The holidays can be a very different experience for people with heart problems—but they don’t have to be. Making the right choices, people with heart disease can enjoy their holiday meals and fun times in similar fashion to their friends and families. South Denver Cardiology has put together some preventative care tips that heart-conscious people should remember in order to make it through the holidays safely.
Diet is perhaps the biggest behavioral change that occurs around the holiday, and the biggest threat to heart health. The holidays usually bring with them plenty of big meals with friends and family, and it’s up to you to decide what you should and should not consume. Mostly, it’s a question of calories.
Regarding food, pay attention to your portion size and your servings intake. You can enjoy practically any holiday dish as long as you limit your portions and remain within your daily recommended intake. Consult this guide to daily consumption by the American Heart Association, based on a 1,600 and a 2,000 calorie diet. It also includes other heart-healthy eating tips: go for the white meat, and take off the skin!
Regarding drinks, remember that alcohol means calories. It doesn’t mean that you can never have a drink or two, but you have to factor these drinks into your calorie calculations. Just like with food, it’s all about portion control, so don’t overdo it.
Don’t let the rich food weigh you down; rather, treat it as another excuse to get active! You only need to raise your cardiovascular activity for 30 minutes a day to improve your heart health significantly. Find those easy ways to stay active: walk more, take the stairs, shovel snow, walk the dog, run in the park, do some pushups…and best of all, plan to continue into January and February. Make your holiday season a run-up to a New Year’s Resolution.
We might not think of it at first, but curbing holiday stress is mostly just a combination of what’s already been said so far, about diet and fitness. People with healthy diets and fitness habits show significantly less stress than others. Improve your diet and fitness, and watch your holiday stress melt away—and your heart health improve in leaps and bounds.
Another tip for holiday stress relief? Don’t overbook yourself! If you have too many dinners, events, and trips piling up, sometimes the best thing to do is to say no to a few.
How To Use This Information
Don’t make this holiday season two months of overeating and under-exercising. Take South Denver Cardiology’s preventative care holiday tips and stay heart-healthy! For more information or help, call us at (303) 744-1065 or contact us online.