The CDC is reporting that unvaccinated individuals are 10x more likely to be hospitalized and die from Covid-19. Local hospitals in Clark County are reporting that approximately 90-95% of the patients in our hospitals for Covid-19 are unvaccinated. These stats suggest and health experts agree that getting the vaccine is the most critical step in protecting yourself from Covid-19. 

With that said, there are still breakthrough cases and if you want to increase the strength of your vaccine, you need to strengthen your immune system and boost your body’s ability to fight off any potential exposure. 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last year and a half, it’s the importance of our health. Vaccinations are a critical part of the equation to a multi-faceted approach to getting Covid under control. Living an unhealthy lifestyle is just as much of a problem as not getting vaccinated. There are thousands of research studies that demonstrate the health risks, hospitalizations, deaths and the billions of dollars in health costs due to an unhealthy lifestyle. 

If all you did was vaccinate and that is your only battle plan, there will be another variant and another virus that your immune system will not be able to handle. So please, get vaccinated, but also make this your wakeup call. Your life depends on it. Adopt one new healthy initiative and then tackle the next. You are worth feeling your best.

Here’s Some Tips:

Manage Your Weight

Research demonstrates that vaccinations are not as effective in obese individuals. The CDC reports that 42% of our country is obese which adds another level of vulnerability to both those vaccinated and unvaccinated.

If you have existing weight issues, you should start to take steps to achieve a healthier body weight. The key to optimal health and maintaining your ideal body weight is not consuming more calories than you’re expending. 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.

Do not severely restrict 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. 

Exercise is Medicine

Studies, including one published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show that patients with COVID-19 who were “consistently inactive” were 226% more likely to be hospitalized, 173% more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 149% more likely to die.

Besides age, physical inactivity is the next highest risk factor determining whether someone will succumb to Covid-19. There is an abundance of evidence that demonstrates that immune function improves with regular physical activity, and those who are regularly active have a lower incidence, intensity of symptoms and death from all disease and illness including viral infections. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise, muscle conditioning and flexibility to work all fitness components and try to move your body every day. Make sure some of your workouts are outdoors for fresh air, sunshine and vitamin D, all important to improve the functioning of your immune system.

Nutrition is Medicine

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. Commit to drinking 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.

Sleep is Healing

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.

Manage Your Stress

It is important 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 yoga class. 

Supplement

Talk to your physician and consider increasing your intake of products that reduce inflammation and boost your immune system including turmeric, vitamin C, vitamin D, echinacea, apple cider vinegar, lemon, ginger, zinc, elderberry, and/or herbal teas. 

Get vaccinated, continue to follow the CDC guidelines for masking, distancing and washing your hands, AND follow these tips to prioritize your health and fitness.

Remember, that exercise and healthy 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 or illness.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


 

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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