Across the nation, many states are starting to lift their shelter-in-place orders and times can be scary. More than 80,000 Americans have died from this pandemic and tens of millions people have filed for unemployment.
Everything feels uncertain and confusing with misleading information everywhere. It is important as a society we respect one another through this transition. Some feel comfortable going out, while others don’t want to leave their house.
STAT Wellness developed a strategy to cautiously reopen with limited class sizes, personal training, small group training, blood draws, body composition scans, IVs, and limited in person Functional Medicine visits while maintaining our services virtually. If you are signed up for our newsletter (which you can do here) or if you follow us on instagram, you have seen some of the precautions we have taken such as hiring professionals to disinfect and sanitize the space, temperature checks, questionnaires that everyone has to answer before entering, 6 feet between each person, and extra time to clean all equipment, door knobs, counters, etc between each class and client.
However as you see more businesses reopening, it is important to remember the virus is not gone and we all have a role in preventing the spread. Your health matters now more than ever!
Now is the time to keep your immune system strong, inflammation low, and blood sugar under control. According to the CDC, those at largest risk for severe outcomes are those with severe obesity, heart disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, chronic lung disease, and those > 65 years old.
This study found that 94% of the people hospitalized in New York had major underlying health conditions with the most common being obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Your lifestyle and overall health matters!
Here are some quick tips to keep you healthy through the transition:
- Prioritize sleep: aim for at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per day. A study conducted in Germany found sleep has the power to enhance the efficiency of T cells. This is huge since T cells help to kill infected cells and activate an immune response. Another reason to sleep in a little more than normal!
- Know your risk: hopefully you are getting annual physicals to check your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar control, weight, and more. At STAT Wellness, we like to take a deeper dive and look at vitamin D levels, inflammation (based on c-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and other markers depending on the individual), food sensitivities, and more. Checking in on your health and establishing a thorough baseline has never been more important!
- Say goodbye to sugar: I know this is hard especially while being quarantined but it is essential for your immune system and overall health. This study shows that after eating a high sugar meal your immune system can be affected as early as 30 minutes and for up to 5 hours. Read food labels and make sure to keep total sugar under 20-30 grams per day. Don’t worry about the sugar naturally found in berries, sweet potatoes, etc we are referring to the processed sugar you can read on a food label.
- Reduce alcohol: excessive alcohol has a negative effect on your immune system and gut health. Try mixing it up with mocktails! One of my favorite mocktails is green tea, mint, and lime muddled together and topped with sparkling water.
- Protect yourself: I know this goes without saying but I have to include it- wash. your. hands. and really wash them for a full 20 seconds. In addition to washing your hands, make sure you are not touching your face throughout the day.
- Exercise: aim for 20-30 minutes most days of the week. This can be as simple as going for a walk or doing some body weight exercises at home but exercise is important for heart health, circulation, and boosting your immune system.
- Take the additional step: eat a diet rich in color (such as oranges, beets, sweet potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, etc- aim for the whole rainbow). These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that help your body clear oxidative stress and boost your immune system. Now is the time to increase your veggies and fruits. Be sure to try my immune boosting smoothie. In addition to diet, we recommend taking an immune boosting supplement such as ImmuCore, vitamin D, zinc, or vitamin C.
AND when you need that extra boost, know that we are here for you. You can come to STAT Wellness for an immune boosting IV. Our favorite is the Myer’s Cocktail with extra vitamin C and zinc. We love IV nutrients because they bypass the gut and are highly absorbed on a cellular level (plus you get extra hydration)!
In good health always,
Kristin Oja, DNP, FNP-C, IFMCP