Monday, December 20, 2010

How to Avoid "Holiday Heart Syndrome"

"Dangerous heart conditions strike more frequently during the holiday season, including a high number of fatal heart attacks on Christmas and New Year's Day," reports the Winnipeg Free Press, Dec. 20, 2010.

Here we are, all dressed up for an elegrant supper, but how do we avoid causing stress to our hearts during this season especially?

1.  Minimize your portion sizes.  Scrumptious buffets with an array of meatballs, turkey and gravy, and amazing desserts are common.  Remember that large, fatty meals will draw blood to the intestines for digestion - and away from the heart.  That's particularly deadly for people who already have blockages or other damage to their coronary arteries.

Choose to eat low glycemic, low fat meals and snacks, at home, off the menu or from smorgasbords, as much as possible. 

2.  Take your nutritional supplements prior to your meals.  Usana products like Proflavanol 90 and CoQuinone (CoQ10) plus BiOmega fish oil, help support a normal healthy cardiovascular system.  Have a supply ready in your pocket or purse.

3.  Limit alcohol intake.  Too much alcohol can irritate the upper chambers of the heart and trigger abnormal rhythms.

4.  Keep taking your medications.  Sometimes people get so busy during the holiday season, they forget their medications.  This is the most important time to take them!

5.  Reduce stress.  Keep spending down.  Plan fun activities with family and friends that require minimal fuss.  Take naps.  Avoid crowds.

6.  Exercise, but don't overdo it.  Listen to music on your iPod while walking on the treadmill (assuming you live in a colder climate).  Take breaks.

7.  Pay attention to heart symptoms.  Chest pain that extends to the shoulder, arm, back or jaw is the classic sign of a heart attack, but others include abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, vomiting and fatigue.  People often write this off to indigestion or they worry about disrupting holiday gatherings.  Get help!  (My father attributed his symptoms to indigestion following a chicken dinner, and it was too late to save him once he admitted he had a problem.)

Enjoy this wonderful festive season in a heart healthy way

Deanna Waters
Dedicated to promoting healthy choices, including Usana's all inclusive nutritional program.
Questions?   How can I help you?

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