PRESTON — Facing a worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 that is now causing illness and death in some cases, many are left wondering what can we do in addition to social distancing to avoid getting the virus?
One answer is to strengthen our immune systems.
Although we are awaiting more specific information from experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Health as they uncover more about how this virus works, there are a few tips that may not only create an environment in your body to prevent and/or fight the coronavirus, but promote overall health, as well.
Tyrell Jones, co-owner of Born Champions Boxing since 2013, is the owner of Rellic Fitness, where he is a boxing coach, a master herbalist and health coach. He also is a personal trainer and nutritionist at Preston Gym. Jones offered the following tips for promoting overall health and wellness.
Gyms are packed full of people exercising to lose weight, build muscle and get those beach bodies that turn heads. But every so often, you will find someone on a treadmill who is literally running for their life. Their doctor has given them an ultimatum: Either continue living an unhealthy lifestyle that could potentially lead to death, or exercise and live.
These types of ultimatums speak volumes to the importance of exercise and how it affects our immune systems. When we strengthen our bodies, we are less susceptible to illnesses. Regular exercise will strengthen the heart, improve circulation and blood flow, reduce stress levels, decrease blood pressure and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with the coronavirus. Keep in mind that our bodies comprise many moving parts that are connected whether directly or indirectly. When all these moving parts are functioning properly, we are able to achieve optimal health.
Conversely, a glitch in just one of these moving parts could cause a domino effect leading to illness and even death. For instance, poor blood flow could slow down the transportation of nutrients to the immune system. Exercise increases the blood flow, which helps not only the nutrients, but also ensures all organs are working properly.
Unfortunately for many gym-goers, the coronavirus has caused a lock-down for establishments where multitudes of people congregate. This has forced members to temporarily suspend their gym memberships and search for alternatives.
There are various online trainers and YouTube videos available, but some people fear they won’t be able to break a sweat the same as they would at the gym. Exercises such as calisthenics, isometrics, plyometrics, bodyweight and pilates, are great choices.
The argument can be made that you don’t need to step into a workout facility. If you know what exercises to do, your body can be your gym. Don’t allow a locked door to prevent you from opening your mind to a new way of exercising. Both your body and immune system need it more than ever.
Nutrition and Supplementation
Nutrition is by far the most important factor in strengthening the immune system. Much like exercise, nutrition has a direct effect on all the moving parts that make up the body. Blood flow is a crucial element in keeping the immune system strong and healthy. But to truly achieve optimal health, there are a list of things that require our attention.
Gut health is at the top of the list. Since so many of our immune system cells are in our stomach, proper digestion is important. Incorporating pre-biotics and probiotics into our diets will rid the digestive tract of bad bacteria, provide good bacteria and keep our waste elimination system moving smoothly. This also will cause our stomachs to properly absorb vitamins and nutrients.
Vitamins and Nutrients
The most effective way for the body to receive vitamins and nutrients is through food. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins that meet our daily intake requirements. Juicing these fruits and vegetables are an even better option than eating them because it allows the body to absorb the vitamins and nutrients in their highest nutritional form.
You also are able to consume more foods when they are juiced. Fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants are especially healthy. Antioxidants work at the cellular level to keep the body healthy and strong.
Our bodies are made up of an innumerable amount of cells. Our cells are responsible for everything we do. They are literally the core of our existence. It is important to note how important they are as it pertains to illnesses such as the coronavirus. Think of your cells as an army. They all work together to protect the body.
Unfortunately, sometimes we encounter bad cells. These bad cells are where sicknesses and diseases begin. They are turncoats in our army. Antioxidants and oxygen supplements such as Cell Food will ensure our cells are well oxygenated and protected. Diseases are unable to survive in healthy, well oxygenated cells.
Drinking enough water is probably the easiest yet one of the most powerful things we can do to combat the coronavirus. As kids, our parents and doctors encouraged us to drink eight glasses of water per day. But we never quite understood just how vital water is to our health.
If exercise and proper nutrition are a normal part of your lifestyle, then drinking an adequate amount of water is the perfect complement. In addition to making sure we are well hydrated, water also assists the blood in flowing to the muscles and organs.
It also plays a major role in transporting vitamins and nutrients to the cells. Lastly, it flushes out impurities from the body that are excreted through waste. The coronavirus is viral, which means most people will recover once the virus has run its course. Drinking a good amount of water will help speed up the process.
Exercise and proper nutrition may not be the cures for the coronavirus, but they could be the shields that protect us from it. The old adage “the best defense is a good offense” holds true here. A lot of what we do to prevent or slow down the spread of the virus is not in what we do once it’s too late.
Being proactive instead of reactive can put us ahead of the game. So yes, continue to thoroughly wash your hands and practice social-distancing. But don’t overlook the power of exercise and proper nutrition. The coronavirus and other illnesses are looking to wreak havoc on mankind.
Let’s equip ourselves with the necessary weapons to win this war. Live long. Live strong.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed above are of one professional. They should not be taken in place of advice provided to you by your own health care provider. Before beginning or stopping any treatment or exercise regimen you should always consult your own personal physician.