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We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, it’s motivated us all to take action to support our health. Online group exercise classes have exploded, 30-day reset diets are being tackled, and it seems like spending time in nature is a priority. Especially for those who have been diagnosed with, or have signs of, lifestyle diseases.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of good health. But, what does this actually mean?

In a previous article, I wrote about Health Coaching and the burden of lifestyle disease. That was pre-pandemic. This week I was contacted by BBC News Africa for my views. In a live interview, together with Dr Mohamed Ould Sudi from the World Health Organization, we unpack what we know so far about the interaction between diseases of lifestyle and COVID-19. What’s more important, we focus on some key elements of a healthy lifestyle.

Getting on top of your health can go a long way! And implementing small habits is key.

The current burden of lifestyle diseases and COVID-19

What is our current burden of lifestyle diseases?

Lifestyle Diseases, otherwise known at Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide (World Health Organization).

How does this impact our COVID-19 risk?

We know that there are many factors that impact our physiological response to the COVID-19 virus. What’s more, emerging research highlights lifestyle diseases as a contributing risk factor for poor outcomes. Right now, it is clear that people living with NCDs are at higher risk of severe COVID-19-related illness and death.

I know this isn’t easy to hear. And I don’t want fear to be the primary emotion here, so keep reading! Understanding the facts help us to cultivate realistic optimism. What do I mean by this? Realistic optimism is the belief that positive things will happen and that negative circumstances are changeable and temporary.

The good news

Your health isn’t set in stone! You can stop lifestyle diseases in their tracks. What’s more, in many cases, you can even reverse them.

What does a healthy lifestyle look like?

In the BBC News Africa show I offer wellbeing tools that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. We discuss the current and ever-growing health research. In more detail, I emphasise the four pillars of health – from physical exercise to stress management and everything else in between.

Watch the recording below! And share it with those who may benefit from tips to support their health during this pandemic. Who knows, it could help save their lives.

Recorded Live from BBC Africa

Take one small step

What is one small thing you can change to support your health during this pandemic? I’ve created a breakfast recipe e-booklet that puts ideas into action! If you’re interested in a free download, check out my breakfast recipes!


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