Handling the holidays with a heart condition

The holidays can be dangerous, especially for those who have heart disease. Overindulging at meals, skipping physical activity, and letting stress get out of control can put a strain on your heart, sometimes leading to serious problems.

Maintaining healthy habits through the holidays is a challenge, but it is important, especially for those with preexisting heart conditions and high blood pressure. Here’s what you can do to protect your heart this holiday season:

  • Dress warmly and try to avoid exposure to very cold temperatures.
  • Thoughtfully fill your plate at meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a high-protein snack before you attend a holiday party or meal.
  • Offer to bring a healthy dish to a gathering that you know you can enjoy and feel good about eating.
  • Avoid excess salt and alcohol.
  • Keep your immune system strong by getting a good night’s sleep.

If you are not feeling right, don’t wait until after the holidays to call your doctor. To make an appointment with a New Mexico Heart Institute/Lovelace Medical Group cardiovascular provider, call 505.841.1000. If you or someone you know is experiencing the signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately or seek immediate medical attention.