The Holiday season is upon us, and with all of the festivities, we should be well reminded that this time of year can literally put a great deal of stress on our hearts. Since heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both men and women, what better way to understand and implement heart health and risk prevention?
Heart Health Tips
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Cut down on stress levels
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise multiple times per week
- Get physical examinations and regular checkups recommendations
- Get professional help for cutting out narcotics and other drugs
- Practice relaxation methods
- Stop smoking
- Learn to just say no/too many activities can lead to undue anxiety
Post Holiday Heart Attack Risk Factors
There is no doubt that we are busier than ever during and after the holiday season. With parties, gift shopping, community events, and family gatherings, our stress levels are quite often through the roof. Emotional stress is a huge factor in blood pressure spikes.
Along with anxiety, we overindulge during this time of year. For example, we’re overeating, eating the wrong foods, like excessively salty and fatty fare, or we’re drinking too much alcohol.
When we overeat, it can raise our cholesterol levels, and when we drink too much alcohol, it can cause ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation causes rapid, electrical, stimulations in your heart and you may experience a dangerously high heart rate. Taking the time to make wise decisions can be the straw that allows for a happy holiday or an unfortunate one.
Eating a healthy diet is strongly recommended for many health benefits, but in terms of keeping our hearts ticking along, a diet low in saturated fat, high in vegetables and fruits, legumes, healthy oils like olive oil and avocado is key. Also consuming less unhealthy carbohydrates and more low-fat proteins like fish and poultry are critical. If you have high blood pressure, minimizing salt is also highly significant. Instead of salt try substituting with lemon or spices and herbs.
Carve out time to exercise. It’s recommended that we get 2.5 hours of moderate exercise weekly or 1.5 hours of active cardiovascular training per week. It’s okay to do a combination of the two, by walking one day for 20 minutes and sprinting the next for 30.
No matter what you decide, you should always consult your physician before embarking on any workout plan. Along with cardiovascular uptake, exercise helps to increase the oxygen in our blood, and this is relevant to our overall heart health.
If you smoke, stop now. Smoking causes an array of adverse health effects including increasing plaque build up in our arteries, raising bad cholesterol, decreasing good cholesterol, and damages the vessel walls to name a few. If you smoke your chances of a heart attack are incredibly high, smoking causes 6 million deaths per year.
Talk to your physician about a specific smoking cessation plan for you. The holds true for any drug addictions that you may have. Do not wait; get help today and enjoy this holiday season with friends and family in a healthy state.
Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms! If you or someone you know needs to have a cardiology consultation, are concerned about your risk factors, or are experiencing symptoms of chest discomfort, shortness of breath or other related issues, please contact them at (239) 574-8463
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.
At Cardiac Care Group, they take your symptoms seriously and are prepared to see you and to discuss your conditions. They specialize in providing a wide range of services that focus on the prevention, prompt diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Joseph Freedman, M.D.
Dr. Joseph Freedman is devoted to keeping your heart at its healthiest. Dr. Freedman is a Board Certified Cardiologist, and his mission is to provide the surrounding communities with the highest quality cardiac care in a welcoming environment. He and his staff are dedicated to fulfilling the specific cardiac needs of each patient.