For Christians, gluttony is a mortal sin that everyone should abstain from at all cost. However, it is quite an irony that Christmas season is the season of overindulgence for food and alcohol. But this very practice is bad for our heart. In fact, the term “holiday heart syndrome” was coined in 1978 after doctors have observed an increasing hospital admission due to heart-related complaints.
Previous study also claimed that heart attack cases increases by 15 percent during the Christmas season. While people with pre-existing heart conditions are more likely to suffer, no one is left behind. However, below are some health tips that you can follow so that you can witness the year 2020 outside the hospital or worse, the casket (God forbid!!!).
Be Mindful Of What You Eat
No, you do not have to give up turkey and ham, but you should remember not to eat too much. These foods are both rich with sodium and fats, which are bad for our heart. But those are not just the culprit. Even your aunt’s cheesy vegetable casserole or your granny’s mince pies can send you to your grave early. Too much butter, cheese and sugar are not good for your heart either.
The keyword here is moderation. Even if you are tempted to eat more, just remember, preserving your heart and be able to try it again next year is way better than dying today.
Try These Healthier Alternatives Instead
The American Heart Association has posted some hacks that you can read here. But to give you a preview, doctors suggested picking the label with the least amount of sodium, using herbs and spices instead of salt, substituting sweet fruits for artificial sweeteners, and using whole grains.
Control Alcohol Consumption
While it is still not fully understood, scientists believe that alcohol consumption increases the risk for heart attack, especially on holidays. So obviously, you should also be less indulged with booze.
One hack that Mayo Clinic shared is drinking water between alcoholic drinks. By doing so, drinking will slow down and it will keep you hydrated. Drinking slow is also highly suggested, and so using low-calorie mixers such as no-calorie soda and tonic water.
Relieve Your Stress
“It’s the season to be jolly,” says an old Christmas carols. But considering how bad economy is recently which backs up with your annoying relatives or the emptiness that yearns for them, Christmas might not be jolly after all.
In fact, according to American Psychology Association (APA), at least half of the women in the United States suffer holiday stress. It is common knowledge that too much cortisol in our body will hurt our heart. To control your stress, the APA suggests that you should meditate immediately upon waking up. Take time to shut down hurtful thoughts by thinking of beautiful memories, said Debra Berndt, an expert in creative visualization.
If something annoys you in the middle of the day, allow yourself to be indulged with a few minutes of breaks to calm down yourself. Five minutes of conscious, slow breathing is enough to regain your beautiful mood.
You can also take comfort foods or drinks, but remember not to consume too much. As usual, eat it slowly and savour it. Remember that you’re having it to calm down, not to expand your waistline or rupture your blood vessel.
Do Not Skip Your Workout
You’re probably guilty of the thought of skipping your healthy regime during the holiday season, and you should not do that. But if you really feel lazy, you really do not need to beat your ass in the gym. Fifteen minutes of walking every day is still better than not working out at all.
Wish you healthy Xmass holiday.