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Unmasking the Connection: COVID-19 is Pathway to Hypertension


Black woman wearing a mask
A new study in the journal Hypertension finds SARS-CoV-2 infection is significantly associated with the development of high blood pressure
Let's Talk About It

In the ever-evolving landscape of health and wellness, it's crucial to address the unique challenges that people of color face, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent studies, such as the one highlighted by the American Heart Association 1, reveal a concerning connection between COVID-19 and the onset of high blood pressure. As holistic Health Coaches dedicated to empowering women of color, it's imperative to explore this intersection and offer guidance on maintaining overall well-being. Pull up to the table, Sis because we're serving the tea.


Let's first review the study discussed in the American Heart Association's online newsroom this past August. The study suggests that not only does (having been exposed to) COVID-19 pose a risk for new-onset high blood pressure, but contracting the virus also exacerbates existing health disparities, making individuals more susceptible to preventable chronic diseases 1. Women of color, already navigating a complex web of health disparities, socioeconomic factors, and cultural considerations, may find themselves facing an increased risk. At FIT & NU, our mission is to provide a comprehensive approach to wellness that goes beyond traditional methods and more often than not that approach starts with delivering information so that it can be received, by you, the population most impacted.


The link between COVID-19 and high blood pressure is a wake-up call for women of color to prioritize their health and well-being, like now. Here is a list of our suggestions to bring you wellness and joy:


Physical Well-Being: Go Deeper

Traditionally, health advice often focuses solely on diet and exercise, but a holistic approach delves deeper. We encourage you to try the following suggestions at home:


  1. Cultivate Holistic Nutrition Habits: Traditional health advice often emphasizes diet, but for women of color, it's about cultivating holistic nutrition habits. Include culturally diverse and nutrient-dense foods that not only nourish the body but also honor cultural traditions. This could involve exploring traditional recipes that offer a balance of essential nutrients and flavors, contributing to overall well-being. For more ideas, FIT & NU Family Members can access our seasonal Recipe Packs here.

  2. Embrace Joyful Movement: Engaging in regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining physical well-being. Instead of framing it solely as exercise, we encourage women of color to embrace joyful movement. This could involve activities rooted in cultural traditions, such as dance or community-based exercises. Focusing on enjoyable activities makes it more likely for you to stay consistent, contributing to long-term physical health. Check out our extensive movement library here.

  3. Prioritize Stress Reduction Through Mind-Body Practices: Beyond managing weight, it's equally important to prioritize stress reduction through mind-body practices. We suggest incorporating mindfulness techniques like journaling, words of affirmation or enhancing your spiritual practice. Creating a space for self-care rituals can be empowering and contribute to a holistic sense of well-being.

Movement to prevent COVID-19 and chronic diseases


Mental and Emotional Well-Being: Lets Get to the Root

The emotional toll of living through a pandemic is immense, particularly for women of color who may face additional stressors. Here a few activities worth activating:


  1. Mindful Self-Care Routines: Integrate mindful self-care routines into your daily life, such as deep-breathing exercises or moments of reflection. Building resilience through these practices can be crucial for managing stress and supporting overall mental health.

  2. Nurture a Supportive Network: Acknowledge your unique stressors during these challenging times. Emphasize the importance of cultivating a supportive network. Connect with friends, family, or community groups that understand and validate your experiences. Sharing and receiving support can significantly contribute to emotional well-being and resilience.

  3. Empowerment through Mindfulness: At FIT & NU, we advocate for empowering women of color through mindfulness practices. Engage in activities like meditation or mindful walking to cultivate a resilient mindset. These practices not only aid in stress management but also have a positive impact on blood pressure, fostering a holistic approach to well-being. Check out on of our favorite Mindfulness Coaches inside our Guided Meditation library .


The Importance of Monitoring Blood Pressure, Especially for Black Women

Monitoring blood pressure is a critical aspect of proactive health management, especially for black women. According to the American Heart Association, black women in the United States have a higher prevalence of hypertension than any other racial or ethnic group 1. Given this statistic, regular blood pressure monitoring becomes not just a preventive measure but an empowering act of self-care. We invite you to join our free monthly webinars that will guide you and your loved ones on how to manage blood pressure naturally through nutrition. RSVP for the next Pressure Check webinar here .


Preventing Chronic Diseases: We Define our Destiny

COVID-19 has underscored the importance of preventing chronic diseases, making holistic wellness a priority. The risk of developing preventable chronic conditions is heightened after contracting COVID-19, emphasizing the need for a proactive and comprehensive approach to health. Even though the facts are real, this really DOES NOT have to be our destiny.


Moving Forward: It's about Empowerment and Resilience

In navigating the intersection of COVID-19, existing health disparities, and high blood pressure, empowerment and resilience are central themes. Our goal is to provide not only knowledge and strategies but also a sense of agency and control over one's well-being. Together, we can navigate the challenges, address the root causes, and build a foundation for lasting health and resilience. The journey toward holistic well-being is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it's a personalized, empowering experience that embraces the unique strengths and challenges of women of color. We got this!


If you're interested in learning more about our Disease Prevention consulting services or how to access our culturally responsive tools, drop us a line at info@fitandnu.com. We'd love to hear from you!


Reference:

Footnotes
  1. American Heart Association. "COVID-19 may trigger new-onset high blood pressure." https://newsroom.heart.org/news/covid-19-may-trigger-new-onset-high-blood-pressure

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