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5 mistakes you’re making during the pandemic that can affect your heart health

Published on:25 September 2020, 12:47pm IST
This pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone, and we’ve all made quite a few mistakes. But there are some that might affect your heart health.
Shreya Gupta
Be watchful of these mistakes to keep your heart safe and healthy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We all began this quarantine, enjoying our time, and doing what we really wanted to do. But now six months into the lockdown, it’s not all that easy. Whether it is the frustration of being confined to your home, or not meeting friends and family, this virus has really changed everything! 

In this new normal, people have found other ways to cope, some have taken up a new hobby, while others are stressing themselves way too much! Whatever your coping mechanism is, make sure you are mindful of these mistakes to help your heart stay in good shape: 

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1. Binge drinking
Bingeing on anything is not good, and let’s just accept it, we’ve all been doing that during this pandemic. Now whether it is junk, Netflix shows or alcohol, that differs from person to person. If you’ve been going overboard with alcohol, it can lead to a number of serious issues, including heart conditions.

In a study published in the journal Alcohol Research, it has been found that excessive alcohol on a daily basis can increase the risk of heart strokes. The reason being, alcohol intake tends to increase your blood pressure, which is the main reason behind a heart failure or stroke. So, if you were boozing all this while, it is now time to stop.

Your favourite alcohol doesn’t qualify as a therapist, ladies! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. OTC medicines
We understand that covid has made doctor visits quite difficult. So, in case you have a health issue, and you’re taking over-the-counter medicines, then please avoid that. That’s because it can interfere with your blood pressure. The American Heart Association advises you to talk to your doctor about these medicines before consuming them.

3. Lack of exercise
With gyms shut for more than four to five months, you might have lost the enthusiasm to workout. But that’s not good news for your heart. We all know exercise is important for a healthy body and mind. So being physically inactive for long can have a negative affect on your heart health.

Regular exercise reduces bad cholesterol levels, and increases good cholesterol levels in your body. According to the recommendation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Sports (ACSM), moderate exercise for 30 minutes is good enough.

If it is difficult for you to do hardcore exercises, you can always find fun and creative ways to stay active. Try going for a walk or do hula hoops, and make sure you’re doing it in moderation.

heart disease and exercise
Exercising a good idea for a heart patient. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, read: Nosh on these 5 foods to reduce your cholesterol and keep your heart happy

4. Eating unhealthy food
One thing we all have done during this pandemic is hoard junk food at home, and then of course, binged on it. The consumption of junk food is associated with premature heart disease.

In a study published in the AHA Journal, the researcher explained the relationship between junk food and heart disease. The saturated fat and glycemic starch present in junk food leads to obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Also, the high salt content is responsible for raising the blood pressure, putting you at high risk of contracting heart-related ailments.

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5. Excess stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are at an all time high during this period, and that’s creating havoc in everyone’s life. Even if you’re eating healthy and working out regularly, too much stress can put heart health at risk. So, along with a healthy lifestyle, try practising stress management to keep your heart safe.

All set to make some modifications to your routine? Try these and say hello to good heart health!

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Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.