Sherri McMillan

Food & Exercise is Medicine!

You will notice there are many reports suggesting that obesity and poor health are high risk factors to not faring well if infected with COVID-19. This information should be a great motivator to prioritizing your health and fitness. Remember that exercise and food is medicine! Your lifestyle is the number one factor that you can control that will strengthen your immune system and that will impact your ability to fight off any disease.

Here’s some areas to focus on:

Hydration

Commit to 100 ounces of water each day. Drink water before and with each meal and sip throughout the day. Human beings are 55-75% water and water provides the medium in which all the body’s chemical reactions take place. It is the most vital requirement for human life and overall health.

Eat Your Nutrients

The more you can lean towards a plant-based diet, the better for your overall health. Every ‘diet’ that exists recommends more vegetables so if you can start there regardless of whether you eat meat or carbs, or not, you will be on the right track. Eat a balanced diet that is low in processed foods and high in fiber content. Each macro-nutrient (protein, carbs and fats) all play a critical role in the overall functioning of our body. Any diet that severely restricts any of these nutrients has consequences and is often not sustainable for the long-term. With that said, each of us is different and some of us will respond better with more or less protein, more or less carbs, and more or less fats. The most common recommendations are 45-65% carbohydrate intake, 10-35% protein and 20-35% fat intake for overall health although more recent literature has suggested towards the higher range of protein and the lower range of carbs.

Control Portion Sizes

The key to optimal health and maintaining your ideal body weight is not consuming more calories than you’re expending. The key to fat loss is consuming less calories than you expend. It’s important to note that not all calories are equal. Some calories will fill you up, so it takes longer for you to get hungry again. Other calories won’t satiate you at all and you’ll be hungry in no time. The key is consuming calories that are nutrient-dense and filling. This is where drinking a lot of water and eating a diet high in vegetables and fiber can help a ton. You can eat a lot more vegetables for the same amount of calories making you satisfied for longer. If you are trying to lose weight, if you can provide a caloric deficit of about 500 calories per day that tends to be more sustainable. I would not suggest severely restricting your caloric intake right now because it may reduce your ability to consume sufficient nutrients and may compromise your immune system. Slow and steady weight loss would be a smarter approach right now. There are plenty of caloric calculators online to help you understand how many calories you need to consume to maintain or lose weight. You can go to our site here for an easy estimation.

Fast For 13 Hours Every Day

There is value in getting into a fasted state every day for at least 13 hours. What that means is if you stop eating at 7pm, you won’t eat again until 8am the next day allowing your body a full 13 hours to digest, repair and do its job. Note – It is typically not a good idea to go to bed feeling full, so try to stop eating three hours prior bed.

Exercise is Key

Workout aerobically 3-6 days each week for 20-60 minutes each session at various levels of intensity. Walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, stair-climbing, hiking, dancing will all do the trick. We shower everyday to clean the outside of our bodies – cardio exercise is like an internal shower! Try to sweat a bit everyday! You will also want to condition your muscles with resistance training workouts for a minimum of 2-3 days per week. Strive for a minimum of one set of 8-12 reps of a variety of exercises for 20-60 minutes. You can also workout with a trainer or take a group strength class to meet this requirement. We are currently offering virtual training sessions and classes online.

Sleep and Reduce Your Stress to Strengthen Your Immune System

Get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night). Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs and a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain and can compromise your immune system. It is also critical to control and manage your stress levels. Stress has also been associated with weight gain, health ailments and a weak immune system. Focus on deep breathing, easy walks through your neighborhood and/or take a virtual yoga class.

You can’t control what’s going on right now but you can control your response and your actions to strengthen your ability to fight off any type of disease or sickness.


Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


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Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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