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Preventing a Holiday Heart Attack

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Preventing a Holiday Heart Attack

Looking After Your Heart Health During the Holidays

December means plenty of gatherings, gifts, seasonal festivities—and a spike in heart attacks. Abruptly introducing significant changes in your everyday routine can negatively impact your cardiovascular health, leaving you at a higher risk for experiencing a heart attack.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can make adjustments to your holiday habits. The health experts at Antelope Valley Hospital are here to share some tips to keep your holidays holly, jolly, and heart-healthy!

Factors that Increase the Risk of Heart Attack

Heightened Stress Levels

With an emphasis on decorating, buying gifts for loved ones, and preparing for guests—the holidays can be extremely stressful. While small amounts of stress can be relatively harmless, prolonged exposure to your body’s stress response can cause your blood pressure to rise. This spike in blood pressure can increase strain on your heart, leaving you at a higher risk for a heart attack.

Some simple ways to keep your stress levels under control while enjoying the holidays include:

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.
  • Listen to your favorite holiday music.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation.
  • Share some laughs with your loved ones.

Unhealthy Eating Habits

The holiday season is chock full of large dinners, festive sweets, and plenty of alcohol consumption. However, overindulging can be harmful for your heart. When you eat and drink, your body releases hormones that subsequently cause your blood pressure and heart rate to rise. When you overeat, it can lead to a heart attack.

In order to keep your indulgences under control, keep these following dietary tips in mind:

  • Make your plate colorful by incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat smaller, healthy meals throughout the day ahead of a large meal.
  • Pay attention to your portions when serving yourself.
  • Eat slowly and wait before getting a second serving during a meal.
  • Drink alcohol moderately.

Sedentary Behaviors

With plenty of running around and changes to your everyday routine, it can be tempting to spend your down time lounging. While taking time to relax and recover can be good for you in moderation, you should still try to make time for physical activity during the holidays.

The following cavities can help you and your loved ones hit your weekly goal of 150 minutes of physical activity:

  • Decorating your home.
  • Cleaning the house.
  • Nature hikes.
  • Walk around looking at Christmas lights.
  • Morning yoga.
  • Indoor ice skating.
  • Riding bikes.
  • Rollerblading.

Cardiology Services in Lancaster, CA

At Antelope Valley Hospital, we offer advanced treatments for commonly encountered complex heart conditions, and patients can expect top-of-the-line care from our team. Our heart doctors are specially trained and have extensive experience in all aspects of cardiovascular care.

Call (661) 949-5000 or visit our dedicated cardiology page for more information.