Being stuck at home doesn’t mean paying any less attention to your heart health. Here’s how to maintain your health during quarantine.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are spending much more time at home. For many people who kept regular exercise or workout routines at gyms and other facilities, the new at-home situation has created some challenges, especially for those concerned about their cardiovascular health. However, even while many of us aren’t able to make it to the gym, there are still ways to keep our hearts and cardiovascular systems happy. Here are a few tips for maintaining heart health while you’re at home.
Try to Exercise Daily
While your home may not have the same amenities and equipment of a fully-stocked gym, there are a few ways to make sure you’re hitting your exercise targets for each week.
Jogging or stepping in place while watching television is an easy way to incorporate more aerobic exercise into your daily routine. Hosting a solo dance party is another way to get your heart and lungs working — according to the Mayo Clinic, dancing can burn 200 calories an hour. Yoga can also release stress and improve your flexibility, and according to the NIH, can boost cardiovascular health, as well. It’s also recommended to include some strength-building exercises in your weekly rotation.
Examine Your Diet
Paying attention to your diet can do a lot to keep your health healthy. Recent studies have found that having a diet that favors plants over animal products contributes to a healthier heart, and replacing carb-heavy snacks with fruits, vegetables, and nuts is a good way to get heart-healthy fats and fiber. Diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower the risk of heart disease, which is why the American Heart Association recommends eating fish — like salmon, tuna, and others — twice a week.
When it comes to things to avoid, salt is near the top of the list. People with high-sodium diets are at higher risk for developing coronary heart disease, which is why limiting your salt intake to half a teaspoon a day goes a long way toward keeping your cardiovascular system strong. Cholesterol-rich foods should also be limited.
And while it may be tempting to consume more alcohol during stressful times, it’s important not to overdo it. However, moderate consumption of alcohol can actually increase your HDL levels (the good cholesterol) and reduce the risks of blood clots and arterial damage. In particular, red wine contains compounds that can promote heart health, but it’s important to remember that over-indulging quickly undoes any benefits for your heart.
Maximizing Your Heart Health
Taking care of your heart is important all year round, and it’s especially important while many of us are staying home. At Tri-City Cardiology we’re still seeing patients during these trying times because we want to ensure that you have access to the tools and resources you need to stay healthy while staying at home. Get in touch today to find out how we can support your heart health journey.