Between trick-or-treating and costume parties, Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year. The sugary treats and jumpscares can really put your heart through a lot! While everyone should enjoy Halloween, celebrating the holiday can be particularly tricky for individuals who struggle with cardiac conditions. This is why it’s important to celebrate Halloween in a heart-healthy way. Check out four tips for enjoying Halloween without putting any stress on your heart below:
Avoid Anything Too Scary
If you have heart conditions like SVT or atrial fibrillation, which result in abnormal or rapid heart rhythms, it’s a good idea to avoid extreme frights and scares. Things like walk-through haunted houses or certain horror movies can cause your heart rate to increase rapidly and uncontrollably, which may trigger complications.
To steer clear of issues, stick to more tame Halloween activities that won’t cause your heart rate to increase. All great choices are things like carving jack-o-lanterns, passing out treats, slow trick-or-treating, and watching a fun Halloween special!
Keep Sweets to a Minimum
While a big part of Halloween is the treats, it’s best to keep them to a minimum if you have heart-related health conditions. Consistent intake of high-sugar foods can increase triglycerides and put added stress on your heart. This is why high amounts of sugar are not recommended for patients with heart disease.
You should ultimately stay away from candy, but this doesn’t have to impact the way you celebrate! Halloween treats don’t have to be full of sugar to be fun and tasty. Instead of sugary sweets, you can opt for snacks like baked apples, candied walnuts, and granola bars. If you’re game for some baking and creating, you can try crafting some heart-healthy treats, like:
- Spooky spider deviled eggs (featuring black-olive “spiders”)
- Eyeball Caprese salad
- Mini mummy pizzas
- Witch’s broom snacks (celery and carrots for the handle and string cheese for the brush)
Opt for Non-Food Treats
As you already know, sweet treats are not suitable for those struggling with heart disease, but it can be hard to avoid them on Halloween night. Having candy in your home for trick-or-treaters can create a lot of temptation. If you want to avoid these treats altogether, you can pass out other types of not edible treats. Make sure to choose Halloween-themed goodies that are fun and spooky! Kids love small toys like glow sticks, bouncy balls, and stickers.
Hit the Pavement
One of the best things for patients with heart disease or other cardiac conditions is getting regular exercise. While you may be busy with Halloween festivities, you don’t have to worry about missing out on physical activity.
You can incorporate your daily exercise into the day by hitting the pavement with your kids for trick-or-treating. Add an extra block or two this year to get in more steps, and you’ll get in a better workout than you do at the gym! Just be sure not to walk too fast or go for too long, as it can put extra stress on the heart.