What’s at the top of your wish list this year? We suggest that you give yourself the gift of health this holiday season. By taking care of your body, you will be taking the most important steps toward heart disease prevention. Temptations abound around the holidays, so it’s an especially important—and sometimes difficult—time to maintain great healthy habits. Try these tips to get started.

Eat Well

The holidays aren’t the best time to start a brand-new diet, but they’re an important time to maintain good eating habits. You’ll probably be faced with amazing meals and the temptation to overeat at various holiday gatherings. But remember, the Centers for Disease Control recommends eating healthy portion sizes—even around the holidays. Be mindful of what you eat and when you eat. Snacks can be especially dangerous to your normal healthy diet, so avoid hanging out next to the candy bowl or the appetizer table at holiday parties. If you want to indulge in treats, use moderation, and balance them with heart-healthy foods that don’t include saturated fat and trans fat.

Listen To Your Body

Don’t let holiday stress get a hold of you. Mental Health America reports that depression can flare up around the holidays, thanks to the normal stress factors that seem to increase around the holiday season and related festivities. Manage stress the way you normally do, and be especially careful not to take on too many responsibilities or expectations. Stay on top of your medications and keep any doctors' appointments you may have. If you’re not feeling great, take it easy and focus on the activities that keep you feeling good.

Keep Moving

When you hit the mall to go shopping, park at the edge of the lot and do a few extra rounds the mall to get in your 30 minutes of exercise. No matter how busy you get, make sure you stick to that daily activity routine. Mayo Clinic recommends breaking workouts into 10-minute sessions if that helps you get your time in every day. It may be tempting to stay at home when the weather is cold and you have holiday chores to keep up with, so consider giving yourself the gift of a gym membership if that helps you keep motivated during the holiday season.

To learn more about healthy living and your heart, call North Hills Hospital at (817) 255-1000 with any questions or concerns.

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