As we are expecting the third wave of Covid in the next few months of time. It is imperative for existing and new heart patients to take utmost care of their health. Here are some heart-friendly tips for you. Don’t forget to read and follow these vital measures. Stay healthy and hearty!
It has been over a year and still, the entire world continues to battle the Covid pandemic. This pandemic has strained the healthcare system. Still the pandemic continues to evolve. Now, after the second wave, soon the country will witness the third wave and it is imperative for one to monitor his/her heart health. People with heart conditions are at a higher risk of getting sick due to Covid. You will be shocked to know that Covid not only affects your lungs but even the heart too. When the body is battling an infection, everything right from the immune system to the cardiovascular system needs to work harder.
Furthermore, this can be taxing on the heart that may be already struggling owing to heart failure or heart disease. Not only this, many post-covid patients have experienced heart problems such as stroke, chest tightness and pain, sudden palpitations, heart attack, myocarditis, swelling of the heart, low pumping capacity, blood clotting, and arrhythmia (an abnormal heartbeat). Thus, those with existing heart conditions must take essential steps to keep the heart healthy and strong.
Here is what you can do to take care of your heart
Keep your cholesterol levels in check: Did you know? Cholesterol is one of the common causes of heart disease. Hence, it is the need of the hour to keep a tab on your cholesterol levels. Do not eat processed or deep-fried foods.
Set a schedule: You will have to follow a schedule. Your exercise and daily food habits. Have a good sleep routine. Try to take out some time for yourself. Be in touch with your loved ones. Spend some quality time with your family members, friends via video calls or phone calls.
Exercises inside home: If you are a heart patient then don’t do any strenuous exercises. Simple walking in corridor inside your home in order to increase blood circulation. Stretch from time to time and take frequent breaks to avoid sitting in one place.
Choose heart-healthy foods: It is the right time to eat foods that boost your immunity. So, stick to a well-balanced diet that includes all the essential nutrients. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like walnuts, sardines, and mackerel, tofu, oats, beans, flax seeds, avocado, berries, nuts, carrots, sweet potatoes, capsicum, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, broccoli, oranges, and papaya. Avoid eating spicy, oily, canned, salty, and sugary foods.
Say NO to carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners. Do not smoke or consume alcohol. Try to stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
Take medication on time: It is a strict no no to skip taking medication. Do not self-medicate by opting for over-the-counter medication.
Take the help of telemedicine: To minimize your risk of getting infected with Covid-19, stay in touch with your doctor through video consultation or calls. But, do not hesitate to seek immediate treatment in case you notice symptoms such as breathlessness, palpitations, or chest tightness. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death even during pandemic.
Follow the Covid protocol: Don’t forget to use a mask, maintain a social distance and wash hands from time to time. Take covid vaccination even if you have a heart condition after consulting the doctor.
(The writer is a Cardiovascular Surgeon, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Lilavati hospital)