Here’s a bit of a spin on “Happy Holidays,” the seasonal song by Andy Williams: sure, “it’s the holiday season,” but did you also know it’s also the heart attack season?
Although the winter holidays are a great time to celebrate, share precious moments with family and friends, and even enjoy a little seasonal song or two, they can also be deadly.
Christmas Day is the deadliest day for heart attacks of the year. It’s followed by December 26 and New Year’s Day.
The holidays can be busy and stressful. Routines are disrupted, stress can go up, and sleep can go down. It’s also possible you’re eating and drinking more while exercising and relaxing less. All of that can take a toll on your heart.
It’s also possible that people are less likely to listen to their bodies or pay attention to warning signs during this time of year. It can be easy to put off a trip to the doctor until the new year, once the holidays are all wrapped up, and you’ve got some more time.
Paying attention to how you’re feeling and doing your best to engage in heart-healthy behavior are the best ways to limit the risk of a holiday heart attack.
Here are some ways to stay heart-healthy during the holiday season:
- Celebrate in moderation. Look for small, healthy food swaps, so you don’t overindulge, and pay careful attention to salt intake.
- Keep moving with family walks or other activities, so you get at least 150 minutes of exercise during the week.
- Pay attention to self-care and relaxation to help ease the stress from family interactions, tight finances, and hectic schedules.
- Keep taking medicines and other treatments on your regular schedule.
- Learn about heart attack symptoms, which can differ in men and women.