Good Health is Much more than a Vaccine
It’s time to develop a better concept of health care - one with a focus on wellness, not sickness. Comparing lifespan statistics in developed countries the US ranks 37th, despite spending more money on health care per capita than any other nation!
In this past very difficult year, the focus of the CDC, government policymakers, and the media has been on getting a vaccine developed. Sadly, little or no attention has been paid to the value of a healthy lifestyle and strong immune system. Yes, we are all vulnerable to a pandemic, but there is much in the wheelhouse that can make us less likely to fall ill from Covid or any illness.
One good message we’ve received from CDC, FDA, and news outlets: wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. Overall, people have been healthier by following these practices. That is a worthwhile first step in prevention. But we need to add a pro-active plan to stay well. As a nutrition and wellness coach, I recommend a 5 step approach to building a robust immune system that will protect you in challenging times. They should be a part of every day, pandemic or not.
- Eat healthy foods. Start with simple whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, with high-quality seafood and meat. To benefit you these foods must be free of additives and chemical preservatives, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics. Ideally, that means organic whenever possible. Add clean water and herbal teas.
- Get enough sleep. Research shows seven to eight hours is a good marker for adults.
- The tendons that let you stretch and the muscles that lift you up weaken if they aren’t used. Try the 20-minute rule and get up every 20 minutes, if even for a short stretch. Get continuous movement in some way every day, ideally outdoors where you are breathing in the fresh air.
- Manage your stress. Unwanted stress is known to suppress your immune system. If you need help, try a simple meditation. I created a short one for anyone who doesn’t feel like they can meditate but would like to give it a try.
- Using your baseline bloodwork, consider taking a very limited number of supplements to give your body a boost. Right now, several studies show the importance of adequate Vitamin D levels in preventing serious covid illness. Vitamin D cannot be absorbed from the sun in the northeast US between November and March, so most of us here need a little extra help. Metagenics is my preferred manufacturer and you can learn more about them here.
Peg Doyle has been helping women over 50 change their eating for the better for nearly 21 years, She helps you identify your goals and supports you with accountability but no judgment.
For more information visit wellnessandyou.com/contact to request a virtual appointment.