Common Holiday Triggers
No doubt it can be a major struggle to manage high blood pressure. (1) There are significant changes that are made to nutrition and lifestyle habits. The holiday season brings it’s own unique issues when working to manage your high blood pressure. There are three common triggers that can cause blood pressure levels to rise and lead to issues. These three triggers are high sodium foods, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and increased stress. Combine these factors and you have a recipe for disaster. Today let’s talk about some habits you can focus on implementing this holiday season that will help you maintain your high blood pressure.
3 Easy Management Tips
Many of the triggers that contribute to increased blood pressure levels and cause symptoms to appear are abundant during the holiday season. From high sodium foods such as turkey and processed meats. To holiday cocktails and alcoholic beverages. Not to mention the fact that the holidays can be a stressful time of the year for many reasons. Making simple and small little tweaks this holiday season can increase your enjoyment of the season while keeping your blood pressure in check.
1. Beware High Sodium Foods
Foods such as heavily processed and cured meats as well as store-bought meats such as turkey and ham can contain high amounts of sodium. Think Honeybaked Ham and Boston Market. Decrease consumption of these meats or opt for smaller portions. Also, take initiative and speak with the host or hostess regarding your dietary needs before the holiday feast. This way they know ahead of time what your unique dietary restrictions are and can support you by creating healthier dishes or dishes specifically for you.
If you’re in charge of preparing and cooking the holiday feast choose fresh turkey or ham that you purchase from the local meat market. This way you avoid the extra sodium and flavorings that can be used to season and flavor the meat when you purchase it from a store. You can create low sodium options for a variety of sides and dishes as well such as gravy and sauces.
2. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
This can be tricky so following your doctor’s orders regarding alcohol consumption should be your first step. Keep in mind that there is no solid evidence that links alcohol consumption to decreasing or lowering blood pressure levels. (2) So proceed with caution when it comes to alcoholic beverages and high blood pressure. If your doctor says it’s fine to consume alcoholic beverages in moderation consuming 1-2 cocktails or beverages during dinner or the holiday gathering should be fine. Also look for non-alcoholic alternatives such as low sugar party punches, or non-alcoholic wines, and beer.
3. Manage Stress Levels
Having family over and planning a holiday feast or soiree can cause stress levels to rise. Especially if your family has unique and shall we say challenging personalities. Staying on top of how you are managing that stress can help you to manage your blood pressure levels. Continue following an exercise regimen even if you have to modify and decrease the days or amount of time that you spend exercising something is better than nothing. Not only will maintaining a fitness regimen help with managing stress it will also help you to manage and maintain your weight during the holiday season.
Another way to manage stress is to set clear boundaries and expectations with family and friends. Don’t overextend yourself and try to attend all the parties or do all the things. Schedule out how you will spend your time and what events are important to you and your family. This way you are focusing on what matters the most to you and you’re not pulling yourself in too many directions. Also creating a set spending budget for the holidays and sticking to it will decrease financial worries and strains.
General Considerations to Keep in Mind
Following the above tips will definitely help with managing your blood pressure during the holiday season. Making sure that you’re making wise choices the same as you would during any other time of year and keeping your health and well-being in mind. Speaking honestly with family members and hosts about your dietary needs and restrictions. Taking the time to suggest or make healthy tweaks to traditional holiday dishes. (3) Also making sure you are monitoring your blood pressure regularly so if you begin to notice any spikes you can adjust your nutrition accordingly. Remember the holidays are not only about the food. They are about spending quality time with family, friends and loved ones.
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Hi, my name is Kathleen but you can call me Kat. I am an Anti-Aging Coach and I am super passionate about teaching women how they can redefine the aging process. This can easily be done by making simple changes to their nutrition, fitness, skin health and lifestyle. I accomplish this through the content I create on social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. As well as right here on my blog. I provide one to one coaching sessions where I create customized wellness plans. These wellness plans address your specific preventative health and anti-aging concerns. My coaching is designed to provide easy solutions for those that are seeking to prevent or manage chronic illness. I also have coaching options if you also want help in preventing and managing premature aging. If you are passionate about learning more on how you can defy aging in your life and stay forever young click here and schedule a FREE Discovery session with me and let’s talk about it!