april 23, 2020

COVID-19: A GP’s tips for those living with chronic conditions


Dr Roger Henderson, GP and UK medical director at Liva Healthcare, 
shares his advice for people with underlying health conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 is a significant concern to people with underlying health conditions. Some of the underlying health conditions believed to heighten the risk among patients are heart disease, lung disease (such as COPD and asthma), diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or an existing immunity condition. These conditions reduce the body’s ability to fight off infection or illness, so the symptoms and impact from infection can be worse.

Everybody should follow their government’s advice around handwashing and social distancing. Self-isolation is recommended for all at risk people and while we know this is a huge disruption to people, it will save lives.

It’s also important that everybody gets enough rest, drinks plenty of water, eats a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and exercises if possible, even if that means doing it indoors.

Stay active – even indoors

It may seem counterintuitive but the less we exercise, the more tired we may feel. Prolonged inactivity, even in fit people, can make us tired and unmotivated. The term ‘use it or lose it’ easily applies here. The impact of exercise on fatigue is well known as it positively alters our biochemical and hormonal balance and so reduces stress and depression and improves energy levels, mood and self-esteem. Exercising every day – even for a small amount – is advisable in this time of lockdown and social isolation.

Be mindful of worries and try to de-stress

Chronic stress, even at a low level, can be very emotionally draining. Staying inactive and indoors for long periods raises levels of anxiety-linked hormones, such as adrenaline in the body. This can – although potentially helpful in acute short-lived stress – impact on the body to lower energy levels and cause both physical and mental fatigue. One of the reasons exercise can be of benefit here is that it helps to ‘burn off’ these hormones which is one of the reasons we feel less stressed after exercise.

It is usually advisable to discuss feelings of stress and anxiety with your GP but at this time, that may not be possible. Make sure you get enough rest – go to bed and get up at the same time and resist the temptation to lie in – exercise every day, even if this is indoors, and little and often and get fresh air if you can. Do not snack on sugary foods, eat regular meals in the day and keep your alcohol consumption low. All of the above will go a long way in addressing feelings of tiredness, stress – helping you to be healthier and happier.

Related articles

oktober 21, 2021

Liva Healthcare appoints Dr Naresh Kanumilli to power innovation in diabetes digital health coaching
Dr Kanumilli has been appointed as UK Medical Director for the digital health coaching company. Liva Healthcare (Liva), a European market leader in scalable digital health coaching, has appointed Dr Naresh Kanumilli as its new UK Medical Director. Leading the medical supervision of Liva in the UK, Dr Kanumilli will be responsible for liaising with […]
Læs mere

juni 24, 2021

Liva Healthcare brings industry leading in-app health coaching to the German market
COPENHAGEN, 24th June 2021 – A leading provider of scalable digital health coaching in Europe, Liva Healthcare (“Liva”), today announced its expansion to the German market to help combat the country’s rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity. Liva is a health tech company headquartered in Copenhagen and London with the mission to improve the lives […]
Læs mere

april 08, 2021

Liva Healthcare collaborates with consortium of EU bodies to provide innovative cardiac rehabilitation
Liva Healthcare, a European market leader in scalable digital health coaching, has announced its participation in a new partnership collaboration initiative to make cardiac rehabilitation accessible to more patients in the immediate aftermath of a heart attack. Liva Healthcare is part of a consortium of EU bodies led by Amgen, a worldwide pioneer in biotechnology, […]
Læs mere

marts 04, 2021

Liva Healthcare attracts top medical scientific leaders to global Advisory Board
COPENHAGEN, 4th March 2021 – A leading provider of scalable digital health coaching in Europe, Liva Healthcare (“Liva”), launches new Scientific Advisory Board. Liva has attracted some of Europe’s most respected scientific leaders within chronic conditions and behaviour change psychology to join its global Advisory Board. The board will oversee the medical quality of the […]
Læs mere