Protecting Cardiovascular Health During Quarantine
Protecting your cardiovascular health in times of coronavirus is fundamental. The fact that we find ourselves in confinement is no reason to neglect any aspect of our health. Even though it’s tempting to let down our guard, we need to stay organized in order to maintain certain routines.
This applies especially to those individuals that suffer from cardiovascular disorders. This is one of the groups that are at risk of developing serious forms of COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that enters our cells through a protein called ACE2 (angiotensin‐converting enzyme) receptor. This protein expresses itself in greater measure in those who suffer from cardiovascular problems, such as high blood pressure, for example.
Data regarding the mortality and lethality of coronavirus have revealed that men, those who are over the age of 65, and those with high blood pressure are especially vulnerable to this pandemic. This is just one more reason why reinforcing recommendations for protecting cardiovascular health are even more important during quarantine.
Therefore, we want to tell you about three aspects that you shouldn’t neglect during confinement in order to care for your heart. We’ll see what you can do to keep your stress levels under control, exercise, and maintain a healthy diet.
Stress and cardiovascular health in times of quarantine
Without a doubt, prolonged confinement is a stressful situation. We’re experiencing an extreme situation with very strange and unique characteristics. At the same time, if you live alone, then you’re also submersed into forced solitude.
On top of this, we must add the fear of possible infection. This is also a stress factor, as the fear of getting sick ourselves or losing someone we love to coronavirus, is ever-present.
Therefore, it’s important to keep yourself informed, but without going overboard. Constant exposure to the news, television, and the internet, wanting the latest information at all times, can end up being counterproductive.
Of course, it’s also important to be aware of the current measures we must take as well as any possible changes. But we need to set limits in order to keep the situation from affecting our mental health. Stressful situations can be a trigger for cardiac episodes, and bad news can be a subjacent cause.
Another way to reduce stress and protect your cardiovascular health during quarantine is to stay connected with your loved ones. In this sense, talking to friends and family on the phone or by video chat can act as a protective factor for our hearts.
Physical activity during confinement
Almost every country that has imposed obligatory confinement has released recommendations for citizens regarding staying active during lockdown. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially for inhabitants of large cities that are full of apartment buildings.
However, despite the obvious challenge, we can really boost our cardiovascular health if we manage to stay active within our homes. Exercise routines have proven to be very useful as a protective factor in heart health, especially among the elderly.
Throughout the duration of lockdown, it’s a good idea to set aside a specific time of day for physical activity. Establishing a daily exercise schedule can help you meet your objective.
There’s no need for any major exercise equipment or large spaces in order to get the physical activity you need. Just be creative and take advantage of routines that are already designed for this type of situation. If you look on the internet, you’re sure to find plenty.
30 minutes of physical activity each day is sufficient. What’s more, if you manage to work out three times per week, this will already have a metabolic effect. It’s important to understand that caring for your cardiovascular health is much easier than you think.
Discover more: How to Sleep Well During Lockdown
How to eat well in order to protect your cardiovascular health during lockdown
We need to pay special attention to what we eat the whole time we’re in isolation. This is another key factor when it comes to our cardiovascular health.
Prolonged confinement puts us at risk for disorganization in regarding our eating habits, and of consuming a diet that’s out of balance. If we don’t establish exercise routines, then we’ll burn off only a minimal amount of calories. What and how much we eat needs to accompany this unique situation.
Our current circumstances can easily lead to weight gain in just a short time, but that’s not the only problem. Protecting your cardiovascular health during quarantine means controlling your consumption of dangerous ingredients, such as salt. Remember that sodium tends to increase our blood pressure.
Social distancing measures can influence our buying habits as well. Not all cities and neighborhoods have a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, which can limit the options we put on the table. If possible, organize things in such a way that you don’t need to go out often to obtain these items. Incorporating them into your diet will be beneficial to your cardiovascular health.
Stay away from canned fruits and vegetables or those that come in any sort of artificially sealed container. Even though these products last longer, their conservation is possible thanks to added salt. Therefore, rather than being healthy, eating them can actually be counterproductive.
This is a time when we need to take care of our hearts
It’s always a good time to take care of your heart, but protecting your cardiovascular health in times of coronavirus lockdown offers a benefit that’s two-fold.
Not only are you reducing your risk of future cardiovascular illness. You’re also increasing your chances of being able to keep the infection under control if you catch coronavirus. In other words, you’ll be better able to prevent the infection from becoming serious.