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It may have a nice ring to it, but “healthy vacation” may seem impossible. For our past ages of living for Santa Claus, our names must be longer than his names (and we dare you to check more than twice). Between work, friends, and family holidays, it’s no wonder that most of us have our health—both physical and mental—waiting in the wings until the New Year.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed this time of year, you’re not alone—a previous study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that 63% of people experience extreme stress during the holiday season. That’s why this year, Health Care asked many experts to write down simple and practical tips on how to stay healthy and avoid stress this holiday season. From maintaining a healthy diet while enjoying all of your favorite holiday cookies to making room for your mental health during times of turmoil, eating healthy can be easier than you think. All you have to do is keep a little balance.
This winter is called silver plate disease. Combine heat and cold with an irregular cycle, less than your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, too many glasses of wine and a storm in the community, and you’ll find yourself drinking the perfect cocktail for a Christmas cold. But a runny nose isn’t just a health hazard this time of year — the holidays can be dangerous to your health, affecting everything from your blood pressure to your brain.
Studies show that heart disease deaths increase during the late December holiday season in the United States – something called the “Christmas Holiday Effect” (although this applies to every holiday of the year). A 2016 study by
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The theory was tested in New Zealand, specifically focusing on the link between cold weather during the US holiday season and increased cardiovascular mortality. Out-of-hospital cardiac deaths were 4.2% higher between December 25 and January 7, the study found.
Micah J. “The holidays are a really tough time for heart patients,” says Eimer, a cardiologist, medical director of Northwestern Medicine in Glenview, Illinois, and a member of the 2021 Health Care Advisory Board. “We are seeing an increase in patients coming to the office and hospital with problems related to fluid management, uncontrolled high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.”
Christmas The Christmas effect has been observed in countries around the world. In 2021, Norway issued a warning of high heart disease death rates during the holidays, and similar trends were reported in Sweden and Canada. A 2018 study in Denmark found that high cholesterol can occur after Christmas, and while more research is needed to determine the specific cause, experts say these events affect heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and overall cholesterol. Cardiovascular risk and changes in activity levels are all important in the winter in the United States.
“Patients eat out more, [they] go on vacation and eat more in the office,” said Dr. said Eimer. “All this leads to high consumption of salt, carbohydrates and alcohol compared to other times of the year,” he said.
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Delaying care during the holidays is also considered beneficial. “Patients may ignore or ignore warning signs to avoid the holidays,” said Dr. Eimer added. “It also caused a significant disruption in patient admissions immediately after the holiday.”
Emergency rooms are also affected by the Christmas holidays, especially with an increase in patients with symptoms of mental illness, including self-harm and suicidal attempts. . A study found that while mental illness declines in the run-up to Christmas, it rises again after the holiday. While not all patients with mental illness go to the emergency room this time of year, 40% say their condition worsens during the holidays.
Sugar-based, rich, fatty foods have long been a part of the holiday festivities, and with them comes the issue of holiday weight gain. The myth that Americans gain 5 pounds each year because of the holidays has spread to science, but this is not true.
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Contrary to popular belief, holiday weight gain is less common than we think. According to a 2015 study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of participants gained (or lost) little or no weight during Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, despite making little or no effort to control their weight. In fact, the average weight of those who participated in the celebration was 0.37 kilograms (about 0.8 pounds).
But in a month full of cocoa and cookies, there aren’t enough recipes to try or tips to read about healthy holiday eating. But what about some happiness and fun in between the usual family meals and the hustle and bustle of January? Sarah Hayes Coomer, a Mayo Clinic and National Board Certified Health Coach, personal trainer, three-time author and health expert, believes she has.
“Complaints create barriers, so if we’re always saying things we can’t do, then we’re struggling,” Coomer said. “It’s a small balance. People worry about their weight and health. We’re used to that feeling when the life that feels best is the life that takes your passion. “
“Make a list of indulgences that you really enjoy, that make you happy, and that you want more of. Make sure you have them during the holidays,” Coomer said. If it is allowed, then there is no such thing as “eat now, not tomorrow”.
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To create your plan, Kumer recommends picking the indulgences that are most important to you and choosing them in the best possible way.
“If you have the richest, most authentic version of what you really want, you don’t need much of it,” he said.
If you’re worried about the size, Kumer recommends baking them ahead of time and freezing them, so you only eat one cookie instead of 12 containers. But don’t be afraid to dream big. It’s not the amount of the indulgence that matters, but the purpose – to partake and fully enjoy it.
Judy Ho, a licensed clinical and neuropsychologist, associate professor at Pepperdine University, published author and member of the 2021 Health Advisory Board, also found that people should be careful when it comes to health. . typical for this time of year.
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“People think they deserve free gifts during the holidays, and this food is a legacy and a gift,” he said. “There are a lot of social influences—if others are eating, you can eat, even if you’re not hungry. Research shows that people overeat in groups, and sometimes they drink. They drink to cope with the group.”
Eating is also a way for some people to distract themselves from holiday thoughts or stress, said Dr. When you feel emotional or social anxiety, ask yourself how it feels.
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