elderly woman hugging granddaughter wanting to learn about heart health during the holiday season

A Cardiologist’s Guide to a Healthy and Hearty Holiday Season

When the holiday season draws near, it means celebrating with loved ones, eating delicious food, and indulging in drinks. As great as the holiday season is, it can put a strain on your heart. Holiday foods can be very rich, and alcoholic drinks can affect your blood pressure. If you want to have a great holiday season but not affect your heart health, a few tips can make all the difference. 

Compare Labels

If you’re planning a dinner, take the time to look at the labels of the various ingredients you need. This is one of the best heart health tips to incorporate, and not just during the holidays. 

Limit ingredients with lots of sodium, as well as those with added sugars. For example, instead of going for canned cranberries, which are packed with sugar, opt to cook the cranberries yourself following a low-sugar recipe. Saturated and trans fats should also be as low as possible. If you choose red meat, go for the leanest cuts. 

Be Smart About Beverages

Having a few drinks is fun, but it’s not great for your heart health. Mixed drinks are packed with extra calories and can impact your blood pressure, which affects your heart. 

Another of the most important heart health tips to remember is to go for lighter drinks. For example, if you want to have eggnog, choose a low-fat version or leave the alcohol out completely, cutting down on the calories. 

Try a mocktail. You’ll be removing a lot of the calories while also not affecting your blood pressure with alcohol. Just remember to read the label because some mocktail mixes have lots of added sugar. 

If you do indulge in alcoholic drinks, make sure to alternate them with water. This fills you up so that you don’t overindulge while also keeping you hydrated. 

Move More

Most people have sedentary traditions that involve hanging around the fire or watching movies with family. You don’t have to end these traditions but do mix them up with some other activities. To maintain heart health, take a walk after a big meal. You can make it fun for the whole family by encouraging kids to go with you to see the various decorations. 

If it’s not too cold, plan a picnic at a local park and walk there and back. You may even want to start a tradition of playing a particular sport with the whole family. 

Get Enough Sleep

It’s common for people to not get enough rest when they’re hosting or attending many holiday parties. When you add alcohol into that mix, you may find yourself sleeping at odd hours or just not getting the quality sleep your body and your heart needs. 

Try to stick to a routine by going to bed at the same time each night and avoid using your phone or tablet before bed. You also want to stop yourself from sleeping in every day since this can throw off your normal sleeping patterns. 

Heart Health: Keeping Your Ticker Happy This Holiday Season

The holidays don’t have to put a strain on your heart health, and you don’t have to give up on the traditions or foods you love. By making smarter choices, including lowering your sodium and sugar intake and cutting down on your calories, you don’t have to leave anything out. 

At Cardiovascular Wellness, our team can help you keep your heart healthy throughout the entire year, including the holidays. Contact Cardiovascular Wellness in Hicksville and Lake Success, NY, today for the cardiology services you need. 

Posted in: Heart Health

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