A Healthy Heart in the Holiday Season

There are many among us who run marathons, work out, eat healthy and have had a healthy year so far.

Published: 25th December 2013 08:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th December 2013 08:29 AM   |  A+A-


There are many among us who run marathons, work out, eat healthy and have had a healthy year so far. The will to stay healthy weakens during festival time, giving rise to ‘holiday weight’.

This is a deceptive term because its not as if the weight gained will vanish right after the holidays. It just remains stubborn and unflattering. Hence it is important to strike that fine balance between healthy eating and over indulgence. Yes, even when the parties blare untiringly, you can stay in shape.

Heavy drinking can get terribly infectious. When you drink at least 15 units (about seven and a half pints of 4% beer or one and a half bottles of 13% wine), it could be counted as binge drinking.  Then your heart beat becomes irregular and makes you feel quite out of breath, studies say. Your blood pressure fluctuates and increases your chances of getting a heart attack.

Your salt intake also increases dramatically over the holiday time. This is because eating out and partying becomes an almost every day affair. “The recommended salt intake for an adult is less than a teaspoon per day. But you can imagine how many teaspoons of salt go in one single dish offered at a party. And there are dozens of such delectable delicacies. All this put additional stress on your already weakened heart,’ says Dr V S Prakash, a cardiologist while speaking to City Express.

Moreover, foods with abundant fat and spices can have acute adverse effects on endothelial function. Emotional stress is another factor. Holidays are the time when people who haven’t met in a long time come together. Interacting with people you cannot stand is more than the stress patients can take. The result is additional stress.

The toll of financial pressure is another matter altogether. Buying gifts, travelling, providing entertainment can create a sizable dent in the budget. It is just another thing to stress about. Having said all these, festival also present us with many opportunities. This is the time to spread love and solidarity. Ensuring a healthy festive environment is a great start to it.

How to ensure a healthy heart this festive season

I want to enjoy the party food. So I will stay hungry the entire day to enjoy the party food more: Bad idea! This will make your stomach to go starvation mode and make your body burn fat more slowly. Also, you tend to overeat when you’re hungry. Now add two and two. They equal rapid weight gain.

I won’t drink much water today because it will curb my appetite. I won’t be able to eat much at the party:  Having a glass of warm water as soon as you wake up is the best way to induce hunger. Keep sipping fluids throughout the day. This way you will eat moderately and enjoy it too.

Think- ‘Am I going to the party just for the food?’: When you go for parties, call up your friends and make it a fun and memorable event.  Dancing, organising games, meeting new people will keep you from obsessing over food. You will also burn some fat while at it.

The recently conducted survey states that three in four Bangaloreans aged above 30 years are at the risk of getting heart ailments.

Ensure that your heart pumps right this New Year by eating and drinking healthy.

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