Tips to keep your heart healthy over the holidays

(CNN) - The holidays can be a very stressful time of year for many people. It's a time when we see a rise in heart attacks. Doctors think the main reason may be stress and a change in our healthy routines, but there are simple steps we can take for a heart-healthy holiday.

As you head to holiday parties, fill up on vegetables. Overeating is often inevitable this time of year, but don't forget the veggies. When you reach for the desserts, try not to overdo it. We don't want to overload our system with fat.

Also, try to keep an eye on the salt. When our sodium levels get too high, this can raise our blood pressure.

Don't drink too much alcohol. This raises the risk for heart rhythm problems and heart attacks. Men should have no more than two alcoholic beverages a
day and women just one. If you're trying to quit smoking, if possible, do it before the holidays.

Don't put exercise on the back burner. Fit it in when you can. If you feel chest pain or other heart attack symptoms, don't worry about spoiling the holiday fun, get help right away.

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