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The holiday season is here! So naturally, there's no way you can make it through the holidays without eating (a lot). Unfortunately, though they're delicious, all of these traditional family favourites come with a hefty dose of salt, sugar, and fat, none of which are good for your heart.
How To Celebrate The Holidays The Heart-Friendly Way
The rich, salty foods and holiday stress can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart attacks during the holiday season. However, experts warn that overindulging does not have to be part of our holiday traditions. Many holiday recipes contain large amounts of butter, which is not heart-healthy. Some recipes combine vegetables with high-fat foods like meat and cheese .
1. Plan to reduce holiday stress
It's hard on your heart when you're stressed, and the holidays can be especially stressful. However, you can help protect your heart by managing stress or reducing it in areas you can control.
2. Watch your alcohol intake
The increase in alcohol is one of the reasons for holiday heart syndrome . Drinking alcohol can raise your blood pressure and make you more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). Eventually, this can put you at risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation doesn't just leave you feeling tired; it can affect your health too. Chronic sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, make you feel anxious and depressed, and affect your work performance. Chronic sleep deprivation can also strain your heart and raise your blood pressure. Adults should sleep between 7-9 hours each night . Sleep isn't a luxury. Sleep is a necessity.
4. Exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart. Besides improving circulation, it also helps relieve stress. Therefore, exercise for 150 minutes a week is recommended .
5. Eat mindfully
Consume a high-protein snack such as non-fat yoghurt and a piece of fruit before attending a party. Proteins provide sustained energy and help you avoid party foods high in saturated fats and salt, which can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, fruit can satisfy your hunger and provide you with essential vitamins .
6. Be aware of your health
If you feel your blood pressure rising, stop immediately and take a few minutes to relax. If you can, get a massage or soak in a hot tub at a spa, but even a homemade mask or a bubble bath can help you feel more relaxed .
On A Final Note...
Watch out for any signs of heart disease, whether the busy holiday season or a routine day afternoon. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations, including feeling that your heart is pounding, racing, or skipping a beat, are examples of this.
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