Tips for a Healthy, Happy Holiday

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Things We Love, Tips & How-Tos, Uncategorized

Shutterstock_1672861 The holidays may be the most heartwarming time of year. But heart healthy? That’s another story. With so much mixing and mingling, it’s easy to lose ourselves in the spirit of the season and overindulge, over-stress and overlook our health and well-being. Don’t wait until January 1 to make a healthy body—and heart—a priority. Take charge of your health today and feel better all season long.

Conquer the Bulge before It’s a Battle
Holiday overindulgence is a major reason why weight loss is the no. 1 New Years resolution. Avoid paying later by watching what you eat now. Limit the sweets, skip the gratuitous add-ons (gravy, dressing, etc.) and slow down when eating. Gorging at breakneck speed will only tax your metabolism (it’s harder for the body to break down food that hasn’t been properly ingested) and have you reaching for the Pepto later.

Stress Less this Season
With so much to do and so little time to do it, stress—a major heart disease risk factor—can make the holidays anything but happy. Stress elevates blood pressure and constricts blood vessels, putting greater pressure on your heart and arteries. The best way to conquer holiday stress is to keep your goals and expectations realistic. Give yourself ample time to shop, celebrate and—most importantly—recharge.

Get Your Beauty Sleep
If visions of sugarplums are keeping you from counting sheep, your body may suffer. Irregular sleep can interfere with your body’s normal metabolic activity. According to a 2010 study at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, those who sleep less than five hours a night were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than those who sleep the recommended seven hours. So, get more z’s, for your health’s sake.