Staying healthy amid the sudden changes the Coronavirus pandemic has brought forward can be especially tricky for those who live with heart conditions. While cardiovascular disease (CVD) is already the number one cause of death in the world, research also shows that those with heart conditions are at higher risk of complications due to the global pandemic.
Furthermore, the outbreak has also deterred heart patients who require routine care or need to access emergency services for non-COVID-related issues, from hospitals and doctors. This current environment has made it crucial for you to prioritize your heart above all else, by taking precautions and following a normal heart care routine that keeps your heart in check.
For World Heart Day (WHD) which falls on the 29th of September, Flora has decided to shed more light on these issues and promote heart health, to control the risk factors that may lead to CVD.
CVD mainly refers to the disease of the heart, blood vessels or vascular disease of the brain, which leads to things such as heart attacks and strokes. World Heart Day is a global event designed by the World Heart Foundation, in order to raise awareness and educate people about these factors.
The disease can be attributed to multiple aspects which include genetic predisposition, age, physical factors such as smoking and stress, and the overall condition of the heart. However, there are certain risk factors that can be controlled to help us prevent and reduce the risk of CVD.
These include the regular monitoring of blood pressure, proper sleep, reducing saturated fat and sodium intake, and regular exercises up to five times a week. While these practices can be easily followed in a normal environment; the current post-Covid one comes with its own set of challenges.
Since the start of the outbreak, Covid has confined us to our home leading to an array of unhealthy activities, from bad eating habits to irregular sleeping patterns. In order to ensure that a healthy lifestyle is maintained, and our stress levels are kept in check, certain practices have to be followed.
These include taking care of your physical wellbeing by continuing regular exercises, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep. As for your mental wellbeing, experts suggest limiting the information you consume about the outbreak and the time you spend on it, and only trust reliable sources, remotely maintaining a social network, avoiding coping strategies involving alcohol or drugs and taking short active breaks throughout the day.
Anyone finding it difficult to stay active at home, can access a multitude of online exercise classes and tutorials. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both.
When looking at stress management, we can prevent the risk of heart disease by simply adopting breathing techniques, which can be practiced daily.
However, the most important aspect to keep track of is one’s nutrition, because for a healthy heart it’s essential that you include Omega 3 and 6 enriched foods to your diet.
Research shows that Omega 3s help keep your heart healthy and protected against stroke and can also improve the heart health of anyone already living with heart disease. These fats work to reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, reduce the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias), slow the buildup of plaque in your arteries and help to slightly lower your blood pressure.
Your body does not make omega-3 fatty acids on its own; therefore, you need to get them from your diet, and these fats should ideally make up 5% to 10% of your total calories.
These essential nutrients can easily be found in Flora, which is a blend of nutrient-rich plant oils such as sunflower and canola oil containing Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. In addition to this, 20g of Flora also contains 33% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, D and E and contains no unhealthy trans-fats.
This World Heart Day, Flora wants to ensure that the public takes a conscious effort to cook and eat healthier, exercise regularly and be more active, and invest in a heart-healthy lifestyle.