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Handling High Blood Pressure Around The Holidays

From fantastic dinners to sweet treats, the holiday season has its fair share of temptations. While everyone faces these, patients struggling with high blood pressure often have more to lose from overindulging. This does not mean these patients have to have any less fun, though! It is all about learning how to handle high blood pressure around the holidays in a way that keeps you both healthy and happy. 

Our team at Durham Nephrology is here to provide guidance year-round, even during the holidays. With these tips, you can spend your time how you want while not dealing with the repercussions later. 

High Blood Pressure Around The Holidays

Aim To Under-Indulge

If there is one thing we can’t escape during the holidays: decadent food and drinks. Whether given as a gift or a meal at night with friends, you can consume more holiday food in one meal than you ate the whole day before. For patients with high blood pressure, the results can be astounding. Foods with high levels of salt, sugar, and saturated fat can increase your blood pressure further and damage your heart. 

While recognizing the implications, we know it is difficult to say no to all of your favorite holiday treats. The important thing is to practice moderation. Decide which bites you want the most, and stay away from the ones you do not care about as much. If you know a bigger meal is happening later in the day, focus on the health and nutrients of your earlier meals.

Remember Your Medications Amongst The Chaos 

Your blood pressure and other daily medications are just as important during the holidays. We know the days can get hectic when there are many events going on. With this in mind, it can be helpful to plan your medication schedule and placement ahead of time. If you are traveling, make sure you pack everything you need before leaving home. If you are staying home, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the day lead you to forget to take something. 

Keep Alone Time In The Schedule

When your body is stressed, it releases a surge of hormones that temporarily raise your blood pressure. During the holiday season, you can face several situations that cause stress. Whether it is figuring out travel plans, hosting friends and family, or even grocery shopping, all of these events can give you a spike in stress. For those who already struggle with high blood pressure, it is best to find time in your busy schedule to decompress. Your family and friends will understand if there are a few instances where you need to escape the business of the season. 

Make Plans To Be Active 

The stress and food may negatively impact you, but your plans can offset some of this! Make plans with family and friends that involve getting active. This can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood after a meal, or you could venture into the town to see what they are planning for the holidays. Your body will feel strong and even relieved when you implement some activities. 

Don’t Forget Water 

Water is an important part of daily life for patients with high blood pressure. Around the holidays, drinks can be a temptation for anyone. However, sticking to water can help you in the long run. If you decide to indulge in a cider, soda, or anything in between, be sure to put in a cup of water every other drink, so you are still getting the necessary hydration.  

Feeling better about your holiday plans already? We are happy to hear it. There is no reason to feel majorly limited due to your high blood pressure. You maintain it during the rest of the year, and this is just a time to put healthy practices into focus. Talk to our team if you are still hesitant about a certain decision! We are happy to help you find the best solutions this year. For more resources, check out our website or give us a call today.  

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