Tips For Maintaining Healthy Behaviors

Current data shows that individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Even if you do not have underlying chronic conditions, every person can take action to keep your body resilient and healthy:

Tobacco and Vaping

  • Quit smoking and vaping now. Emerging evidence suggests that those who smoke may be at greater risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19. In addition, it is well-established that stopping smoking improves lung function relatively quickly (within a few weeks of being smoke-free lung function improves which helps fight off colds and infections.) which reduces susceptibility to respiratory illnesses and improves immune function, along with many other benefits not directly related to COVID-19. Visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help.

Nutrition and Diabetes Management

  • Keep your diabetes under control. Follow your doctor’s orders for checking your blood sugar and your diet. Also ensure you have adequate supplies of testing equipment and medications on hand. In the event you are sick and unable to eat, keep simple carbs nearby like juice, honey, jam, and hard candies to help keep your blood sugar up. Visit the TN Department of Health’s Diabetes Management webpage to learn more.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control by limiting alcohol and sodium intake, maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables (frozen or canned is fine too, just watch for added sodium or sugar).
  • If you have nutrition related questions, visit the TN Department of Health’s Ask A Dietitian webpage and submit a question to one of our Registered Dietitians.
  • If you are managing conditions such as asthma, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has created a helpful flyer to assist you with the management of these condi-tions while also protecting yourself from COVID-19.
  • Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest.
  • Keep taking your prescribed medications, including those supplements your doctor may have recommended to keep help with deficiencies such as iron or other micronutrients.
  • Limit your alcohol intake which will help with many factors including chronic illnesses, sleep and stress management.

Physical Activity

Flu Vaccination

  • Get a flu vaccine. It is not too late to get a flu shot to protect yourself from the flu.

Reproductive Health

  • The Tennessee Family Planning Program, available at ALL local health departments, is eager to help you with any reproductive health services today such as birth control, STD testing, and planning a healthy pregnancy.
  • In order to ensure family planning needs continue to be met while keeping everyone safe, at home, and protected from more than just a virus, The Tennessee Family Planning Program continues to provide reproductive health services during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
  • Give your local health department a call to discuss birth control, medications, and emergency Contracep-tion. Please visit the Family Planning website for more information.