Celebrate the holidays and stay healthy. Find out what you can do when it comes to keeping your blood pressure in check this holiday season.
Every holiday season comes with a checklist of things that you have to do – and experts suggest adding blood pressure to the list. According to Dr. Angela L. Brown, director of the hypertension clinic at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, people tend to put their health on the back burner around the holidays.
However, even though it’s a time for celebration, you shouldn’t forget about your health – especially since high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease. “You want to enter the holidays healthy, and you want to leave the holiday season healthy,” says Brown. The following are some simple tips you can follow to keep your blood pressure and heart health in check throughout the holidays.
Tip #1: Practice Mindful Eating
“All of us enjoy a good party,” says Brown. “But if you have high blood pressure, in particular, you have to be conscious about what you’re eating.” In other words, be aware of what you’re putting into your body and how it will affect your health.
“Do a little bit of groundwork, and look around the room and see what’s on that buffet Aunt Sally prepared,” says Dr. Karen Griffin, a nephrologist at Loyola Medicine in Maywood, Illinois. Griffin suggests that you fill up on vegetables, but make sure to use only a little bit of dip.
Tip #2: Beware of Sodium
Canned, preserved, and packaged foods are full of sodium, which increases blood pressure. “A lot of the hams that will be circulating are probably pretty high in sodium as well,” says Griffin. “If you’re cooking, one thing that you can do is just leave the majority of the salts to be added at the table.”
Tip #3: Don’t Drink Excessively
Drinking alcohol is a common tradition for many during the holidays, but if you drink too much, you can raise your blood pressure. Even if you only drink moderately (two drinks max for men, one drink max for women), you have to watch out for certain holiday cocktails. For instance, margaritas tend to be served in salt-rimmed glasses, so stay away from those.
“As much fun as the holidays bring, they also bring stress for people,” says Brown. “I think it’s important to set limits and to remember to take time for yourself.” Make sure to have fun and relax – after all, that’s what the holidays are for.
If you need an extra boost to your health, consider taking L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients promote circulation, provide blood pressure support, and enhance overall heart health. Give your heart health the break it needs this holiday season by following these tips and taking L-arginine Plus.