Posts Tagged ‘Wellness’

A healthy immune system can stop problems before they start. (pixabay.com)

Unless you have been living in a cave, in a jungle, you will be aware that the world is experiencing something different. Yes, Covid-19, certainly different… yet oddly familiar. You may also be very frustrated by the fact you are having difficulty assessing what is true and not true with regard to this virus. They say “listen to the experts,” but then change their minds because they did not actually know enough initially, at least on policy, to make fully informed decisions. But I am not writing today to debate this, rather I wish to talk about something I do know for sure.

Covid has shown that when it comes to potential death, or the loss of life of loved ones, humans will act to avoid this at all cost. Our fear of the unknown, or more specifically our fear of death, is so deeply ingrained in our psyche that it, along with bad or confusing advice, will cause mass panic.

There are things we can prepare for in life, and things we cannot. When it comes to Covid, or any virus for that matter, it’s actually a bit misleading to say we cannot prepare for such things, because we can.

As an individual the best course of action to prevent a premature death is be healthy; stay active and keep an eye on your dietary choices. For the average person this means that your best bet, in general, to avoid a premature death (aside from accidents) is to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and nutritionally, so that your immune system is as strong as it can be to fight off any would-be invaders.

I have written about this topic before, stating that eating well and staying active is the best place to start, but maintaining good nutrition also means ensuring your body is getting everything it needs.

If I walk into a doctor’s office seeking nutrition advice, they may just provide generic information that might not suit me. Yet there is one thing you can do for sure; make sure you eat your greens and take your vitamins (the ones you actually need, not the ones the guy in the store said to buy.)

So, how do you start? Well, the easiest additions are the vitamins and minerals that have consistently been shown, across numerous studies, to be good for you. These would be things like Vitamin C, D, Iron, etc.. And, NO, these will NOT cure Covid, but what nutrients like these will do is help your body to be in better shape to fight off any virus; so you can worry a little less about “premature death due to health issues.”

FACT: For Covid, the largest at risk group are those considered “elderly” (average 65+). See the death rates for these ages groups, also the devastating spread when Covid gets into “old folks homes.” For those who are younger, the number one risk factor is obesity (ie. being unhealthy.)

So, other than avoiding ageing (which, so far, we cannot) your best bet for the current, or next, pandemic, because there WILL be one, is to consider these questions:

Beyond this, optimizing your body through nutrition can be complicated; requiring a variety of tests, trial and error, and money (supplements are expensive.)

Most of us should start with a good, balanced diet plan, but some of us may need a boost for whatever reason (unfortunately, some will find they have bodies that don’t like to play nice, refusing to absorb nutrients correctly.)

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is water soluble (you just pee out the excess), it is a modest immune booster, it is readily available, and it is cheap (this is why i say it’s a great place to start)

Vitamin D, ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3), is often considered a “happy drug” as it can impact mood (the sun feels good!) and is very useful for general health regulation. In a place like Vancouver it is quite common to have lower than ideal levels of Vitamin D (plus high levels of seasonal depression). However, in a place like California you may get enough by just being out doors. One thing to remember is you CAN take too much Vitamin D, so be careful and look into testing your levels first.

Iron deficiency is common for a variety of reasons, especially in women. It can lead to a weakened or anemic body, which in turn will mean a reduced immune system. One of my students said the best way to see if you have low iron is to donate blood, because they test for free and will let you know (a nice perk for helping save lives). Though direct Iron testing is readily available, simple, and important. You might not even need to take supplements, it may be a simple matter of adding more protein to your diet.

The last thing that can really help your immune system prepare to fight attacks is managing your stress levels. The easiest way to do this is to make sure you are getting enough sleep. While some 2.5% of the population hit the genetic lottery, requiring 4-6 hours of sleep a night, most of us “normal” people need a solid 8-10. The amount of research on sleep impacting immunity is so extensive it really is no longer theory but rather fact.

I am not an expert on these things (probably one of the most used words these days after “Covid,” and “stay home”), but I am someone who has investigated these topics myself, through primary sources rather than the mainstream media. BUT I understand how daunting navigation of health and nutrition information can be considering all of the conflicting data.

This is why I presented the most basic, cheapest, and easiest way to start, that is also backed by more studies than I care to read.

So, in preparing for the next pandemic, rather than running in fear and panicking, ask yourself “have I optimized my body so that it has the strongest immune system it can have?” Or are you just sitting around waiting to be told what to do when it is too late?

Be honest…

Written by: Jonathan Fader

Editor: Corey Owens

P.S. There are many other basic supplements that you may want to consider but we thought it would be best to keep it simple for now…

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Project Power Logo

Project Power Performance Center is a new athletic performance facility that is conveniently located in the UTKM main gym in Richmond. 2 of its three founding members Ed Leung and Jai Iyer sat down with Jonathan to discuss fitness, personal training and the poor environments that are at most commercial gyms. In addition as usual we go off topic and talk about other things.

To give you a little better idea who is project power here is a little about the three:

Ed Leung:
Ed began weight training in 2008 and has never looked back since. His personal journey involved working with numerous trainers and included body building, functional strength training and, more recently, power lifting.

As a coach, Ed:

  • Uses various training styles to cater to individual goals
  • Maximizes training output while reducing stress on joints
  • Works with clients with mobility issues
  • Utilizes myofascial stretching to help release muscle tension

Ed is currently studying Kinesiology with the long-term goal of becoming a physical therapist of chiropractor.

Jai Iyer:
Jai (pronounced Jay) is a competitive body builder and non-competitive powerlifter. He placed first in the 2013 NPAA Novice, and second in the 2014 Sandra Wickman Open. If you’re interested in the numbers, his raw max lifts: Bench 315, Squat 495, Deadlift 523. But Jai isn’t all about getting him and his clients huge, he has also worked with older clienteles and takes more pride in making them realize their hidden potentials.

As a coach, Jai focuses on:

  • Martial arts focused strength + conditioning
  • Powerlifting
  • Competitive level body building, including competition preparation
  • General fitness + weight loss

Jai is a certified personal trainer and also holds a Masters of Electrical Engineering from UBC and is currently training for the BC Provincials to be held on July 9th, 2016.

Mandeep Khatkar:
Mandeep started out as a track and field athlete for 5 years from grade 8-12, which later lead to his interest in powerlifting. After suffering from an unfortunate hamstring tear he switched his focus while recuperating to lose weight and lost 135lb of bodyweight in a healthy sustainable way which he is still maintaining. Currently Mandeep is pursuing his adventures in Olympic lifting after having a brief stint with wrestling.

As a coach, Mandeep focuses on:

  • Developing strength and speed in youth athletes
  • Sustainable Weight loss
  • Strength and conditioning for Track and field athletes
  • Olympic Lifting coaching

Mandeep is a certified personal trainer. He is currently looking to complete his level 1 for Track and Field and Olympic Lifting and has a long term goal of becoming a RMT.