For the first time in a while, times are getting tough. Real tough. A global pandemic is taking over. With more than 300,000 confirmed cases and 13,000 deaths, the rapid spread of the coronavirus is endangering the health and lives of many people. On top of that, it’s halted most trade, travel and business which has led many more people to lose their jobs or diminish their pay. There’s no doubt, this whole situation is causing pain for many individuals around the world. It’s a terrible situation. But, if you follow myHealthSciences’ guidelines, you can not only survive and thrive through this pandemic and recession but be better prepared for future emergencies just like this one. In this post, I’m going to detail how you can make the best out of this situation and come out better for it.
One of the top ways to prevent illness is through exercise. Many studies have shown that there’s an inverse relationship between quantity of moderate exercise and risk of illness. There are also studies that show high intensity exercise improves immune system activity and metabolic health. With this knowledge, we know it’s important to live an active lifestyle and incorporate exercise into our daily routine to prevent illnesses like the coronavirus. Now that most of us are practicing social distancing and staying at home though, it’s become more difficult to live that active lifestyle. Especially, since most gyms are closed. But this provides an opportunity for us to try new exercise routines. Many gyms are live streaming at-home workouts for no additional cost. BeachBody is providing two weeks free for all of their programs (some which don’t require any equipment). And, many physical fitness trainers are posting at-home workouts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Now’s the time to jump on these opportunities. Now’s the time to start boosting our immune system health to prevent illness.
Another top way to prevent illness is through nutrition. Even though most American’s are focused on macro-nutrient intake like carbs, protein and fat, it’s your micro-nutrient intake (vitamins and minerals) that creates a strong immune system. So, if micro-nutrients are the key to preventing illness from a nutritional standpoint then what foods are most nutrient dense? Leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and seeds. A whole foods plant-based diet will likely provide you the most nutrient dense foods and therefore build the strongest immune system. Now that most restaurants are closed and we’re spending more time at home, this is another opportunity. It’s an opportunity to cook new whole foods plant-based recipes and avoid the nutrient lacking foods that most restaurants offer. Over the past week or so I’ve tried a peanut butter banana smoothie, a variation of this apple kale salad, and blueberry oat pancakes. They’ve been delicious and I plan on trying many more recipes soon.
The last top way I’ll mention to prevent illnesses like the coronavirus is proper sleep. Studies have shown that you’re more likely to contract a virus when exposed to it if you’re lacking in sleep quality or quantity. And, the effects of a virus are more severe and longer lasting without adequate sleep. With some people now having more time because of less work and no daily commute, this can be a good time to adjust your sleeping habits. It’s important to setup a sleep schedule that you follow every day. Going to bed and waking up at the same time is important for high sleep quality. Adults should get at least 8 hours of sleep with younger teenagers and kids needing more hours. Sleep is one of our best tools to strengthen our immune system and now’s the time to get it.
When it comes to surviving and thriving an imminent recession, following my 8 steps to financial independence is key. The first step I recommend is building an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of expenses. If you have this completed, you’re feeling a lot less stress than most people right now. If you’ve lost your job or had your hours cut, you would have enough money to live in your house/apartment and eat for at least 3 months. This will help provide you the time and cushion needed to help find new work or let the economy rebound. If you’re beyond step 1 in my financial independence steps, then you’ve likely begun investing into a 401k, IRA and HSA as well. If you’re consistently investing in these accounts, then now looks to be a great opportunity. With the market 30% off it’s high, and every past recession eventually rebounding to higher highs, this is the time to double down on your efforts. History has shown that opportunities like these can be very profitable for the long-term investor. I’m doubling down my efforts to save and invest more than ever while following the 8 steps to financial independence linked above.
If you do find yourself out of work or with more time on your hands, now could be a great time to learn and develop new skills. The job market is competitive and with fewer available positions in a recession, it’s important that you have skills that are in demand. The great thing about learning and developing skills is that it can be completed anywhere (including a quarantine). Find podcasts to listen to, books to read and videos to watch. See if there are courses online that can provide a more structured learning approach. Follow the suggestions in my latest post, Is Your Brainware Out-of-Date? Times like these can be seen as opportunities to retool and grow. A time to not only survive but thrive. I’m using this extra time to research certifications in nutrition, fitness and exercise that might help my career and growth.
There are two aspects of minimalism that I’d like to mention here. The first is that during tough times like these, they provide us with a reality check. When our job, the economy and world were stable, I’m sure buying the latest gadget or in-style clothes made more sense. But now if you’re out of a job or had your hours cut, those previous purchases seem a lot less important. Times like these can help us highlight what we need and what’s nonessential to live a healthy and happy life. The second aspect I wanted to mention is the use of any free time. If you now have more time available, a great use of it is to organize and declutter. Look to reduce the physical and digital items in your life. A simplified life can provide greater mental clarity, life purpose and freedom.
We haven’t experienced a recession in more than ten years. We haven’t experienced a pandemic like this ever. The combination of these two situations happening at once is tragic. But, for those looking on the bright side, there is a way to not only survive this, but thrive through it. Focusing on our fitness, nutrition and sleep can prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19. Focusing on financial independence, cognitive development and minimalism can prevent the financial ruin of recessions like this. A long-term approach following the myHealthSciences’ recommendations can protect you from the harm of these situations and help you come out better than before. So, let’s stop worrying and start working. It’s time to become healthier and happier.
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Hey, I am Brandon Zerbe
Welcome to myHealthSciences! My goal has always been to increase quality-of-life with healthy habits that are sustainable, efficient and effective. I do this by covering topics like Fitness, Nutrition, Sleep, Cognitive Health, Financial Independence and Minimalism. You can read more about me here.
- Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University
- Want To Boost Your Immune System? A Healthy Diet Is An Important Start
- How Sleep Strengthens Your Immune System
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