Ok, it’s now crunch time. It’s less than a week till Christmas and the other December holidays. How are you shaping up to knocking off that massive “Too-Do-List”?

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, complete with caroling, good times and good cheer. But for many, it can also be the most stressful time of the year as well. So what do you need to do in order to stay on track healthwise, so you can deal with your shopping and entertaining? Well you know it’s important to eat right, get plenty of sleep, and monitor your health, especially your blood pressure. High blood pressure the "silent killer" often has no warning signs or symptoms. However, left untreated high blood pressure can damage important organs like your heart and brain? Most people, including those in the medical profession, know that one of the biggest things that can put your blood pressure over the top is stress, and it seems we put too much emphasis on making the holiday season memorable. But at what cost?

According to the American Heart Association, although your blood pressure may rise for a short time while you're feeling stressed, stress is not a proven cause of high blood pressure.

One thing everyone agrees on, if you currently have high blood pressure issues, you should be taking your pressure each day to keep yourself aware of any dangerous readings. And if you do happen to see a spike in your pressure you should contact your physician immediately or go to the emergency room if the reading is high enough. One tool you should have available with you if you do have high blood pressure is your own monitor. PedometersUSa.com has a variety of accurate blood pressure monitors, which if you click on the link you can see which type you would like to use for yourself. We really like the ADC Automatic Wrist Advantage Digital Blood Pressure Monitor This automatic inflatable monitor works at your wrist so it's easy to use and provides you with an accurate reading for up to two people in your household to track each of your pressures.

However, how you respond to stress, like smoking, drinking alcohol, sleeping poorly, and eating salty junk food can raise your blood pressure and affect your health.

Studies have shown that when you're stressed your body releases adrenaline, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to go up temporarily. If you're constantly under stress, your body doesn't get the chance to rest, and as a result, your artery walls may become damaged.

Think about how stress affects you in day to day life: It can make you feel anxious, or depressed; you may experience body aches and pains; you may gain weight or lose sleep; stress can even make you sick.

If stress can make a healthy person ill, just imagine what stress can do if you are not 100 percent healthy.
Don't let stress put a damper on your Holiday Season. ….you may not be able to get rid of all the stress but, here are a few things you can do to manage it:

Take time for you. Carve out time for relaxation, yoga, listening to music, or go for a walk or jog. It’s a proven fact that exercise, good exercise releases endorphins that provide you with a sense of wellbeing. Whatever you find calming, take at least 15 – 30 minutes to do it every day.
And whatever you decide to use as your stress reliever, make sure you incorporate it into your daily regimen. Why not use a heart rate monitor to track just how much and how well you’re doing each day. With an accurate heart rate monitor, you can know ahead of time just how much you’re working your heart and corresponding muscle groups.

Give up Bad Habits. Excess alcohol or caffeine can put stress into overdrive; limit your alcohol and caffeine consumption. Now the holidays may not be the perfect time to cut out all alcohol, but if you can cut back that consumption it will go a long way to helping you improve your health. If you smoke, you already know it's a bad habit. Quit! Quitting isn't easy, but the health benefits will be worth it.

Exercise: Exercise relieves mental and physical tension. Not to mention, physically active adults have a lower risk of depression. Try walking, swimming, biking or another form of cardio every day. Remember we spoke about getting a HeartRate monitor? A popular choice that we like is the Fitbit Surge  The Surge is a great monitor to keep track of all of your activity and since it has a built-in GPS you can push yourself well off the beaten track to a fitter you! And, by using one, it may be just the catalyst you need in order to help you keep yourself on track and on the road to a fitter, healthier and a less stressful you!

So, from Everyone here at PedometersUSA.com, here’s wishing you a very happy and stress-less holiday season.
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