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Keep your blood pressure in check during the holidays

GEHA | December 14, 2018

Follow these seven steps to monitor your blood pressure over the holidays.

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time filled with busy schedules, family visits, traveling and parties. It’s also a time when our stress levels increase, which can mean an increase in our blood pressure. Holiday stress has real health implications. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a known side-effect of stress and puts you at risk for health problems including heart failure and stroke.

  1. Maintain healthy eating habits. Eat a healthy breakfast and limit sweets. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch. It's OK to indulge in a little but be sure to include healthy meals, too.

  2. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is important in controlling your blood pressure. Drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water a day.

  3. Keep track of medications. Heart attacks and strokes increase in the winter months, so continue to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

  4. Be wary of decongestants. These drugs relieve a stuffy nose but can also raise blood pressure. Use a decongestant for the shortest amount of time necessary.

  5. Stay active. Incorporate healthy activities into your daily routine, such as a walk with family or friends, or active chores with your kids.

  6. Beware of party perils. To avoid overeating at parties, eat a healthy snack before you go. If you’re the host, offer healthier options of recipes.

  7. Give yourself the gift of peace. When invitations pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. Take time to relax and recharge.

Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about the possibility of not being able to regulate your blood pressure.

“Holiday stress? Try our top 5 tips for a healthy holiday season.” American Heart Association, 8 November 2017
“Tips to keep blood pressure in check this holiday season.” American Heart Association, 4 December 2017
“7 survival tips to help keep your blood pressure regulated.” Nuview Nutrition LLC, 17 November 2017