With a COVID Christmas coming soon, what do we do to stay healthy? First, continue to follow the advice of our health officials regarding social distancing, wearing masks, and hand washing. Anyone at high risk due to conditions like lung or heart disease or obesity or cancer, just to name a few, should be extra cautious.
Second, keep alcohol consumption under control. There is a condition known as ‘Holiday Heart’ that occurs from overconsumption of alcohol. The alcohol acts as an irritant to your heart and causes it to go into a cardiac arrhythmia - a fast or irregular heartbeat. Although most frequently associated with atrial fibrillation, the condition can even occur in healthy individuals who don’t have underlying heart disease. Fortunately, Holiday Heart tends to resolve on its own when people stop drinking; so, if you notice a faster than normal or fluttering heart rate while drinking, you should consider drinking water, tea, soda – but not alcohol! In some cases, however, you may need a doctor to reset your heart into a normal sinus rhythm.
Third, an easy way to know if you have eaten more calories than you should is if you get up from the table feeling "full". I know you are laughing at this point because most people probably plan on overindulging a little during the holidays…not to worry! All you need to do is balance eating a little more with some exercise. Some people prefer to hit the gym while others just want to go for a nice long walk. Do what makes you feel good. Keeping your exercise regimen up throughout the holiday season will help not only with weight control but also your mood and mental health.
Lastly, it is my strong medical recommendation that you do all you can to steer clear of political discussions with your family and friends as you all come together this season - if you don’t want to risk your close relationships, that is!
I wish you all a Merry COVID Christmas!
Dr. Turner graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 with a degree in Biology. He then attended medical school at Ross University School of Medicine. He trained in Family Medicine at Brackenridge University Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He was an attending physician for a Family Medicine residency program in New Mexico for a few years before deciding to go full time in Emergency Medicine. In 2018, he opened My Urgent Care Clinic in Boerne and added an online virtual clinic in 2018 while continuing in Emergency Medicine. He has a beautiful wife and two sons he loves dearly. He enjoys flying, floating on the river and eating amazing food.