Many people spend Christmastime attending social gatherings, but did you know that this time of the year also comes with increased risk for cardiac failure? A 16-year study done in Sweden found that heart attacks are most common on Christmas Day, with peak hours at 10 PM. This spike can’t be blamed on the cold alone; researchers from the University of Melbourne found that there’s a 4% increase in cardiac events in New Zealand during the Christmas holidays.
Christmas season in Australia is an occasion filled with gifts, good food, and quality time with family and friends. However, it’s also a good time to enquire about the health of your loved ones and practice habits that keep you in tiptop shape. A healthy holiday doesn’t need to be boring; there are plenty of ways you can incorporate staying fit with traditional celebrations and hearty family dinners. Below, we share 3 ways:
Join a first aid class.
Learning first aid or refreshing your skills by joining first aid express training courses is one way of safeguarding your family this Christmas season. A short course on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic first aid can make you more aware of the signs and symptoms of cardiac events and other illnesses and medical emergencies. It empowers you to make the right decisions and act during critical moments, which can give the patient a better chance of a swift recovery. Your family members will also feel safer knowing that they have someone who knows first aid in their midst.
At the same time, you can give the gift of learning to your loved ones by letting them learn first aid. Aside from making sure they’re ready for emergencies, a first aid course and certification can also improve their career prospects.
Engage in physical activity.
It may be the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you should spend it on the couch or around the dining table. Take the opportunity to engage your friends or members of your family in physical activities. You can play beach volleyball or go swimming if there’s a good beach near you. Run during the cooler hours of the day, take a brisk walk if you don’t want to exert too much effort, or ride a bike around the neighborhood you are staying in. You can also organize relay and group games and make it a tradition to keep the rest of your family active. However, since it’s the middle of summer, make sure you hydrate properly and stay under the shade to avoid heatstroke.
Food is an integral part of any Christmas celebration, and many people find it difficult to keep to their diet during this time of the year. There’s nothing wrong with eating well on holidays, but make sure that you are not overindulging in food and drinks that are not good for you. Go easy on the alcoholic drinks, avoid overstuffing yourself, and try to distance yourself from the buffet table. You can also opt to bring healthy food options to the party and snack on these instead of greasy, sweet, or salty dishes. In addition, keep yourself well hydrated at all times.
The holiday season takes place at the height of summer, so heat-related illnesses are also more likely to occur. If there are people in your vicinity that are at a higher risk for diseases associated with the season, keep an eye out for them, make sure they are aware of the symptoms, and instruct them to ask for help at the first sign of trouble. Make it a habit to look out for each other and express approval when someone in your group is being active or eating well. This not only makes the other person feel good, but it also encourages the whole group to celebrate Christmas in a healthier manner.