Have A Heart-Healthy Holiday

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Between parties, late nights, feasts and traveling, the holidays can play havoc with a health regimen. The American Heart Association provides tools and tips to ensure that positive health habits play an important part of any holiday celebration.

Move More This Season

Make a New Year's resolution to join Start!, the American Heart Association's worksite wellness campaign, by going to "MyStart! Online" for access to a free fitness and nutrition tracker and to find out how you can get in better shape and your place of business can become fit-friendly.

For many women, the winter months mean less physical activity. But you can manage to fit in fitness during the busy holiday season with help from the free Choose To Move program. This 12-week physical activity plan can help women of all ages and lifestyles focus on fitness. The program offers exercise and nutrition tips along with flavorful and easy-to-prepare recipes.

Cold weather doesn't have to mean couch time for kids. Visit the Parents section of HealthierGeneration.org, where you will find creative ideas on how to keep your family moving during the winter months.

Eat Your Way to a Healthier Holiday

Because the winter months are often a time to feast, eat wisely and Face the Fats by familiarizing yourself with trans and saturated fat, and replace them with "better" fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

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Before you head to the supermarket, use the American Heart Association's free online grocery list builder to create a heart-healthy shopping list filled with products bearing the heart-check mark. It's your assurance the food is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and/or high in whole grains.

Remember Your Risks during the Holidays

If you are one of the 100 million Americans who have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before you are exposed to colds and the flu this holiday season. High blood pressure patients need to be aware that many common decongestants can raise their blood pressure even more and may conflict with prescribed blood pressure medications.

The rate of depression in the population peaks during holiday months. A heart or stroke patient who has recently suffered an event may be particularly vulnerable. The American Heart Association has resources to help manage and identify depression for both patients and their caregivers.

Giving From the Heart

This holiday season, not only can you give gifts that friends and family will want or need, but you will also be supporting American Heart Association programs.

Go Red For Women merchandise can be purchased online at ShopGoRed.org to help support the movement's mission: empowering women to wipe out heart disease, their No. 1 killer.

Power To End Stroke merchandise such as tote bags, gym bags, clothing, cookbooks and more can be purchased online at ShopPower.org. Your purchase supports the Power To End Stroke campaign, which is targeted toward African Americans, who have an increased risk of stroke compared to other groups.

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