We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s no secret. It’s all over, and maybe you’re freaking out, maybe you’re tired of hearing about it, and maybe you’re ignoring it all and just carrying on with life.
Whatever scenario you find yourself in, I’m sure you’ve heard people continue saying ‘when things get back to normal’. But I’ll pose a question – why can’t we go forward onto a scenario that’s better than the old normal?
I’m referring specifically to the ‘normal’ state of health, mostly of the U.S. because that’s where I live, but also to the world. As life is getting easier and society as a whole is becoming more complacent with the state of things, we’re unknowingly increasing our susceptibility to massive pandemics like this.
So I’m hoping this pandemic serves as a wake up call, one that we can’t afford to press snooze on, to the fact that we HAVE to get healthier or we’re in for a bumpy road. Don’t let this trial run of a pandemic response go to waste.
But There’s Modern Medicine
Yes, it’s true that from a medicinal perspective we’re better off than we’ve ever been. We can combat bacteria and illness and common colds. People are living longer and we’re continually finding cures and treatment methodologies.
Living a good life isn’t just about freedom from disease though, it’s also about feeling GOOD! It’s about having energy, vitality, and a general sense of wellness.
That’s where we’re missing the boat. Here are some mind blowing numbers:
- 40% of Americans are tired most of the week (YouGov)
- Over 70% of Americans are overweight or obese or severly obese (CDC)
- In 2014 70% of Americans were on 1 prescription medication; over 20% were on 5 or more; and numbers have continued increasing (Mayo Clinic)
- Half of American workers are unsatisfied at their current job (Forbes)
So even with all these modern medicines, we’re seemingly unhealthy as ever, both physically and mentally. What gives?!
That answer is a MUCH bigger can of worms than can be tackled in a blog post, but there are things we can do.
The most powerful and effective thing we can do as a society is to take ownership over our own health as individuals. It can be said as a generality that the less healthy you are, the less likely you’re able to stave off maladies or diseases.
It’s proving to be true with Coronavirus as well. 73% of Americans admitted for Coronavirus had a pre-existing condition. The top 3 of those pre-existing conditions are chronic lung disease (makes sense being a respiratory virus), diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The latter two of the three are overwhelmingly correlated to overweight and obesity.
Plus, not only do pre-existing conditions make individuals higher risk to contract the virus, they’re also often more difficult to treat. Specifically in overweight and obese individuals, they tend to have lower respiratory function (no bueno with a respiratory virus), it’s more difficult to get accurate diagnostic imaging (higher body mass makes it harder to get clear views; and imaging machines have weight limits), and the health care system in general isn’t set up to optimally treat overwight and obese patients (hallway widths, transport limitations, bed weight capacity, etc).
What You Can Do
As I said above – take ownership over your health as an individual. Scientists are predicting that by 2030 one half (50%) of Americans will be obese. Not just overweight, but obese. They’ve even made a new category: severe obesity.
Don’t be a part of that statistic. Make the little changes NOW that will add up to big results over time. As humans, we often overestimate what we can do in one year but underestimate what we can do in ten years.
Begin a workout program NOW – there are so many free options right now for apps, youtube channels and streaming workout services. It might suck when you start out, but do one workout at a time, one day at a time. If you need help getting started, email me!!!
As much as you can, eat real food. While sheltering in place many of our food options are shelf stable and highly processed. But there are things you can do like getting fresh food when you are able to go to the store and eat it while it lasts! Buy frozen and canned fruits and vegetables and get creative with them instead of snacking on a bag of chips.
Ditch liquid calories. During self-quarantine we’re even less active because we’re rarely leaving our homes. Because you’re moving less those liquid calories (soda, juice, booze) will add up even faster than normal.
Don’t freak out and think you have to do it all immediately. Just make one small change each day and watch as the trickle down effect comes into play. Maybe today it begins with drinking one less soda, and tomorrow you take a 10min walk. But maybe ten years from now you’ve completely transformed your lifestyle and are the healthiest version of you that you’ve ever been and you can sleep easier knowing your body is in prime condition to fight off another pandemic virus.