Keeping Your Heart Healthy During the Covid-19 Pandemic
You may have learned that the heart health influences your risk of serious COVID-19 illness (the disease caused by the new coronavirus). Although heart disease and high blood pressure (hypertension) do increase the risk, there are steps you can take to protect your heart during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s face it: sticking to the daily habits can be difficult during a global pandemic. However, eating a heart-healthy diet and exercising regularly are as vital as ever. Following a heart-healthy eating pattern means you’re getting the variety of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy.
COVID-19 and heart health
COVID-19 has a variety of effects on the heart. Your heart and lungs work together to provide the proper amount of oxygen to your body. When your lungs are afflicted by a respiratory disease like COVID-19, your heart is put under more strain. One of the reasons why people with heart disease are at such a high risk of COVID-19-related extreme symptoms and complications is because of this.
Take symptoms seriously
If you have chest pain, discomfort, shortness of breath, or swelling in your legs, go to your nearest emergency room. Your heart is constantly communicating with you by emotional and physical cues. Speak about how you’re doing at routine scans and checkups, or make an appointment with your doctor if you have any new symptoms.
Follow a heart healthy eating pattern:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources, especially fish and seafood, legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds.
- Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy diet.
- Unflavored milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking.
- Reduce salt
- Be sure to drink plenty of water
Coronavirus-induced stress can also lead to heart problems
Stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, is a disease of the heart muscle that can impair heart muscle function as a result of illness or even intense fear of the pandemic. In some people, increased stress can lead to a heart attack.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Your body needs rest and replenishment. Even if it can seem appealing to stay up late and wake up early reading the news and thinking about what will happen next, doing so is actually counterproductive. It is important to get the recommended amount of sleep — between 7 and 8 hours depending on your age — in order to combat infection.
Start cooking again
You could have relied on outside food to get you through the week before quarantine. However, if you find yourself spending more time at home, now is a good time to get back into the kitchen. Junk food increases the risk of heart attack and stroke by increasing your bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Instead, look for recipes for healthy versions of your favorite foods and prepare them.
The best way to keep your heart healthy at home is to keep track of your overall health and other warning signs of a worsening heart condition. People with heart disease may be more susceptible to COVID-19 because their immune systems are weakened, making it more difficult to fight infections. The good news is that you have a lot of options for staying healthy and safe during the global pandemic.
Some advice to help you at home:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions, including taking prescription medications exactly as prescribed.
- Caffeine and alcohol should be consumed in moderation.
- Avoid over-the-counter medications like decongestants and ibuprofen that can affect the blood pressure.
- Make cooking with clean ingredients a priority at home to promote healthy eating.
- Make virtual connections with friends and family members.
And, of course, make sure you are taking steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, including washing your hands, wearing double mask and following social distancing guidelines.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself will help your heart perform at its best. Eat well, stay active, and try to keep stress to a minimum. Every vaccination brings us one step closer to a COVD-19-free future. Vaccines are safe, effective, and protect you and your loved ones, according to the best science. Consult your physician about getting vaccinated.
Keep your cardiology appointments
During a pandemic, don’t be afraid to visit a doctor or an emergency department if you have heart symptoms. Don’t miss the warning signs of a heart attack. Heart attacks, aortic dissections, heart failure, and arrhythmias continue to be a problem. Early detection and treatment of heart disease will save your life. If you are experiencing any troubling heart symptoms, please seek medical help. Finally, if you already have heart disease or another heart-related issue, don’t skip your cardiology appointments. Some of the best cardiology doctors in Chennai are always available at Prashanth Hospitals to provide consultation and treatment for all aspects of cardiovascular care and prevention. Request an appointment with our best cardiologists in Chennai today.