10 Easy ways to have heart healthy Christmas

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Every year, Christmas comes in the form of family gatherings, meals with co-workers, toasts to the year. Health routine goes haywire right! Not to worry, here we have some easy ways to have heart healthy Christmas.

This is the time when we tend to miss our food regime. We go to parties, eat out, alcohol and actually, our daily routine gets changed.

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take care of our heart health during the holidays too.

It is about keeping in mind that we can enjoy without incurring too many excesses that can take their toll. That is why we have prepared this decalogue for a heart-healthy Christmas. Following it, we will start the year giving life to our hearts. Happy Holidays!

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What are the easy ways to have a heart healty Christmas?

1. Control excesses in meals outside the home

One of the signs that we are in Christmas is that lunches and dinners away from home are multiplying, and most of them consist of large banquets.

We can enjoy these meetings without feeling too heavy afterward, and make sure that they do not take a toll on the scale. The advice is that although we can eat everything, we must ensure that we do not exceed the quantity.

Especially if it comes to dishes with foods rich in fats, which increase cholesterol levels, especially if we talk about people who already suffer from chronic cardiovascular diseases.

Proper exercise can keep your heart healthy during Christmas
Proper exercise can keep your heart healthy during Christmas

2. Cook healthy food without much of spices and salt

If you have to cook, take the opportunity to make a heart-healthy menu.

We usually associate heart-healthy lunches or dinners with dishes without much flavor, but the truth is that this is quite far from reality.

A heart-healthy menu includes everything from fish to white meats, including all kinds of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts in the right amounts. As for salt, it is better not to abuse it and use spices instead, with which we can also give a very special touch.

3. Don’t forget about exercise

Maybe so many social events take time away from us to practice the exercise that we usually do weekly, but we must try to take a few minutes a day to do some exercise.

For example, we can take advantage of holiday mornings to keep in shape by going to the gym, walking briskly, running, doing a few laps in the pool or riding a bicycle.

Remember that it is advisable to do aerobic exercise at moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.

4. Beware of sugar

Another unequivocal proof that Christmas is here is that the family tables are filled with nougats, polvorones, caramelized almonds and a long list of foods rich in sugar.

Keep in mind that sugars are not the best allies for cardiovascular health. Keep your sugar intake as low as possible. It is not about not falling into temptation, but about eating what we like, in moderation.

Use less sugar & salt in food for a healthy heart
Use less sugar & salt in food for a healthy heart

5. Do not abuse alcohol

Although we can have a glass of wine at dinner or toast with champagne when the chimes arrive, remember that it is not good to abuse alcohol.

Continued consumption can weaken the heart causing a disease called dilated cardiomyopathy.

But in addition, there are certain cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation that can appear with excessive alcohol consumption, even if it is sporadic.

6. Goodbye to tobacco

In every celebration, we tend to justify bad habits by stating that “one day is one day.” For this reason, there are those who take advantage of these social gatherings to smoke some cigarettes thinking that it is something temporary and harmless.

However, in the case of tobacco, there is no safe use. So much so that smoking just one cigarette a day has a much higher risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke than you might imagine. Specifically, half the risk of smoking 20 cigarettes per day, according to a study published in The British Medical Journal.

7. Rest, an essential

The activity that we usually maintain these days, in which we may rest less than we are used to, can also take its toll. Especially in elderly hypertensive patients, for whom rest is even more essential.

That is why it is convenient that every day we take time for ourselves, relaxing and trying to get enough rest so that our body is in the ideal conditions to function normally.

Quit smoking for a healthy heart
Quit smoking for a healthy heart

8. Stress out

The pressure to try to get to everything and demand more of ourselves than we should is another bad companion of festival time. Try to avoid stress by remembering that the objective of these holidays is to enjoy. According to the European Cardiovascular Prevention Guide, stress is a cardiac risk factor that we must pay attention to so that it does not end up affecting our health.

9. Sleep properly

When the festive gathering drags on, we generally subtract hours of sleep from the night’s rest. A practice that we should try to avoid, as it affects cardiovascular health.

The World Health Organization recommends that nighttime sleep has an average duration of between 7 and 8 hours for adults. In addition, that sleep must be restorative, for which it is important that the quality of sleep is high, which means that the hours we sleep we sleep without interruptions and deeply.

10. Enjoy

Good emotional health is always an ally to count on. That is why relaxing and enjoying the moment in the meetings with family, friends and co-workers will also be a positive point for your cardiovascular health.

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