Healthy Tip: Say "au revoir" to stress with a heart healthy holiday

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Whether you’re a student or carer, entrepreneur or working parent, single or married, young or old, modern life is full of stress triggers that our bodies respond to, often in very negative ways.  Not only does your heart have to work harder to deal with the adrenalin and cortisol streaming through your blood flow, but you’re more likely to go for unhealthy choices when it comes to food, alcohol and cigarettes. That’s why it’s important to enjoy some well-earned downtime and what better way to soothe the heart and soul than a summer holiday. 

If you’re planning on jumping off the rollercoaster and taking a break this summer, don’t under estimate all the potential goodness this can offer your heart.  Follow our tips on how to keep stress levels low and improve your heart-health to the max.

1. Get your back covered
Sadly people who have had a heart attack or have other pre-existing medical conditions may struggle to get insurance for the one thing they need - a holiday.  Take the worry out of travelling by contacting an insurance provider* who is sympathetic towards heart conditions.  Check whether you need a ‘fit for travel’ certificate from your GP and make a list of all medications before heading to distant lands.  

2. Keep your cool 
Extreme temperatures (either very hot or very cold), along with high altitudes make your heart work harder.  Whilst this may offer a healthy heart workout for most people, if you have a pre-existing heart condition manage your symptoms with regular rests, plenty of water and a copy of your prescriptions in case you run out.  It might be wise to take the strain off by opting for destinations with shorter flights, comfortable climates and forgiving landscapes.

3. Be leisurely not sluggish
Its one thing getting off the hamster wheel, but another thing spending a fortnight lying or sitting down; the consequences could be dangerous for your heart.  Swimming is a wonderful way to relieve stress and give an all over aerobic workout, keeping your heart healthy and happy.  Why not get yourself down to your local pool now so you’re into good habits and ready to take the plunge.  

4. Eat fresh and local
Check out the local cuisine and make sure you eat plenty of freshly caught fish, tropical fruits, green leafy salads and a splash of locally pressed vegetable oils.  The Mediterranean is known for providing the finest of heart-healthy meals, packed with antioxidants and omega-3, as well as offering beautiful beaches, good weather and plenty of culture.  If you want to visit more distant shores then avoid over commercialised areas with fast fried foods, be cautious about buffet style meals and check the local sanitation and disease risk.  

Whether you soar to distant shores or take the campervan for a jaunt,  don’t let your heart take the strain while you’re there; plan a trip that will help you recharge your batteries, try something new, get back into shape and return home fit, healthy, happy and fully refreshed.

* Fish insurance is one of the UK’s leading insurance providers who pride themselves on including pre-existing heart conditions in their packages.  Other holiday insurance providers are available.  Always seek advice from your GP first