Holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but it can also be a time of stress for a lot of people.
A study published in the Journal of Heart Association says there is an increase in the amount of heart attacks and heart-related deaths during the holiday season. These instances have been linked to stress, delays in seeking medical care, and holiday foods rich in fat, sugar, and salt.
Officials have offered numerous strategies in maintaining health and stress over the holidays. These strategies include limiting yourself when it comes to spending money for gifts as well as maintaining expectations and remembering what’s truly important over the holidays.
In regards to physical health, officials say to avoid over indulging on sugary and fatty foods. Stress can cause cravings for unhealthy snacking, so officials recommend sticking with high-protein snacks and to be mindful of portion sizes. Regular exercise has also been proven to reduce stress as well as boosting and stabilizing your mood.
Finally, officials say to just simply have fun. According to the study, laughter stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, all of which minimizes the stress this time of year brings.
“Stress can cause short and long-term effects on the body, and it is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity,” said Dr. Jarrod Frizzell, a cardiologist with St. Vincent.
Dr. Frizzell also says to pay attention to your body, and to not delay seeking medical care if signs or symptoms of heart problems arise.