COVID-19: Staying Heart Healthy at Home

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting all aspects of our lives. In the space of a few weeks, we've had to adjust to a new way of living, with less social interaction and more time spent indoors. These changes can have a massive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Whether you're self-isolating at home or returning to work, your heart health is as important as ever. Here's our advice on how to stay heart healthy, without leaving your front door.

How does Coronavirus Affect the Heart?

There's emerging evidence that coronavirus can directly affect the heart. In a coronavirus study carried out in May, around 16% of people treated in hospital had arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeats) and approximately 7% of people experienced a serious heart injury.

Currently, the best way to prevent these complications is to avoid catching the virus in the first place. For a majority of us, this means staying indoors, away from our family and friends. With all that's going on right now, your heart health might not be a top priority, but it's still something to keep in mind. 

Stay Alive

If you're stuck indoors, you're probably sitting down more than usual, watching TV or reading books. Staying active is important; regular exercise is great for your heart. It strengthens the heart muscles and helps to keep blood flowing around the body efficiently. Your living room probably isn't the ideal home gym, but this isn't an obstacle to getting some exercise. Doing just 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as mowing the lawn or walking up and down the stairs, may decrease the chances of someone dying by around 4%. Increasing this time to 90 minutes could add an extra 3 years onto your life.

Dealing with Loneliness

Being apart from our loved ones is tough. Loneliness can be as bad for your heart as smoking; not having regular social interactions can lead to depression, heart disease and even a premature death. Try to keep in regular contact with your friends and family, over the phone or from a safe distance. Send them an email or if you're feeling nostalgic, why not write them a letter.