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Stay heart healthy during the holidays

Woman passing around large bowl of peas

As joyful as the holiday season can be, it is also one of the unhealthiest times of the year for many of us.

Overindulging, reduced sleep, added stress and little to no time for exercise can take a toll on our health and cause severe strain on our cardiovascular system. Studies suggest heart attacks are more common around the holidays (December and January).

Follow these tips to help make this season a little more merry and whole lot safer on your heart:

– Get a flu shot to prevent illness that can put extra strain on your heart.

– Thoughtfully fill your plate, and limit processed foods and sugar in your diet. Avoid excess salt.

– Eat a high-protein snack before you attend a holiday gathering.

– Dress warmly. Try to avoid exposure to very cold temperatures, especially if you are traveling to a colder region.

– Stay active, whether it’s a walk to look at Christmas lights or squeezing in a quick exercise class.

– Stay hydrated and limit your alcohol intake.

– Keep your immune system strong by getting a good night’s sleep.

– Practice stress management strategies. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!

Embrace the holiday fun and enjoy spending time with family and friends. As busy as the season can get, never dismiss heart attack symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest discomfort, pain or discomfort in arms, neck, jaw, back, or stomach. The ER at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights is open 24/7 for care.