December is the Month of Giving plus Healthy Holiday Living Tips

AHA Winter Holidays Heart Health Tips
– Video with music/text

Transcript (doc)

Video copyright American Heart Association 2023 – Song: Christmas Day/ Royalty Free

Heart attack deaths spike during the winter holidays

The American Heart Association urges people to be aware of and reduce risks for deadly ‘holiday heart attacks’

News release | Spanish news release

Research shows ‘tis also the season of weight gain, added stress, and a spike in cardiovascular events like sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack and stroke. Here are some tips to help you take care of your heart, mind and body this holiday season.

AHA Heart attack warning-signs infographic 2021

Heart Healthy Holiday Tips

  • Know the symptoms and take action: Heart attack signs may vary in men and women and it’s important to catch them early and call 9-1-1 for help. The sooner medical treatment begins, the better the chances of survival and preventing heart damage.
  • Celebrate in moderation ‘Tis the season for unhealthy changes in diet and higher alcohol consumption. Eating healthfully during the holidays doesn’t have to mean depriving yourself, there are still ways to eat smart. Look for small, healthy changes and swaps you can make so you continue to feel your best while eating and drinking in moderation, and don’t forget to watch the sodium.
  • Plan for peace on earth and goodwill toward yourself: Make time to take care of yourself during the busy holiday. Reduce stress from family interactions, strained finances, hectic schedules and other stressors that tack on this time of year, including traveling.
  • Keep moving: The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and this number usually drops during the holiday buzz. Get creative with ways to stay active, even if it’s going for a family walk or another fun activity you can do with your loved ones.
  • Stick to your meds: Busy holidays can make way for skipping medications, forgetting them when away from home, or not getting refills in a timely manner. Here is a medication chart to help stay on top of it, and be sure to keep tabs on your blood pressure numbers.
  • Common Heart Attack Warning Signs infographic transcript

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Brrrr…. more tips for a healthier winter season:

Hunting season - safety gear

Hunting safety should include heart attack and stroke awareness

The American Heart Association says hunters should know heart attack and stroke warning signs and learn CPR to reduce deadly risks throughout hunting seasons – News Release

La seguridad en la caza debe incluir el conocimiento sobre los ataques cardíacos o ataques o derrames cerebrales

La American Heart Association indica que los cazadores deben conocer las señales de advertencia de ataque cardíaco o ataque o derrame cerebral y aprender RCP para reducir los riesgos mortales durante las temporadas de caza – News release in Spanish

Woman getting flu shot

Woman washing hands with soap
  • It’s also National Handwashing Awareness Week 12/4-10. Here are some easy ways to stop the spread of viruses like the flu: Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. (About the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.”)
    Remember to scrub the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.

    Stress Strain Body Brain Infographic

    How does stress affect the body?

    Stress can have lasting effects on your health and well-being. These health effects impact some groups disproportionately – women, for example, are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to men.

    Mental health can positively or negatively impact your physical health and risk factors for heart disease and stroke, according to “Psychological Health, Well-Being, and the Mind-Heart-Body Connection,” a scientific statement in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

    Stress may contribute to poor health behaviors linked to increased risk for heart disease and stroke, such as:

    • Smoking
    • Overeating
    • Lack of physical activity
    • Unhealthy diet
    • Being overweight
    • Not taking medications as prescribed

    A stressful situation sets off a chain of events. Your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that temporarily causes your breathing and heart rate to speed up and your blood pressure to rise. These reactions prepare you to deal with the situation — the “fight or flight” response.

    More stress reduction tips | infographic text

    DYK: It’s National Safe Toys and Gifts Month? Your gift could help save lives!

    During this season of gratitude — and every day of the year — we’re grateful for your dedication to helping save lives from heart disease and stroke. Your gifts help fund innovative research, lifesaving CPR training, education and prevention services. Find out ways to get involved and make a gift today to help protect the hearts you love.


    More December Calendar Highlights

    Month of Giving, National Human Rights Month, National Pear Month, National Cat Lovers’ Month

    • 12/1 – World Aids Day | Rosa Parks Day | National Women Support Women Day | National Eat a Red Apple Day
    • 12/1-7 – Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week
    • 12/2 – International Day for the Abolition of Slavery | World Pollution Prevention Day | National Mutt Day | National Play Outside Day | National Build Joy Day
    • 12/3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities | Make a Gift Day | World Pear Day
    • 12/4 – National Cookie Day
    • 12/4-8 – National Influenza Vaccination Week – Don’t forget your flu vaccine.
    • 12/4-10 – National Handwashing Awareness Week
    • 12/5 – International Volunteer Day
    • 12/6 – National Day of Remembrance and Action On Violence Against Women | St. Nicholas Day
    • 12/7-15 – Hanukkah
    • 12/9 – International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide

    • 12/10 –
      Nobel Prize Day | Human Rights Day
    • 12/11 – Green Monday | National App Day | National Stretching Day
    • 12/12 – International Universal Health Coverage Day | Gingerbread House Day | National Poinsettia Day
    • 12/13 – National Cocoa Day
    • 12/15 – Bill of Rights Day | International Tea Day | National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
    • 12/16-24 – Las Posadas
    • 12/16 – National Wreaths Across America Day | National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
    • 12/18 – National Twin Day
    • 12/20 – International Human Solidarity Day | Go Caroling Day
    • 12/21 – Winter Solstice | National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day | National Re-Gifting Day | National Crossword Puzzle Day | Look on the Bright Side Day
    • 12/23 – Festivus
    • 12/24 – Christmas Eve | National Eggnog Day | Last Minute Shoppers Day
    • 12/25 – Christmas | National Pumpkin Pie Day
    • 12/25-1/5/24 – Twelve Days of Christmas
    • 12/26-1/1/24 – Kwanzaa
    • 12/26 – Boxing Day | National Candy Cane Day | Day of Goodwill
    • 12/27 – International Day of Epidemic Preparedness | National Fruitcake Day
    • 12/28 – Pledge of Allegiance Day | National Call-a-Friend Day
    • 12/29 – Still Need to Do Day
    • 12/30 – National Resolution Planning Day
    • 12/31 – New Year’s Eve | National Champagne Day | Universal Hour of Peace (from 11:30 pm to 12:30 am on Jan. 1) | Make Up Your Mind Day