When would be the best time to get the coronavirus?
Seriously, not a trick question.
What if a simple strategy can increase our chances to get through the sickness with fewer symptoms and actually not to die?
Now let’s imagine that our immune system has batteries and the power in these batteries is not unlimited. We are using the batteries every day and night for just taking care of the above-mentioned processes and many more important body functions that keep us alive and healthy.
Another way to imagine your immune system is as a credit card. If you want to have access to funds you need to pay the balance in full or at least keep it to a minimum. Bad things happen when you keep using your card and not paying back. Unfortunately thanks to stress, bad sleep quality, overworking, poor diet choices and unhealthy habits many of us are deep in-depth in their immune credit.
Why do you think younger people and kids are less symptomatic when they got the virus? Maybe they are just too young to have bad credit yet? Maybe they haven’t been using too much of their available immune credit or maybe their active lifestyle recharges their batteries better? Kids have less stress, they sleep better and all good parents make sure that kids stay away from bad habits.
Now, why all these comparisons matter?
What if we have in our hands plenty of simple tools to recharge our batteries and keep our immune system ready and strong?
Let’s take another example from the credit cards. Imagine that you have built up big immune system debt that you cannot manage to recover from. One simple solution is to transfer your balance to a card with a zero-interest (promotional) rate. If you are motivated, disciplined and you focus on paying back before the zero-interest period ends, you will restore your credit and have plenty of fighting power at your disposal.
Because we just bought us some time. And time, planning, discipline, and focus are resources that would bring value to any situation.
Now here is how we can use the logic from the above examples and reduce the risk of getting sick or dying from the coronavirus.
First thing first.
Have a personal (it is actually better to involve the entire household) STRATEGY.
Let’s assume that at some point we all will get the virus. The simple logic here is that the later we get it the more chances we will have to get proper health care and medications. We don’t want to have to wait for a hospital bed or ventilator and we would really like to have a vaccine and protocols developed and available when we need them. Not to mention that we would rather have our doctor examine us well-rested and not under stress.
If you agree with those assumptions then our strategy should be:
Don’t get sick as long as you can!
Every day matters. Reduce any chances to get sick daily. The longer you stay healthy the better chances you have to receive proper care and actually not to die.
Does this sound obvious? Actually, even though we would agree with this strategy most of us probably have already done things today that are not in synchrony with it.
I started this article because I believe that having a strategy and mindset is our first line of defense. I have been sharing these thoughts with all my friends, family and clients. There are many other simple things that I personally do and also share with family, friends, and clients.
Here are some specifics related to the current situation for you to consider when you plan your fitness routine.
In these times we are obviously exposed to higher stress and real possibility to (get the virus and) become sick. In order to keep optimal performance and at the same time to have plenty of available energy to support our immune system in case of emergency - my theory is that we shouldn't work out with high intensity or resistance. Those workouts are great in general but if we want to make sure that at any moment our bodies have enough stored and available energy to fight the virus we need to workout smart.
We have to limit energy usage for tasks that are at this moment temporarily nonessential (bodybuilding, HIIT, endurance, and ctr.)
Here are some general fitness/wellness ideas that would help you sustain your fitness and preserve your energy in case of emergency:
1. Work on balance, stability, flexibility
2. Meditation is a must
3. Get familiar with your breathing and incorporate breath-holding techniques, check your BOLT score daily
4. Cut TV and social media time and add it to sleep
5. Experiment with TRE (time-restricted eating AKA - intermittent fasting)
6. Learn about your HRV and how to measure it daily
7. Sing, gargle, and ... avoid alcohol (I got the most comments about this:)
8. Cold and heat exposures are good but use in moderation (for example opt for a cold shower instead of an ice bath). Sauna is great and it is, in fact, the only thing I miss the most now when my gym is closed.
Am I missing anything?
Please feel free to message me. Stay healthy, safe and be smart.