Have you ever tried ‘sweating’ out an illness?
How did you feel as a result? Usually the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘I felt worse’.
This week with the increase in COVID 19 cases, we are focusing on building up your immune system. Friday was all about prevention, Saturday covered sleeping, yesterday was all about food, and today we are going to be focusing on workouts.
Science has shown that regular exercise is linked to an improved immunity. Some articles show that acute bouts of exercise can stimulate cell activity which can prevent infections and sickness. However, chronically long bouts of cardio or high volume sequences of very intense exercise (training to the point of exhaustion everyday) can actually lead to a decrease in immune function. This is often due to the chronically elevated cortisol (stress hormone linked with inflammation), and the increased time to recover from exercise bouts.
When the body is trained to maximum capacity and effort every single day without an opportunity to recover, you run the risk of getting sick. So how can you work out regularly without getting sick while achieving your fitness goals?
There are 4 main action steps to follow to maximize results while also improving your immunity.
1. 30 Minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio is sufficient for heart health and fat metabolism. If you’re working in the city or walking around town, this should cover that 30 minute time frame.
2. Incorporate strength training. When you lift weights, your body transitions into using a different energy system. This leads to a few outcomes: improved muscle mass, decreased fat, and and improvement in overall immune function. When training the strength systems and alternating it with the endurance systems, you’ll minimize the risk of exhausting yourself. Incorporate full body + multi-joint exercise like squatting, deadlift, and pressing. The more muscle you recruit the better.
Listen to your body.
3. You don’t have to workout to the point of collapsing on the floor every single day. If your body isn’t feeling super strong, no need to force it. Working to the point of exhaustion is not a sign of a good workout.
4. Take a rest day. Ensure that you’re getting enough rest. If you’re working out three times per week, allow 1 day of rest in between days. If you’re working out five days a week, ensure that your nutrition and sleep game is on point.
Exercise itself is a stressor.
Sometimes adding that stress is good to help you improve your health and achieve your goals. If you add too much stress, that’s when you run the risk of reaching exhaustion and increasing the likelihood of getting sick. You can change the stressors by lowering the intensity, shortening up the time to work out, training a different energy system, or just straight up take a rest day if your body isn’t feeling it. There’s always another day.
Help us out with the efforts to prevent the spread of COVID 19! Here at the gym we are cleaning regularly and are providing hand soap, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer. We are also encouraging all members/staff to wipe down equipment after use; also stay home if you’re feeling ill. And most importantly, wash your hands!
If you want to start a fitness program but are concerned with the virus, you don’t need to worry. We can create online coaching programs that will be available to you! If you would like to have the assistance and guidance from a coach in the comfort of your own home/gym, reply to this email and let’s talk more about how we can help you. If you want, book a call with us today. We’d love to chat.