Covid-19: What Covid-19 taught us about Health or Wellness?
In March 2020, the world stopped. Literally. The Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt and lockdown as scientists and world leaders scramble to find the cause for the virus that would now take over 4 million lives worldwide.
Although everyone was susceptible to contracting the virus, older people above 65 stood a higher risk. This was due to a weaker immune system and other risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.
However, young people are not entirely left out. Some of the risk factors like chronic kidney disease are directly related to nutrition. Other risk factors like hypertension and diabetes could be avoided if proper exercise and nutrition were adhered to.
In this article, we would be looking at how nutrition and exercise could help lessen one’s chances of contacting COVID-19 now and in the future.
Combatting Covid-19: Benefits Of Exercise
Be it lifting weights or some hard-hitting cardio session, exercise is beneficial to humans. There are no restrictions to who and where you can work out, as home workouts really picked up during the pandemic.
Here are some of the benefits of exercise that help you reduce your chances of an adverse reaction to the virus;
1. Reduced risk of diabetes which is a risk factor for the coronavirus
Whether it is a long walk or a two-hour session where you squat and lift weights, exercising reduces your risk of diabetes. Here is how regular exercise helps combat diabetes, especially Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells become resistant to insulin, and blood sugar levels go up. Symptoms include weight loss, increased thirst, and frequent urination, etc.
Exercise raises the insulin sensitivity of your cells. When you visit the gym, take a stroll, or do whatever form of exercise you deem fit, less insulin is needed to keep blood sugar levels under normal levels. Exercise also reduces insulin resistance in obese and pre-diabetic persons. When choosing an activity to keep fit, it is important to engage in fun, effective, and accessible activities.
2. Excercise helps reduce the risk of heart disease
High levels of physical activity helps improve blood flow in humans. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as “bad cholesterol,” can clog your arteries and slow down blood flow. This, in turn, could disrupt blood flow and lead to cardiac arrest. Exercise helps eliminate the bad cholesterol, increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the body. Having a higher ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol is good news for your heart.
3. Physical activity can help reduce the risk of hypertension
Exercise has the potential to regulate blood pressure, thanks to nitric oxide production. Nitric oxide opens up blood vessels, as this is a common feature of most pre-workout supplements.
Combatting Covid-19: Benefits of Nutrition
You can not outwork a bad diet. What we put in our bodies dictate how our bodies perform. Covid-19 revealed how important it is to take care of our bodies so that our bodies can take care of us. A consistent workout plan combined with healthy eating habits yields a strong immune system and a fitter life. Here are the ways eating right can help reduce your risk of contracting the virus and developing adverse symptoms;
1. Consume a diet high in fiber
Eating foods rich in fiber like oats, berries, and oranges can help improve gut health and weight management.
in obese individuals. The National Library of Medicine study shows how fiber helps keep insulin and blood sugar levels low in overweight and elderly individuals. When blood sugar levels are low, diabetes,s which is a major risk factor for COVID-19, is reduced.
2. Find out what foods can help your immune system and consume those foods
Some people might not know, but there are specific foods that can help boost immunity. The foods listed contain specific properties and compounds that make these foods worthy of adding to your meal.
Blueberries have a type of flavonoid known as anthocyanin that acts as an antioxidant. The US National Institutes of Health study in 2016 shows that flavonoids play a vital role in the immune system of the respiratory tract. Spinach is rich in antioxidants and significant nutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. A 2013 study highlights the role of vitamin C, D, and E in boosting immunity and fighting inflammation.
Other recommended foods for improved immunity include mushrooms, ginger, garlic, green tea. Kefir, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and oily fish. These are just a few out of a long list of beneficial foods to your immune system.
3. Consume fats and oils moderately
Foods rich in unsaturated fats are better consumed than their counterparts with saturated fats. If you are curious to know how which type of fat is in your lard or sunflower oil, simply check the label.
Earlier, we spoke about good and bad cholesterol in exercise, unsaturated fat contains good cholesterol, and saturated fat contains bad cholesterol. If you can’t minimize the risk of heart disease through exercise, you can make an effort through what you eat. Foods rich in unsaturated fat include olive oil, sunflower oil, and fish like trout and mackerel. On the other hand, foods with saturated fat include ghee, cheese, and lard. If you are not clear with the label, use a food tracking app like Lifesum.
As the world begins to open up and more people get vaccinated, be reminded that there is still no cure for the virus. Wearing your mask and maintaining a healthy lifestyle would get us through this period and any unforeseen health challenges in the near future.
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