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To our incredible PreCardix® community, and each human-being on our planet, looking after your health has never been more critical – for yourself and others. As COVID-19 continues to burden our health care system, it’s our responsibility to maintain the aspects of our health and wellbeing that we can control.
According to Public Health Agency of Canada, for those of us with pre-existing conditions like hypertension protecting our health using every single tool in our tool-kit is a top priority. Optimal health means following all current COVID-19 guidance from the World Health Organization and practicing all the self-care that you may have put off, avoided, ignored or sporadically performed.
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, it’s more critical than ever to stay on top of your condition! Here are some suggestions on how you can do so from home:
a) There are many free resources to help you track and monitor your blood pressure including our new PreCardix® Blood Pressure app.
b) Hypertension Canada encourages you to continue taking your ACEI, ARB and/or other blood pressure medications previously prescribed by your doctor.
We are here to support you as the world and we adjust to this new reality. The good news is there are many simple, rewarding steps you can take to improve your health quickly. You may be surprised at how good it feels to finally have the time and space to take back the control you lost over the years of busyness and distraction.
We hope this guide helps you kick-start your health and immune system into high gear. Take a few deep breaths, light a candle, cuddle your pet, hug your child and make a commitment to start your journey to wellbeing today.
There is strong messaging about hygiene for a good reason; it works!
– Wash your hands with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) or use alcohol-based sanitizers to kill any viruses that may be present on your hands.
– Avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth, especially in public spaces.
– Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue (then dispose of the tissue immediately after use).
Ensuring that our bodies get all the necessary macro and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is vital for immune function. If you are finding it difficult to go out for fresh produce, google online grocery delivery in your area. Many Canadian grocers are offering exceptional service despite the COVID-19 crisis.
Easy ways to ensure you’re eating immune-friendly foods include:
– Fill half of your plate with colourful vegetables – cooked, raw or both. Drizzle sliced tomatoes and cucumber with olive oil and lemon, prepare a cup of low-sodium vegetable soup, make a salad or hot vegetable-dish like roast peppers and onions.
– Include a good source of protein (chicken, fish, eggs, tofu, legumes) about the size of your palm at every meal – you can find some great, easy recipes here!
– Increase your water intake! Drink at least 2L daily – that’s eight small glasses or four large glasses.
– Minimize or ideally eliminate; sugar, alcohol and any packaged foods – especially those high in sodium.
– Feeling adventurous? Now is a great time to try fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut or kefir for some added good gut bacteria!
Deep sleep allows our body to rest and repair; it’s also when our body produces and releases cytokines or the chemical messengers that activate our immune system.
Here are a few tips to get a restful night’s sleep:
– A dark room; you shouldn’t be able to see your outstretched hand
– A cool room; ideal temperature is 20.5 Celsius
– Avoid screen time at least 30 minutes before bed
– Avoid large meals and vigorous exercise 3 hours before bed
– Keep your bedroom for sleeping and intimacy only, keep electronics out!
One of the most important things you can do to support a healthy immune system is to manage stress and foster feelings of wellbeing and positivity. While this time holds uncertainty, the way we perceive the situation is more powerful than reality. Stress, especially ongoing stress, takes a toll on our immune system, while mindfulness improves immune function.
Stress reduction tips:
– Get outside, breathe in some fresh air, move your body – if you can’t get outside right now open a window, step out onto a balcony and spend a few minutes in the snow or sun.
– Try a meditation app, or guided yoga video to focus on deep breath and a healthy immune system.
– Have a positive conversation with a loved one – FaceTime is an excellent resource as are group phone calls when you can’t see your favourite people in person.
– If you feel yourself getting stressed or anxious try box breathing; breath in for a count of 4, hold for 4, breathe out for a count of 4, hold for 4 and REPEAT.
There are so many great ways to exercise, what’s important is to find something you love.
You may not want to hear this, but there has never been a better time to stop smoking, vaping or drinking too much alcohol. Though these activities may provide temporary stress relief, they are putting unnecessary strain on your body, particularly for hypertensive individuals. If you have ever wished you could finally ‘kick the habit’ now is the time!
Helpful tips for Healthy Habits:
Our goal is to stay healthy individually and as a society to prevent further pressure on our healthcare system. Do your part, make your health a priority!
For more expert advice on blood pressure health, and overall health and wellbeing, visit our growing library of articles at precardix.com/blog.
Always consult with your health care provider before making changes to your blood pressure management plan. PreCardix® does not treat, cure or prevent medical conditions. Measure and monitor blood pressure regularly. Know the signs of heart attack and stroke. Do not take PreCardix® if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have renal artery stenosis, history of angioneurotic edema or shellfish allergy.