Holidays Are a Prime Time for Heart Attacks

The holidays are sold as a magical time for family and friends. But they can also be very hard on your heart.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), there are more heart attacks in the United States between Christmas and New Year’s Day than at any other time of the year.


The holidays can be busy, stressful, and can cause a major disruption to routine. People tend to eat and drink more, get less exercise, feel additional stress, and may not pay as close attention to their overall health or signs from their bodies.

And because so many people followed COVID-19 protocols last year, they may be at greater risk this year for heart troubles. Some may get too worked up and try to give a little extra, for example.

The AHA recently released its holiday guidelines for holiday heart health. Sticking to them may help reduce the risk for a heart attack and help you get the most from the season.

  1. Know the Warning Signs: It is essential to be able to recognize the signs of a heart attack. The most common symptom is chest pain, but women may also experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. If one of those symptoms appears, call 911 immediately.
  2. Moderation: Try not to drink too much or lose control of food. Save big meals and drinks for a special meal, while trying to eat healthily and avoid alcohol the majority of the time. Pay attention to sodium intake and try to snack mainly on healthier items like roasted nuts and fruit.
  3. Manage Stress: If you have a family member that stresses you out, try to avoid them as best you can. If possible, avoid alone time and sit at the other end of the table. Focus on the things and people you enjoy, instead. Other additional seasonal stressors can include travel, finances, and scheduling. You can limit these stressors by sticking to a budget, travelling early, and capping commitments.
  4. Exercise: Try and get out for a walk or another form of exercise each day during the holidays. Finding any kind of fun activity can help reduce stress and promote heart health.
  5. Stick to Health Routine: Any medications, treatments, or other routines that you have should all be maintained regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.


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