How to Have a Heart-Healthy Holiday Season

Heart Health and the Holidays

With wintertime nipping at our noses, the holiday season brings cooler temperatures, holiday cheer, and an increased risk of a heart attack. Many people experience a shift in everyday habits like increased stress from work, traveling more, and change in diet. According to the American Heart Association, these abrupt behavioral changes can have a negative impact on cardiac health and increase the risk of cardiac health complications.

Following these tips can help you to reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack this holiday season and beyond:

Stay Active

While your schedule around the holidays can become hectic and busy, making time for physical activity should still be a priority. Getting your heart rate up can help to decrease stress as well as keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regulated.

According to the American Heart Association, it is recommended that adults get about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Planning outdoor activities with friends and family after amidst your holiday celebrations can help you take care of your body while still getting to spend quality time with your loved ones.

Relax and De-Stress

Preparing for upcoming festivities and celebrations can be stressful to say the least. It is imperative to remember to find time to decompress and relax. High amounts of stress may cause a spike in your blood pressure. This may lead to excessive strain on your heart and circulatory system, increasing your risk of heart disease and heart attack.

To keep your stress levels regulated, remember to take moments to yourself to decompress. A simple way you can de-stress is by stopping for a minute, closing your eyes, and taking slow, deep breaths. It is also helpful to try to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep to help to further reduce stress levels.

Keep Indulgences Small

With an abundance of holiday goodies and large meals, it is crucial to be mindful of your food choices when it comes to your heart health. Eating and digesting food causes the body to release hormones, which cause your blood pressure and heart rate to increase—overeating can trigger a heart attack.

Keep these heart-healthy tips in mind before holiday meals:

  • Have healthy meals and snacks throughout the day before a large meal
  • Choose vegetables and healthy side dishes first
  • Keep servings of proteins and meats to about the size of your palm
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

Cardiac Support in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of board-certified physicians and our highly skilled cardiac support team provide the highest level of medical care to Ridgecrest and surrounding areas. To learn more about our cardiovascular disease services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (760) 446-3551 (Mon-Fri 8 AM -4:30PM).