The holiday season, as wonderful as it is, isn’t known for being the healthiest. Temperatures are cold, schedules are busy, and food is often unhealthy. All of this takes a toll on the human body.
Now, some of the holiday health information out there can be exaggerated. For example, you’ll hear commentators and new anchors talking about all the weight people put on during this time of year.
The truth is, the average weight gain is only a pound or two for the November-December stretch. Even still, those pounds add up over years.
Outside of weight gain, there’s the sugar intake, alcohol increase, and sodium increase all of which are hard on the body, particularly the heart.
Heart attacks increase during the winter holidays. Even without the unhealthy food, your heart could be in trouble during winter.
Winter Increases Heart Risk Already
Due to cold temperatures, your blood vessels constrict, narrowing the passageways that blood flows through. That mean your chances of blood clots and high blood pressure increase. Add in all the unhealthy food, and you have a dangerous situation.
To keep safe and healthy, here’s some guidance for navigating the holiday season.
Try to Counter Balance
Anytime you push your body, it needs to recover afterwards. This isn’t just true for exercise. It can also be true for eating. By balancing out moments of splurging, you can reduce the negative affects overeating and unhealthy consumption has on the body.
If you’re going to have a less-than-healthy dinner, eat extra healthy during the rest of the day. If you’re going to be having a few drinks later, get plenty of water before. Don’t eat excessively on back to back days.
Ate too much yesterday? Go light today. Of course, the best defense is knowing when to stop.
Learn to Say No
Food and drink are likely coming at you from all sides in large quantities. This does not mean you have to consume all of it. Know your limits. Learn to say no. It’s not rude to pass on something. Your health is more important than eating that last sandwich or having one more drink.
Get Proper Rest
Holiday schedules are busy. For many people, it’s their busiest time of the year. You might have to make sacrifices to fit it all in.
But the last thing you should be sacrificing is your sleep. Sleep keeps you sane, it keeps you young, it keeps you happy, and it keeps you healthy. The benefits of sleep far outweigh anything you might miss out on. Whatever you do, make sure you are getting proper rest.
Keep an Exercise Routine
Another thing that often gets cut out of the holiday season is regular exercise. Much like sleep, this isn’t something you should be sacrificing. You may be able to cut back a little. Instead of working out 5-6 days a week, you do 4 days. Instead of going for an hour, you do 30 minutes.
But make sure you’re keeping regular. Going once or twice a week is not enough to keep your body healthy. And exercise is extra important during this time of the year.
Eat in and Then Go Out
If you’re socially active, you probably have friends and family who are wanting to go out a lot. The problem is, restaurant food isn’t always the healthiest. If you can, try and eat something healthy before you go out, and then, maybe eat a lighter snack at the restaurant.
This won’t just be good for your body, but it’ll be good for your wallet too.
Get CPR Certified
Nothing brings down the holidays like a death in the family. With the increase in heart attacks, a family gathering could quickly turn into an emergency situation. Should someone around you go into cardiac arrest, you need to know how to act quickly.
You need CPR and BLS training. With this knowledge, you may very well save the life of a family member or loved one.