The holiday season is one of the most joyous times of year, thanks to family gatherings, beloved foods, and feasts. But it can also be a time that increases heart risks, particularly if you tend to indulge in a lot of sweets and foods high in fats and salt. These five tips will help you manage your heart health all year, but they’re especially helpful during the holiday season.
1. Manage Stress Levels
Increased stress can raise your blood pressure, which can damage arteries, impact circulation, and cause chest pain. Even though the holidays can be hectic, it’s important to take it easy and focus on activities that bring you joy versus stress. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
2. Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Discuss alcohol with your doctor to determine what quantity, if any, is appropriate for your heart. Patients on heart medication generally have to avoid it altogether; however, if you do not have any underlying conditions, alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation to prevent negative impacts.
3. Avoid Fat-Heavy Foods
Limit your intake of foods heavy in butter, cream, oil, and grease. Make healthy alternatives when you can; if you do indulge, only have a small portion. There are many heart-healthy alternatives to holiday foods you can make instead.
4. Watch Your Salt Intake
Sodium can sneak up on you; even store-bought sweets tend to have a lot packed in. Make sure you are watching how much you consume; ask your doctor what your daily intake should be for optimal heart health.
5. Get Your Steps In
Although you may find yourself more busy this time of year, it’s important to still make time for daily exercise. It’s the best way to protect your heart health.
Get Personalized Support From Dr. Stevens
Dr. Ken Stevens has decades of experience treating patients with heart and vascular conditions. With board certification in cardiology, vein care, and internal medicine, he prides himself on providing comprehensive treatment and non-surgical solutions to patients with a wide range of conditions.
To book an appointment, submit an online form, or call Premier Heart and Vein Care in San Luis Obispo, CA, at 805-540-3333.