THIS Is When Things Will Go Back To Normal

by
Dr. Ariel Thorpe

When can things go back to normal? Our global focus is getting back to "normal" or a "new normal." But as we can see from the different approaches by various health agencies around the world, there is no consensus on when we want to do that. Some countries are already maskless and air travel is in full swing without quarantine. Others, like Hong Kong, still have mask laws and closed borders with heavy quarantine. Some health agencies have given themselves lofty goals of 70% vaccination before making any significant changes. And some are giving their populations the responsibility to use their guidelines on the honor system.

But these are all policy decisions. How much health is actually involved in these decisions?

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. In the context of the Covid pandemic, this means that health is not merely the absence of Covid. Health is creating a thriving environment: internally in each of our bodies, and externally in our communities.

So, if we want to be healthy, what are the factors that contribute to well-being?

The primary focus has to be on creating an environment that is conducive to having an appropriate response to potentially dangerous external factors. So, if exposed to a virus or bacteria, your body won't be too feeble to mount an appropriate immune response. Our immune strength comes from very basic tenets including: 

  1. Adequate hydration. Our cells need a balance of minerals and water to function and multiply. Remember when you mount an immune response, your body has to communicate very efficiently. Our cells communicate by moving molecules in and out of our cells. Drink water and get your minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium.
  2. Eat enough protein. When our immune system must mount a defense, it requires new cells to multiply very quickly in order to do the necessary work to fight the invaders. This process of cellular metabolism can only happen well if we have the fuel for it. People with inadequate immune responses who end up succumbing to worse viral infections are often deficient in protein. Find a variety of quality sources including organic or non-GMO fermented soy and grass-fed meat. If you take protein powder as a supplement, avoid whey.
  3. Move your body. Sedentary people have weaker immune systems. Sitting is the new smoking because staying in a static position for longer than 20 minutes has a deleterious effect on our health. In addition to just getting a bit of movement in throughout your day, strength-building exercises and vigorous cardiovascular workouts are also necessary to create minimal health.
  4. Get enough of these essential vitamins and minerals: vitamin A, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, phytonutrients (sometimes labeled as antioxidants on supplement packages), vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids.

Health doesn't come in a shot or a pill. While emergency medical interventions are essential for life-saving moments in life, they are not the foundation of a healthy person. Take the example of someone who has just had life-saving surgery after a heart attack. The cardiologist doesn't do surgery and then say, "Go back to your normal life of eating sugary and deep fried foods, sitting 8 hours a day, and drinking." They say, "Watch your diet, move your body, and abstain from unhealthy activities." The most important part of your recovery after a major health crisis like that is all the extra lifestyle changes you must implement after your surgery. The focus should be on creating a stronger foundation. No doctor wants you back in the state you were in before, because that is exactly what caused the health crisis in the first place.

Implement these foundational lifestyle habits so that you can create the best possible "normal" for yourself moving forward. If everyone can get on top of these tips, our governments and public health departments will not have to panic the next time we hit a pandemic.

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