Lifestyle Blog

3 Simple Steps to Prevent Severe COVID As You Wait for the Vaccine

General Health, Vaccines



Multiple COVID vaccines have become available, but the short supply is leaving a lot of us impatiently waiting for our turn. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to stay healthy and make it less likely that you’ll develop a severe case of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a list of underlying medical conditions that can lead to an increased risk of developing severe COVID symptoms. These include, among others, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, liver disease, smoking, and obesity.

CHLI expert, Dr. Leon Henderson-MacLennan, notes that “while it may not be possible to avoid COVID altogether, and whereas we know that masking, distancing, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and obtaining a vaccine are known ways of reducing risk, people who take care of their bodies also might be able to save themselves the trauma and pain of developing severe symptoms.” Several underlying factors linked with severe COVID may be altered with lifestyle changes, which you can start making today.

3 Ways to Prevent Severe COVID

Here are three things you can do to improve your overall health and lower your chances of getting severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Eat Healthier

Making smarter food choices can help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other illnesses. You don’t need to go all out on an entirely new diet. Simply add more whole foods to your diet and reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Use frozen and canned vegetables if you can’t get fresh ones. Swap sugary soda and juice for water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, cucumber, or oranges.

Increase Exercise

Moving more can lower your BMI and reduce your risk of getting hypertension, diabetes, some cancers, and other diseases. It can also help you sleep better and feel less stressed. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. This can include walking, dancing, gardening, climbing stairs, cycling, playing tennis, swimming, or doing anything else that gets your heart rate up. If you need motivation, try a fitness class online or sign up for a socially distanced group that meets in-person. If you are new to exercising, start small. Walk for five minutes at a time 1 – 2 times a day. Work up to exercising 30 minutes (or more) a day.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking might not be as simple as it sounds. But even reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day can improve your health. While research is still ongoing, preliminary studies suggest that cutting down on smoking can lower your chances of getting severe COVID symptoms. Find tools and support at smokefree.gov.

Stay healthy While Waiting for the Vaccine

The three tips above all come down to one common theme—your overall health and wellness. Henderson says that “by staying healthy in mind and body, you can reduce your risk of getting many diseases, perhaps including severe COVID.” Take small steps like moving more every day and eating healthier foods with each meal.

For some, nutritional supplements be a way to sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals into your body. Some supplements may even contribute to the prevention of severe COVID symptoms. Research suggests that a combination of vitamin C, quercetin, zinc, melatonin, and vitamin D3 can reduce symptoms of COVID. Talk to your doctor before taking supplements to ensure they do not pose any health risks based on your health history.

If you are looking for a group fitness program, check out our offerings at CHLI . Our fitness classes take place outdoors in a socially distanced setting, and many have an option to stream online via Zoom. We have classes for all levels and abilities that will help you get stronger and healthier as you wait for the COVID vaccine.