Our best defense against Covid

Raise your hand if you’re sick of hearing about Covid. That makes two of us. But no matter how tired we are of hearing about it, the facts remain the same. We are in a global pandemic, coronavirus is highly contagious, and thousands of people have died from it. 749,000 worldwide, to be exact.

Probably one of the scariest parts about this virus is that there is so much we don’t know about it. It has literally existed for less than a year. There is a lack of control on our parts that we humans are extremely uncomfortable with. That, and there’s still no vaccine. 

We do know one thing: Covid will wreak more havoc on us the less healthy we are

According to the CDC, approximately 42% of adults in the United States are obese. 

According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 5,000,000 confirmed cases, with over 163,000 deaths in the US. That is 60,000 more deaths than the next highest death rate (Brazil) and 110,000 more than Mexico, which is the third.

Let me break it down. The United States’ 42% obesity rate makes us incredibly vulnerable to viruses. You are twice as likely to die from Covid if you are obese. 

Covid plus obesity is terrifying. 

Wearing masks, social distancing, and constantly washing our hands is important. But fighting off obesity? That should be where our focus is (and should have been for the last 20 years). 

Our best defense against Covid is our own immune systems. We MUST start taking our health and fitness seriously, if we want to come out of this pandemic without half of our population gone. Remember the end of Avengers’ Endgame? That is what’s at risk (minus turning into ash and disappearing. That probably won’t happen).

Our minds are powerful

Do you ever wonder if professional athletes imagine themselves winning? 

What a weird question. Of course you don’t. Because we all know that every NFL football player has pictured himself winning the Super Bowl, every Olympian has imagined himself winning all the gold medals, and every baseball player dreams about hitting the game-winning home run in game 7 of the World Series. 

Our minds are powerful tools. If we try hard enough, we can convince ourselves of almost anything. The other night, as I was going to bed I convinced myself that I forgot to lock the front door. I’m a stubborn creature, so I decided that I was wrong, and laid in bed for 20 minutes telling myself that it was locked. Let me tell you, that Every. Single. Sound sounded like my front door was opening. I finally got out of bed, and walked downstairs to discover that my front door was in fact locked. 

False alarm. But I was so convinced it was unlocked, that it was preventing me from sleeping. 

Think about that in the light of fitness. How many times does the thought cross our minds that we won’t ever reach our goals? How often do we picture ourselves having reached our goals? Do you think about how your life would (will) be different if you achieved your goals? If you got the six pack you’ve been working so hard for? 

Our minds are powerful. They can (and tend to) guide us toward whatever we are most fixated on. Both positively and negatively. Are you holding a grudge? I guarantee you, that anger is doing you more harm than the person who hurt you. Are you constantly worried about things that are out of your control? Man, that’s exhausting. Consider talking to someone about your fears. Are you most fixated on what you want most? If you’re not, you probably should be.

No Pain Is Normal

As I get older, I am becoming more and more convinced that our population believes that pain, and specifically low back pain, is normal. 

I’m not sure when we started believing that, but I assure you, it is not normal. No pain is normal, and it’s not a “rite of passage”. 

Low back pain can be the result of many things. Traumatic injuries, overuse, improper weightlifting form, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, sitting too much, standing too much, etc. You get it. There are a lot of causes of it. 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN PAIN

Good news, though! You do not have to be in pain. If you are having low back pain, try these three movements to relieve it.

  1. Lay on a foam roller. (We recommend this one) Place the foam roller at the very bottom of your spine. Think right above your glutes. Lay on your back, and let your knees relax into the ground. Your hips should be sticking up in the air, and you should be feeling in a stretch in the front of your hips, and low back. Try to stay there for 5 minutes.
  2. Supermans. Lay on your stomach with your arms over your head. Simultaneously lift your chest and feet off the ground, and slowly lower back down. It seems counterintuitive to exercise a part of your body that is in pain, but a lot of times, low back pain happens because our low back is weaker than the muscles around it. 
  3. Glute Bridges. Lay on your back, with your knees bent and your feet hip width apart. With your weight in your heels, push your hips off the ground. Hold it for 5 seconds, then slowly lower your hips to the ground, keeping your glutes, and core tight the whole time. Try 15 reps. Your glutes are one of the biggest muscle groups in your body, and when they are not properly strengthened, they can cause pain in your low back.

Give these a try 3-4x per week for a couple weeks, and see how your back pain has changed. 

And, of course, if you want a movement or pain assessment, schedule a consultation with one of our coaches

Fitness and Health Myths

I know we’ve said this before, but there is a TON of misinformation about health, fitness, and weight loss out there. We compiled a list of five really common weight loss myths. These are some things that we hear ALL. THE. TIME. Take note, remember that they are myths, and if you need help losing weight, SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION with one of our world class coaches.

Myth 1: You can out exercise a bad diet.

We talked a little bit about this in the latest episode of the LIVE READY PODCAST. If you’re diet is bad, and you’re eating a bunch of processed food, or a bunch of sugar, and not putting micronutrients in your body, all the exercise in the world is not going to help you lose weight.

Myth 2: Soreness is the sign of a good workout.

In reality, soreness comes from lactic acid build up and small tears in your muscles. You CAN be sore after a good workout, but it’s not the defining sign of a good, effective workout. You can have an excellent workout that is producing results in you, without being sore.

Myth 3: Eating fat makes you fat.

Your body needs fat. Your brain literally needs cholesterol to function. Healthy fats can speed up healing in your muscles. 

Eating a lot of fat along with carbs (sugar mostly), in the form of processed foods, that brings you into a caloric surplus over a period of time, will probably make you fat.

Myth 4: Less rest means you’re working harder.

The most un-true of all the statements. Your body NEEDS rest. It cannot function without it. Long periods of time with little to no good rest will cause weight gain. Not to mention a plethora of other issues. Hormonal issues, metabolic issues, digestive issues, mental health issues, slowing the healing of injuries, preventing weight loss, and I can go on and on. 8 to 10 hours a night. Your body will thank you.

Myth 5: Scales are pointless

There’s been a movement recently suggesting that the number on the scale “doesn’t matter”. While it is true that the number on the scale isn’t an all encompassing sign of your health, this mostly applies to people who have a lot of muscle. Muscle does weigh more than fat, and your body composition can change while the number remains the same, or similar, it is still important to know what your body weight is and the direction it’s going