Heart of the holidays

'Tis the season for many things — thanksgiving, celebration, fellowship, and good cheer. Oh yes, and heart attacks. We offer 12 tips for a safer, healthier holiday season.

The holiday season — those sometimes intense weeks that begin around Thanksgiving and stretch to New Year's Day and beyond — can be a time of good cheer, brightly lit parties brimming with food and drink, the pleasure of family reunions, and feelings of generosity and peace. It can also be a lonely time or a stressful one, a season of eating, drinking, or spending too much. These downsides, along with other factors, contribute to the spike in heart disease deaths that occurs during the holidays.

Striking a balance between celebration and health can be a challenge for anyone. Heart disease complicates matters a bit. With some advance plan-ning and common sense, you and your heart can come out the other side of the holidays no worse for wear and maybe even better.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »