No matter how healthy you are, the holidays can take a toll on your heart health. Believe it or not, stress that results from the holiday season can lead to heart problems, such as heart attacks. Here are seven tips for getting through the holidays with your heart's health intact.
- Plan everything. One of the biggest reasons that you suffer stress during the holiday season is a lack of planning. Take some time out about three to four weeks before the holidays and create a list of activities that need to be done.
- Do not forget to exercise. Due to the hustle and bustle associated with the holiday season, it is not uncommon for some to forget to exercise. Exercising helps to reduce stress levels, which means less of a strain on your heart.
- Take time to rest. Even though staying active is necessary, do not overdo it. Just like exercise can help your heart's health, overexertion can hurt it. Ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of rest for someone in your age group daily.
- Do not focus on food. One mistake people make is eating too much during the holidays. Whether or not you make this mistake, you can enjoy the holiday season without overeating. Use other activities, such as spending time with the family, to limit your holiday eating.
- Opt for the stairs. When shopping for friends and family, you might be tempted to take the escalators and elevators at shopping centers. Skipping both of these and opting for the stairs instead not only gives you more exercise, it also helps you to stay on target with your weight.
- Practice stress relief techniques. When you find yourself feeling stressed, take time out and practice a stress relief technique, such as yoga or meditation. You can also choose to avoid stress triggers, such as family events or work-sponsored holiday events.
- Be upfront with your family. If you have a heart condition, talk to your family about your desire to stay heart healthy during the holiday season. For instance, if a certain family member is usually a source of stress, ask him or her to try to take it easy with you.
The most important thing you can do is to remember that holidays should be a source of joy. Spend time with the ones you love, doing the things you want, and you can have a stress-free holiday season. Contact a heart center like Martin Medical Center for more information.