Don’t forget your heart’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic – Idaho Press-Tribune

The current pandemic is of particular concern for patients who have heart disease. Heart disease patients are at higher risk for being sicker with COVID-19. By protecting yourself, not ignoring symptoms, and taking care of your heart at home, you can safely navigate this current pandemic.

The first step for heart disease patients is to protect themselves from the current pandemic by following stay-at-home guidelines, practicing social distancing and washing hands. If you have heart disease staying home may save your life.

Dont Ignore Your Symptoms

Secondly, make sure you report to the emergency room or your cardiologist if you are experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, or have questions regarding your heart health. Most offices are using telehealth, and hospitals have systems in place to protect patients coming in with non-COVID-19 issues. Dont put off symptoms that may be a sign of impending danger.

Take Care of Your Heart at Home

Third, being stuck at home may be an ideal time for you to make lifestyle changes to help your heart. Exercise, eating healthy and not smoking are critical in keeping your heart healthy. It has been shown that a brisk walk 30 minutes a day can help heart disease patients live longer.

With so few distractions, it is an ideal time to begin exercising regularly. The walk should be brisk enough that it would be difficult to hold a conversation on the phone. Remember to keep your distance from others while outside.

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With limited access to restaurants and shopping, now is an ideal time to practice eating better. Healthy eating can reduce your chances for worsening heart disease. Reducing sweets, reducing processed foods and learning to cook healthy meals should become part of your stay-at-home daily schedule.

We recommend visiting the American Heart Associate website for recommendations for heart-healthy eating: heart.org.

If you smoke, make the stay-at-home order your excuse to never buy another cigarette.

Smoking is dangerous in so many ways and is particularly dangerous for your heart. Call your doctor for help, replace smoking with a healthy habit, and make this pandemic your time to quit.

Though this is a difficult time, we can find ways to make positive changes in the way we live and turn this pandemic into our time to be heart healthy. By protecting yourself, reporting worrisome symptoms, and making healthy lifestyle changes, you may save your life now and live longer.

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Don't forget your heart's health during the COVID-19 pandemic - Idaho Press-Tribune

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