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Heart Healthy Holidays

heart health tips

The holidays are getting closer!  Are you committed to heart health?

The real question is, come new years resolution time are you going to be happy with how you treated your heart from now until then.  Can you say no to the extra piece of pumpkin pie; and yes to the treadmill?

What are some small daily choices you can make to help ease the holiday gain and the slump in gym attendance?

Heart Health Tips

For me, I start with the plate.  I have some basic rules that help me to portion my food well.  First, no layering of foods.  You laugh, but its true!  How many aunts and uncles pile green bean casserole right on top of the corn casserole?  Then, make sure you can see the color of the plate between food items.  These secret tricks help me to be sure I don’t get to much food on one plate.  Then, choose wisely what you put on that plate.  You have two choices…get little tiny one or two bites of lots of things; or get larger portions of just a few things.  I usually get one or two bites of many things so I get to taste them all!  Yummy!  After all you must tell Auntie how great her rolls were, and grandma how wonderful her yams are.  Then, DO NOT GO BACK!  No seconds or you forgo the desert.  If you do forgo desert or decide to go for the pie…either way…use only half of your plate.  I visually cut it down the middle and only put food on one side.  When it comes to leftovers…eat normal, no need to indulge every meal till the turkey is gone.  But that is me, that is how I am careful about eating my way through the holidays.  The AHA has some great ideas about choosing what goes on your plate by color, check out their recommendations HERE.

The second step is keeping your workout routine a priority.  I like rewards, I was the kid in school that would work like crazy to get the ribbon come report card day.  So I reward myself with alone time.  The holidays are stressful, so I give it my all in a good run around the block and then do an extra lap walking and just enjoying some me time.  I find it really puts the holidays and my goals back in perspective.  Sometimes I go for a power walk with a friend and “winercize.”  We power walk and drink a glass of wine while we are walking.  Its great!  We gab and get some cardio in all at the same time.  When we are done, we are both refreshed and wondering why we don’t do it more often.  If you would like more details about how to stay fit during the holidays, HERE are some great ideas.

One thing about the holidays that play a part in heart health is stress and depression.  These can be very serious and yet very avoided. If you are feeling stressed or depressed beyond what you feel is normal, please see your doctor right away.  There is no shame in asking for help from a doctor; no more than there is shame in asking someone to help you move a box that is to heavy for one person.  We all need help occasionally; give help to others and take it when you need it.  To help avoid those stressful times I try and experience the holidays like the kids are.  I try and remember the excitement.  Some of my favorite things were no stress and FREE!  I loved (and still do) going to look at all the Christmas lights.  Sometimes we drive, but sometimes we would go for walks and take hot chocolate with us.  I loved watching the holiday shows, every year the same ones and I look forward to them even to this day.  There are so many things you can do to help with stress; for more ideas go HERE.

I would love to hear what you do with your family to keep the holidays heart healthy, you can comment and as long as it is related to the blog, I will approve it.


Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi Krouse

About kristi

Kristi Krouse owns Heart Smart CPR, an American Heart Association Training Site in Austin Texas. The purpose of Heart Smart CPR is to teach individuals life-saving skills for both medical and non-medical providers in a relaxed yet concise manor. Kristi is dedicated to helping to get everyone certified by their deadline.

You can find out more about Heart Smart CPR here

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Have a Heart Healthy Day!

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