By Miguel J. Ortiz
We are more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and we still have a lot of uncertainty. Health remains on the forefront of everyone’s mind, and we are all doing our part to stay healthy.
I personally think cancers and many other illnesses can be heavily prevented with a quality diet and exercise. It took a pandemic for many people to be health aware. We have known for quite some time that it is important to take care of our health, but we’ve ignored the signs for too long. It’s time to take our power back.
One case in point is that a plant-based diet has been shown to be the only diet to reverse cardiovascular disease. So, why don’t more people eat that way? As humans we have a very strong immune system, in many cases we just need to create the right environment for the body to heal appropriately. If we can add a few consistent daily behaviors with quality eating we are going to do a much better job of taking care of others by taking care of ourselves. Let’s make sure we do the following daily to be healthier individuals.
First, we need daily sun and activity. The sunlight’s vitamin D and quality air help promote hormone function and clear inflammation, just make sure you stay hydrated. Walking at least 1 hour a day will help the body tremendously. And, for exercise enthusiasts, continue to stay on track and strengthen that heart rate and muscle. Exercise is vital. I also want to note that a compound movement like a push up, pull up, squat, lunge and jogging or running also go a long way in functional training. The ability to continue to do those movements will give the body a quality foundation to build upon.
Second, the best way to build confidence is by keeping promises to yourself. Simply put, we need to be more consistent when it comes to trusting the process in order to make appropriate change. Whether it’s an exercise routine or making better food choices, be consistent for at least 2-3 months. Ninety days will make a significant difference as far as feeling and seeing a difference.
Third, get more sleep. It helps regulate brain and hormone function. It also helps with weight loss. Spending more time at home during a pandemic does not necessarily take away stress so make sure you get to bed on time. If you are looking to build muscle, you need sleep. If you want to lose weight, you need sleep. So, let’s go back to the basics and focus on doing the most important things more consistently.
Distractions are everywhere, there are fast food joints to the left and right. As you continue to make better choices, don’t be hard on yourself. The more you exercise, the more you’ll want to eat better food. It will slowly force your hand. Being healthy is not a destination, it’s a lifestyle. So, do your part and focus daily on becoming a healthier individual. Together we can build confidence within our communities.
Miguel J. Ortiz is a personal trainer in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the National Personal Trainer Institute and a Certified Nutritional Consultant with more than a decade of professional experience. He can be found on Instagram at @migueljortiz.