Living Fiercely with American Heart Association: Heart Healthy Tips During a Pandemic.

February is American Heart Month, read these tips from the American Heart Association on how to stay heart-healthy even during a pandemic.

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Whether you are as fit as a fiddle, or managing a chronic condition, COVID-19 has changed the way many of us engage with our health daily. From increased stress to finding new ways to exercise, it is important now more than ever to monitor your heart health. This Heart Month, the American Heart Association encourages you to adopt heart healthy changes with these simple tips!

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Try something new

To improve heart health, you can make simple lifestyle changes which include eating a nutritious diet, staying physically active, losing excess weight, managing blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, reducing blood sugar, and quitting smoking.

If you are not accustomed to cooking, start by choosing a favorite meal. Look up the recipe online to learn the ingredients and preparation techniques, and then give it a whirl. You may be surprised how easy it is to become a budding chef!

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Manage stress and anxiety
Manage stress, anxiety and boost your overall health by trying activities like yoga and meditation. Exercising outdoors is fine if you practice physical distancing by remaining at least six feet away from others. Wear facial coverings in public to help prevent you and others from getting COVID-19.

“Although COVID-19 has been in the spotlight, it’s important to remember how important it is to maintain health in every aspect for preventative care,” shares Raquél Pérez, BSN, RN at Women’s and Infants Hospital and American Heart Association Volunteer Ambassador.

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Check in with your doctor
It can be easy to brush health appointments off or concerns aside during a pandemic. If you have a family history of heart conditions or other health issues, it is important to stay on track with care from your doctor and know your numbers. Those who are managing chronic illnesses or have underlying conditions should also stick to their regular checkups. Telemedicine appointments may be available to avoid visiting a clinic in person.

“During this unusual pandemic, other diseases, conditions and preventive measures still exist and remain important; therefore, continuing with regular medical care, medications and testing is vital,” shares Dr. Robert H. Schwengel, MD, FACC of Southcoast Health, and Southern New England American Heart Association Board President. “The great majority of medical offices, hospitals, ERs and urgent care centers maintain careful precautions and screening practices to lower the chance of COVID-19 exposure and transmission between patients and staff,” says Dr. Robert H. Schwengel.

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And, of course, make sure you are taking steps to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, including washing your hands, wearing a mask and following social distancing (physical distancing) guidelines.

The American Heart Association is making an impact during COVID-19 by working with researchers, medical experts, community leaders, businesses, families and more to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. Help protect the hearts in Southern New England this February by donating here.

Find updated information on the coronavirus and what heart disease and stroke patients should do to protect themselves by visiting heart.org.

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