Heart-Healthy Holiday Gifts

By CNN News Wire

Published 12/23 2013 08:15AM

Updated 12/23 2013 08:17AM

CNN -- Heart disease is still the number one killer of Americans.  So this holiday season, why not give a loved one a gift to help them to protect their heart? 

Gifts for your family and friends can be straight from the heart to the heart, says cardiologist Dr. Gina Lundberg.

She says everyone can benefit- whether they're age seven or seventy.

“Heart-healthy holiday gifts for children can range from baseballs to bicycles,” says Dr. Lundberg. “When children start out with healthy habits in their childhood, they carry them out into their adult life.

She suggests winter walking gear for both the athletic type and those who aren't.

“Not everybody's ready for an exercise program,” says Dr. Lundberg. “Some people just need to start with walking.  A great way to log how many steps you take a day is a pedometer.  Ten thousand steps a day is ideal, but you could start with a much lower number.”

But for that on-the-go, stressed out person, think of candles and things that will help them unwind.

“When you've been stressed out all day, even though you may come home and relax, it’s still had an effect on your heart,” says Dr. Lundberg. “All day long your blood pressure has been high and your heart rate's been high.”

Dr. Lundberg has a tip for giving heart-healthy gifts:

“Make sure you tell them, ‘This is because I love you so much and I want you to stay healthy for a long time,’” she says.


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