MY PERSONAL—AND 100 PERCENT APOLITICAL—COVID-19 PLAN
Speaking as a human being, a private citizen and not as a gym owner right now, I’m going to tell you how I’m choosing to deal with the Covid Crisis.
Before I begin, I’ll just state that I’m not here to argue or get political. My life purpose is to provide an environment where any person who chooses to can gain their best health so they can “Live the Life They Want to Live”. When we are healthy, we are our happiest. Now, I’m not saying we can’t be unhealthy and happy… but I am saying from experience that it can challenging. It’s hard to be happy when you’re in pain, or sick, or exhausted, or embarrassed or depressed. In this current Covid climate, it has been more challenging for many to find this happy place. I’m not going to complain about the government, talk about the unfairness of it all, or trot out a string of “we should” statements here.
I’m just going to tell you how I’m going to proceed based on the information I have at present.
LISTEN TO THE GOVERNMENT
I’m going to do what the government says, as long as it seems realistic, not because I’m a blind follower but because I respect the law and civility. Whether I currently agree or disagree with policies is irrelevant. I’ll state only that I like to operate on facts and data, and I always like to see as much of that as possible.
At present, I’m going to wash my hands, take all safety precautions in my business seriously, follow social distancing guidelines to the best of my ability and do my part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. I’d rather follow these suggestions and be wrong, than ignore them all and be wrong. I have family members who are high-risk. Taking precautions “just in case” means something to me and is a tiny inconvenience considering.
ACCEPT THAT I’M PROBABLY GOING TO GET COVID-19
I’m not an epidemiologist or doctor, but the reports I’ve seen suggest Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere soon.
We do not have a vaccine, and we probably aren’t going to have one next week. It also seems as though our scientists are unsure of how everything is going to play out—that’s the only conclusion I can draw from the news and the fact that governments all over the world are addressing things in very different ways.
I also believe that from an economic standpoint we all can’t stay home forever. Our world just doesn’t work like that. We need to get food, we need medical care at times and we need to make a living. So there’s just no way to lock us down forever.
I like to expect the best but plan for the worst, so I’ve decided to accept that at some point I’ll likely get Covid-19. I don’t want it. But that acceptance is key to the next part of my plan. And, if I don’t get it, the rest of my plan will better prepare me for any other viruses or health issues.
PLAN TO WIN THE FIGHT
If I get sick, I know that it would be great if my body just had to fight one thing at a time, so right now, I’m taking steps to prepare for a fight against covid, not “comorbidities”—defined as “the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient.”
I can’t be certain I won’t get a cold and covid, so I just have to wash my hands and hope for the best.
But I am going to try to eliminate or prevent any other conditions I can. And since I already have other chronic conditions that put me in the high risk categories and I have a family I’m not ready to leave yet, I plan to take this seriously.
WHAT SCIENCE SAYS
Here’s what science has told us: “comorbidities” make covid-19 worse. Much worse. We’ve also been told that certain comorbidities—hypertension and cardiovascular disease among them—are seen more often than others in many covid patients.
We’ve been told that diabetes and metabolic syndrome increase the risk of covid death by 10 times.
Metabolic syndrome: “a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.” (Mayoclinic.org)
Metabolic syndrome is not rare. In fact, it’s very common: “A lurking crisis not fully realized is the poor baseline metabolic health of many Americans that makes them immensely more vulnerable to severe illness or death from COVID-19,” said Dr. Shebani Sethi Dalai in an article on TheHill.com.
Dr. Dalai noted just over 12 percent of Americans have ideal metabolic health. This means the other 88 percent are at increased risk of everything. Their cells aren’t working properly, their immune systems are compromised, and they have pathogenic inflammation. The last element is even strongly related to poor mental health.
THE KEYS: DIET AND EXERCISE
But here’s the good news: You can take steps that might prevent metabolic syndrome. The Mayo Clinic lists a few of them:
– Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
– Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein and whole grains.
– Maintaining a healthy weight.
– Not smoking and limit alcohol intake.
So just a few things can reduce my risk of a covid-related death by 10 times?
Sounds like the foundation of a plan.
MY EXACT COVID-19 PREP PLAN
Again, I’m not a scientist or doctor, and this is not medical advice. It’s just my personal plan. But it’s based on science, and it makes sense to me.
At worst, it falls in line with generally accepted guidelines for health in the absence of a pandemic. At best, it will reduce my chances of death and set me up to give the virus a good fight.
My plan is not even that hard to implement. I don’t smoke or drink, so I get one easy win. That means I really only need to do a few things.
Here they are:
STEP 1: FITNESS & HEALTH
I’m going to get back to my Chiro twice a week. This time away has been terrible for my back. I’m going to work out four to five times a week for at least 30 minutes (and hopefully 60). I’m going to do strength training and conditioning programmed by my coach, and I’m going to continue to train in other ways I find enjoyable and that work alongside my body’s needs as often as possible. When the pool I go to re-opens, I’m going to swim 4 days a week again. I’m going to supplement that training with making sure I stand up and walk a minimum of 5 minutes every half hour, since 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week is often spent working at my computer.
STEP 2: NUTRITION
I’m going to continue to eat my Done For You pre-made meals 2-3x a day, which provide a healthy starch, a veggie and protein. I’m going to have bacon & eggs and my Thorne MediClear chocolate shake with spinach for breakfast. I have a habit of forgetting to eat, so I will make it a point to eat enough food each day! I’ll limit eating out but probably still have an off-plan meal every three weeks when my husband is home for the weekend or whenever I can wrangle down my grown daughter for a mama/daughter date. On those nights, I won’t stuff myself, but I will enjoy every bite and not wish I hadn’t. I’m going to regularly remember to take my supplements.
STEP 3: REST
I’m going to get enough sleep. I’d love to say that I don’t sleep right now because of the situation and life is just stressful but honestly my hours have always been long. I’d rather work than sleep. I’d rather work than workout. I’d rather work than vacation. Idk why. My work just fulfills me. But the truth is, it will be the death of me if I don’t find balance. I’m going to focus on being sure I average 6-7 hours a night so I can be fresh and at my best.
A WIN NO MATTER WHAT
Plan for the worst but hope for the best—I love that one.
As I said, the best part about this plan is that it has no negative side effects even if we manage to wipe out or control this virus. It’s not like building a boat in a desert and praying for enough rain to float it. The work I do here is an investment in my health and future quality of life.
Covid-19 is a threat, sure. But so are all the other health conditions this plan addresses.
Simply put, we could all benefit from a life plan that involves more movement and better nutrition.
So, Rhino… we’re slowly phasing ourselves out of quarantine and back to life. What is YOUR plan?