New Year is around the corner and this is the time to make new resolutions. So what shall it be this year-for 2007 ?
Health watchers suggest- give yourself a present - a healthy heart , by watching alcohol and food intake the whole year-round.
Limiting alcohol consumption is a very important step, if you want to keep your heart working, said Dr. Ajit Raisinghani, Director of the non-invasive cardiac lab at the University of California, San Diego.
He said: every year during the holidays, emergency rooms at hospitals across the United States get filled with patients with heart palpitations and light headedness. All these patients suffer from an abnormal heart rhythm caused by drinking too much alcohol -- a condition called "Holiday Heart."
"Usually the patient experiences palpitations accompanied by a sensation of light-headedness. When the patients come into the ER, we learn they've usually spent the weekend drinking. Most often, they're college kids who are otherwise healthy," Raisinghani said.
The patient usually recovers within 24 hours. However, some patients will remain in the hospital and take medication to slow down their heart rate until it returns to its normal rhythm.
Raisinghani advocated the following tips to keep your heart healthy during the holidays
1. Get regular exercise - the risk of developing heart disease is significantly reduced by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise thrice a week.
2. Limit your salt intake- too much of salt consumption results in high blood pressure, which in turn affects the heart. People who already have heart disease need to be extra careful about their salt intake.
3. Keep a check on weight gain during the holidays.
4. Avoid saturated fats, which increase blood cholesterol levels.
5. Learn to cope with stress, which can be caused due to various reasons during the holidays. Tension, frustration and sadness can trigger or worsen heart irregularities. Schedule time for rest and relaxation during the holidays.
6. Spend time with your friends and relatives who make you happy. Participate in activities that give you pleasure and make you laugh.