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Lowering Your Risk Factors For Covid 19: A Perfect Time To Work On Your Health

No one wants to get Covid 19. And if we do get it, we don’t want to end up on a ventilator with a slim chance of survival. But what can we do? Masks, hand washing, social distancing of course. Avoid crowds, sure, but what if we just get it anyway? Is there any way we can protect our immune system so we’re more likely to recover?

Yes, there is. Improving your general health can greatly improve your chances.

So as a certified Health Coach and Exercise Physiologist, I felt like I had to share some recent Covid 19 research with you. It’s both alarming and encouraging.

The majority of people recover from Covid in a few weeks. But a recent report from the Mayo Clinic outlines long term health effects of Covid 19. The most common include headaches, lingering fatigue, problems breathing and joint pain. But Covid is a nasty virus and can cause long term, damage to the heart, lungs and brain, putting you more at risk for heart failure, strokes, respiratory problems, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Some experience blood clots, blood vessel problems, liver and kidney issues. 

Your mood can be affected in a similar way to PTSD. Even young fit people have had some of these after-effects. However, people with underlying conditions are most likely to experience the more severe issues

According to the CDC, people with underlying health conditions are 6 times more likely to be hospitalized and 12 times more likely to die from Covid. Poor metabolic health is directly linked to severe outcomes. And according to University of North Carolina research, only 1 in 8 Americans has optimal metabolic health. High Blood Pressure, Excess Belly Fat, High Blood Sugar, High Triglycerides, and Low HDL are the main risk factors. If you have any 3 or more of these, you have Metabolic Syndrome.  The top 3 that effect Covid outcomes are Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.

Patients hospitalized with Covid 19 who had a combination of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes were 5 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and over 3 times more likely to die, according to a new study at Tulane Medical Center. There are a number of reasons for this. One big one is that Metabolic Syndrome messes up your immune system big time.

60% of Americans are overweight or obese according to research from Columbia University. Having a waist more than 40 inches in men and 35 in women encourages inflammation and blood clotting, 2 of the problems associated with severe Covid 19 cases.

Also, doctors have found that hospitalized Covid patients do better lying face down. Excess belly fat prevents the diaphragm from working properly, making it harder for the patient to breath in that position. Losing that belly f

at and maintaining a healthy weight can virtually eliminate this problem, according to a British Public Health Report. A healthy diet you can actually live with, and getting on an exercise program, will help you meet this goal.

Over 100 million people in the US are living with high blood sugar. People with Diabetes generally experience more severe Covid symptoms, complications and are more likely to be admitted to the ICU. However, the American Diabetes Association says, well controlled diabetes, reduces risk of severe outcomes. Blood sugar can be regulated with a low carb diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and meds as needed.

If your blood pressure is greater than 130/80 (AHA guidlines) you have hypertension. Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure and only 25% of us have it under control.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can put more strain on your heart during Covid, and it weakens the immune system and makes it harder to recover from the virus. Research at the Sharp Medical Center in Chula Vista, California suggests that Covid infects the cells that help regulate blood pressure and that there may be link between hypertension and severe Covid infection. So, it’s important to keep your blood pressure under control with a low-sodium diet, regular exercise, reducing stress and meds if necessary.

I’m sure you see a pattern here. Metabolic Syndrome can often be managed with lifestyle changes. Easier said than done? Yep. But it IS doable, and it does not have to feel like you’re in jail either. 

The hardest part is getting started. Once you’ve define your goals and figure out a method of reaching them, you can make living healthy a part of your life.

But how DO you start, what ARE your goals REALLY, and WHAT’S THE METHOD YOU CAN USE TO REACH THEM AND MAKE LIVING HEALTHY A PART OF YOUR LIFE. This is where having a partner who knows the ropes can make all the difference. 

I began health coaching in the 1990’s before it became mainstream because I saw the beginnings of a disconnect between what MDs advised patients to do and patient’s ability to comply. They needed help. In my practice as a Health Coach I take pride and joy in counseling my clients through, preparation, to action and on to maintenance of their health and wellness. 

Health coaching helps you determine your health and wellness goals and needs. Once you have a path to your goals the coach continues to work with you to help you find the behavior modifications, activities, facilities and allied health professionals to support your healthy lifestyle. You can do this on your own, but having someone with health industry knowledge to help you focus is a big plus. So now may be the time to try some health coaching!

With a little help from your friendly Health Coach you can make your changes your way. We’ll work together to find a formula you can live with. Together we’ll find the way and your body will thank you for it.

Mirabai Holland MFA, EP-C, CHC is one of the foremost authorities in the health and fitness industry. Her customer top rated exercise videos for Health issues like Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Heart Disease, Diabetes & more are available www.mirabaiholland.com. Join her NEW Online Workout Club: https://movingfreewithmirabai.com/wp-admin-admin-phppagepmpro-membershiplevels/  

Mirabai offers one-on-on Health Coaching on Skype or Phone. Contact her at askmirabai@movingfree.com

MFN Industry Expert