This time of year, you may not be focused on heart health, but studies suggest you should consider the possibility of a heart attack. It’s the end of December, a month filled with festive parties, delicious food, cold weather, and added stressors, all of which could put pressure on the heart.
It has been well documented that heart attack rates spike as much as 40% between Christmas and New Year’s. “When we look across the year in terms of heart attack rates, what we see is fairly constant rates week by week with two exceptions: One is that there’s a broad, shallow dip in summer months and, two, there is a very short spike of about 30% to 40% in the last couple weeks of the year between Christmas and New Year’s,” said cardiologist Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones.
During the holidays, stress can be caused by numerous situations, such as dealing with family and travel arrangements. The stress is often combined with us being knocked off our eating and sleep patterns. Many of us also tend to consume more alcohol and even possibly get thrown off our medication schedule. All of this mounts up to a dangerous situation for heart health.
Weather can also contribute to heart issues during this time of year. Cold air can chill the blood in the lungs and cause the constriction of blood vessels. The coronary arteries are particularly affected by cold weather. Shoveling snow can also be especially hazardous because it is easy to overdo it, and some people wear too many layers, causing them to overheat. This is a perfect storm to maximize stress on the heart.
With so many heart stressors experienced this time of year, it is vital to know the signs of heart attack. Classic signs in men are heavy, crushing pressure in the middle of the chest, or sudden shortness of breath. Symptoms for women are not as easy to spot, as they may be as simple as shortness of breath, profound fatigue, or occasionally, dizziness and lightheadedness.
“We have two kidneys and two lungs, but only one heart and one brain, so it’s much safer to err on the side of caution,” Lloyd-Jones said. “If there’s any doubt, get checked out in person. At best, hopefully you are aborting a heart attack or stroke. Time is heart muscle, time is brain cells, and so time is of the essence. The sooner you seek help in that situation, the sooner we can save your life or brain.”
With only two weeks left before 2023 arrives, now is an excellent opportunity to focus on nourishing your body with nutritious foods, getting plenty of physical activity, and minimizing stress levels – all crucial components to ensuring you have a healthy holiday heart.
Maintaining Heart Health Throughout the Year
Keeping the heart strong and healthy is important during the holidays and vital throughout the year for enjoying a high quality of life as you age. Heart Rescue was designed to help support and promote cardiovascular health using a variety of ingredients, including omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, magnesium, and hawthorn extract. This formula’s health benefits can help strengthen the heart muscle, support circulation, and help reduce the risk of heart disease.