Although there may be fewer office or neighborhood parties this year, you’ll likely still be celebrating the holidays in some fashion. From buying gifts to family feasts, the holidays present some challenges for those who are trying to safeguard their heart health.
As the holiday season approaches, our team here at Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists wanted to take this opportunity to remind you to keep your heart health top of mind. Whether you’re already struggling with heart disease or you simply want to safeguard your heart health, these tips will serve you well.
If there’s one thing that can be said about the holidays, it’s that food is usually abundant and not necessarily great for your cardiovascular system. As you face a table laden with rich and creamy holiday foods, we urge you to take it slow and easy.
First, grab the smallest plate you can find and sample each dish rather than pile on a full serving. As you eat, do so mindfully and savor each bite rather than wolfing everything down. In fact, some people grab a quick snack before they head to a holiday meal so that they don’t arrive famished.
You’d also do well to consider the foods in front of you. Even though that asparagus dish may involve a healthy vegetable, it might also contain rich creams and butters that aren't great for your heart health. Instead, look for the simplest dishes that feature the vegetable as the main ingredient.
Many holiday feasts feature special sweets that you’ve waited all year to enjoy. Though we aren’t suggesting that you forego this annual delight, we are recommending that you go easy with the sweets and enjoy them sparingly.
Although holiday foods may present the obvious heart health obstacles, let’s not forget about the high levels of stress that come with this time of year. If you’ve been running around buying gifts, sprucing up your house, cooking, and cleaning, we urge you to take some time to yourself to destress. Whether it’s a quiet walk around the block or simply closing the door with a good book, these peaceful moments can do wonders for your stress levels.
You want to sit and enjoy the company of family and friends, but don’t let your exercise regimen fall completely away. Carve out some time each day to move and maybe enlist some family members to join you on a post-meal walk.
One of the most important things you can do over the busy holidays is to ensure that your body is getting enough restorative sleep. Your body (and heart) need this quiet time to regulate function, so be sure to get as much quality sleep as you can.
If you’re worried about your heart health and the holidays, please contact our office in Mountain View, California, so that we can sit down with you and come up with a plan.