Vascular Disease & the Holidays

Posted: December 22, 2020 | Revised: December 22, 2020

The holiday season is a time to celebrate loved ones, enjoy delicious food and generous gifts — and be particularly mindful of vascular disease. The last one may strike you as odd, but not if you consider a domino effect. Holidays often accompany travel and a break from routine, which can lead us to forget medication, relax our diet and skip the gym. These can result in obesity, which contributes to diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia — all deadly risk factors for all forms of vascular disease.

While these thoughts could put a damper on an otherwise joyous occasion, they don’t have to, just as long as you remember the following.

Offset Holiday Stress

Everything in moderation is just as true when it comes to vascular disease as it is when it comes to anything else. Combining this philosophy with exercise helps you resist the toxicity of holiday stress. Therefore,:

  • Dedicate 150 minutes per week to moderate intensity cardio exercise or 75 minutes of high intensity exercise as well as two days of resistance training. Start with a brisk walk. Gradually increase your intensity and distance.
  • Don’t drink to excess, as a hangover contributes to a depressive episode. Men should have no more than two drinks per day, while women should have no more than one. While there is no stratification for recommended alcohol consumption and vascular disease, you know your body’s limitations.
  • Sample some dark chocolate. It contains powerful antioxidants that decrease the risk of heart disease and improve your lipid profile. This alternative to sugary treats stimulates the lining of the blood vessels to make nitric oxide, which results in vasodilation and improved blood flow.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Some things are simply beyond your control.

For additional tips, please turn to our team: Vascular & Vein Center at Gulfcoast Surgeons. And to set up a post-holiday appointment with us, call (239) 939-1767.