjoy putting up the tree with your family.
- Make sleep and exercise a priority. Sleep and exercise are great antidotes for stress and fatigue. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep in the evenings so that your body can rest from the holiday chaos. Maintain your exercise routine during the holidays. Aim for 30 minutes each day.
- Put your health first. Holiday excitement can distract many people and cause them to ignore the signs and symptoms of heart disease. They may delay seeking medical care or forget to take necessary medications. If you have a medical need, don’t wait until after the holidays to go to the doctor. Determine if you’re at risk for heart disease. Also, make sure to know the warning signs of a heart attack:
- Chest discomfort
- Pain in the arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911.