7 Ways to Promote Heart and Lung Health in the Era of COVID-19

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Living in the age of COVID-19 is complicated, to say the least.

Having to stay indoors and social distance from your job, your social life, and your loved ones haven’t been ideal changes, but they’re preferable to the alternative. For those people that are particularly susceptible to the virus, the thought of going to the grocery store is a life or death decision.

People with heart and lung issues have had to take extra special measures to avoid getting the virus, which has highlighted the importance of heart and lung health. In this post, we’re going to tell you 7 ways that you can promote a healthy lifestyle, so you can preemptively combat COVID-19.

The virus is spreading like wildfire, so the more you can do to help your body fight it, the better.

1. Stop Smoking

It should go without saying that smoking is going to increase your chances of being severely affected by COVID-19. Cigarettes and e-cigarettes are horrible for both lung and heart health and we’ve seen that smokers are succumbing to the disease at a higher rate than non-smokers.

Maybe quitting is something you’ve been thinking about doing for a while now, but haven’t been able to. This is the perfect time to stop because you can look around you and see how smoking is making this virus worse for millions of people.

When the virus is at its worst, it’s irreparably damaging people’s lungs. You stand less of a chance against it if your lungs are already damaged from smoking.

2. Get Your Cardio

Social distancing and quarantine measures have made exercising more difficult, but getting the proper amount of cardiovascular work is crucial for heart and lung health. If you have the means, get outside at least once a day and go for a long walk or a run.

Not only will it stop you from going stir crazy in your house, but getting the blood flowing and getting more oxygen into your blood through cardio and aerobic exercise will give your lungs a better chance of survival. And, you’ll be able to work off all of the canned food you’ve probably been eating.

COVID has also affected those with hypertension (high blood pressure), which a huge amount of the population suffers from. If you want to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, going for a run is a good place to start.

3. Breathing, Yoga, and Meditation

During this stressful and uncertain time, it’s easy to let panic take hold and throw all of your healthy habits out the window. If you’ve let yourself go a bit during quarantine, start doing yoga, meditate regularly, and perform breathing exercises.

All of these things can relax your body, quiet your mind, and help you develop better breathing habits. Yoga, in particular, combines aerobic fitness with meditative practices and deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing is proven to make your lungs more efficient and just 2-5 minutes of these exercises can improve your vital capacity.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all symptomatic of a global pandemic, but you can combat these feelings with 10-15 minutes of meditation per day. There are loads of apps available with guided meditations for those who don’t have experience with it. 

4. Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is key for many bodily functions that we take for granted and it’s no different for your lungs and heart. By drinking the proper amount of water per day, you can help keep the mucosal linings in your lungs thin, which helps them function better.

When you’re dehydrated, the amount of blood going through your veins decreases, so your heart works harder to pump it. This increases your heart rate and thus, your blood pressure, which can be dangerous in the long-run. Your blood will also retain more sodium, which makes your blood thicker and harder to circulate.

5. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Eating well is far from easy during a pandemic. Grocery stores are starting to increase their social distancing measures and a lot of people are opting for home delivery or curbside pickup, which makes it more annoying to cook the things you want.

However, it’s really important for your heart and lung health to have the support of a healthy diet. Here is a list of heart-healthy foods to add to your shopping list:

  • Fatty fish
  • Leafy greens (and other veggies)
  • Whole grains
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Herbal Tea
  • Red wine (in moderation)

Basically, anything high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, magnesium, folic acid, and potassium should be in your diet. If you are allergic or don’t like some of these foods, make sure to use supplements to get the right vitamins.

6. Avoid Pollution

Quietly, as entire industries have shut down and people have remained inside, pollution around the world has decreased significantly. This is a rare positive that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it highlights an important part of your heart and lung health.

If you live in close proximity to a big-time polluter, strive to steer clear of them during production hours. You may not feel it immediately, but smoke and smog gets into your lungs and causes long-term damage.

If this is something you’ve ignored over the last number of years, you may have already suffered the damage that makes you more susceptible to coronavirus. It’s never too late to take protective measures, though, so wear a mask when you go out and get your exercise in a more natural area.

7. Get Better Sleep

The link between sleep and your overall health is a strong one. Your body needs to heal at night, so if you’re not getting the 7-9 recommended hours per night, you’re not giving your body a chance to do that. We understand that it’s difficult to get rest when the world is falling apart around you, but you have to try.

Sleep-deprived people are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, both of which make it much harder to deal with COVID symptoms. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider trying some of the breathing and meditation exercises that we discussed earlier or use some herbal supplements.

A lot of sleep deprivation results from stress and anxiety from not being able to sleep. When you have to “try” to fall asleep, it gets even harder, creating a vicious cycle of fatigue.

Focus on Heart and Lung Health Now

There’s no better time to improve your heart and lung health, especially if it’s a concern during COVID-19. Developing these positive habits now will benefit you after this is all over, as well. 

To shop for your medical needs, from vitamins and supplements to breathing and smoking cessation aids, visit us at Kiwi Drug.

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