Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter. I’ve so much to share with you this month about health, and topics such as why men are more at risk for coronavirus than women, that I’m sending out one newsletter this week and another one next week! Let’s get started.
Keeping Your Energy Levels Up
I’m often asked, “Shelli, how do you keep your energy levels so steady and high? You seem to have everything figured out.”
You’re right. I do. 🙂 Not really! However these are the keys to my all-day energy:
– Wake up same time each day (even on weekends). Bedtime does vary some. Wake up does not.
– Split caffeine intake into several small doses rather than 1 megadose and stop many hours before bed. How many? Depends on how caffeine affects you, so experiment and see for yourself.
– More water, earlier (1.5 liters as quickly as possible in AM)
– Same meals for breakfast and lunch. For years now I’ve been advising clients to keep brekkie and lunch simple, and dinner creative. You might need to experiment with different meals for lunch if you are tired in the afternoon. Find a lunch choice that doesn’t lead to energy slumps.
– You might consider fasting. Eat only a late breakfast and early dinner. Or just normal breakfast and dinner and smoothie at lunch. Or just lunch and dinner (some people have better energy without breakfast).
– Consider having a nap at lunch instead of eating
– Don’t book too many meetings back-to-back
– Take a 15 minute break every 90 minutes for water / bathroom
– Intense exercise every other day. Alternate with walk days or Yoga and Tai Chi days
– Daily meditation
Why MEN Are More at Risk of Coronavirus Than Women
Men are dying from COVID-19 more than women. A reader asked me about this so I did some research. This fact takes into account other factors too, so across the board it comes down to a difference of sex.
By now we’re all aware of underlying conditions that lead to higher risk of complications and death. Underlying conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes all complicate COVID-19. And we know that men tend to develop more of these chronic conditions than women do, and often much earlier. For instance, men usually experience their first heart attack in their mid-60s, whereas women have their first heart attack in their early 70s.
Secondly, women have better immunity.
This is an important point in the difference between men and women when it comes to COVID-19. Women have stronger, more robust responses to disease. Studies show women’s immune systems kicks in far stronger than men’s against RNA viruses like coronavirus.
Here’s the science behind this fact. It comes down to women having an extra X chromosome (women are XX, men are XY). A study from Belgium’s Ghent University found that the X chromosome carries extra genetic material called microRNA. These microRNAs are basically small pieces of code like your DNA. They work by interacting with different processes in our cells. One thing they do is amp up our immune response. So women genetically have an advantage.
Men need to work harder to boost their immune systems. SO much of boosting your immune system comes down to behaviors, and guess what?
Men have worse health behaviors. I’m sure I’ll get some emails from having said that 🙂
But men don’t wash their hands as well or as often as women.
The American Society for Microbiology conducts periodic studies that observe folks in public restrooms of busy areas, like baseball stadiums and train stations. In the latest study from 2010, they saw 77% of men washed their hands after using the restroom, while 93% of women did.
I know you’ll say 2010 was a long time ago, so here’s my next point.
It’s not just hand washing. Men have other behaviors that put them at higher risk. One of the biggest high risk ones (and a contributing factor for COVID numbers out of Italy and China), is smoking. Men smoke much more than women. That puts them at greater risk for complications from respiratory illnesses.
Men also fail to seek medical attention at the same rate as women. A survey from the health care research foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, showed interesting findings. They found that 25% of men wanted to “wait as long as possible” before getting help for a medical problem. That could be anywhere from a few days to weeks. For some cases, that’s the difference between life and death.
Hey guys……if you’re showing any symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor immediately. It isn’t “manly” to try and tough it out. It’s dangerous. Symptoms to look for include:
Fever (especially if it’s higher than 100.4)
Other symptoms include losing a sense of smell or taste. Studies have reported this happens in about a third of COVID-19 patients.
Regardless of your gender, keep your immune system healthy. That means even in a time of lockdowns and quarantine, you need to focus on these three:
1. Stay active. Movement and exercise will keep your body healthy and your immune system strong.
2. Eat right. Many chronic diseases stem from inflammation. So cut back on trans fats and processed foods because they increase inflammation. Eating more foods rich in antioxidants will keep your immune system healthy. Get plenty of vitamin C and not just from citrus fruits. Eat those leafy greens, too!
3. Sleep. Getting enough quality sleep doesn’t just keep your brain healthy, it keeps your immune system working well, too.
We’ll talk more about this as we slide into the next section of this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter!
FIVE Crucial Points About Your Health
1) Every aspect of life contributes to, or fights inflammation.
This shouldn’t come as a shock. The dangers of inflammation are an ongoing Joyinmovement topic. Inflammation contributes to cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
Understanding this topic is at the center of understanding health.
Did you know that if you take a cardiac stress test, you’ll only fail it if you have a blockage that’s 70% or more. Yikes. A better testing method is to measure inflammation itself. A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test is a good place to start.
Do you understand WHY sugar causes inflammation?
Sugar binds to red blood cells and other cells where it shouldn’t. It changes the local chemistry, which can lead to damaged blood vessels. That results in inflammation and the activation of the immune system to “patch” the injury. That, in turn, can lead to plaque buildup.
What does this mean in practical terms? In addition to cutting out sugary foods, cut back on processed carbs. White foods like white bread, white sugar, and white rice especially raise your blood sugar, leading to chemical damage.
Cut out the fried foods, baked goods, and prepackaged processed foods.
You can start lowering inflammation with the right foods. These include:
• Pumpkin, hemp, and chia seeds
• Dark leafy greens (like spinach)
• All the berries
Other drivers of inflammation include low levels of vitamin D from lack of sunlight, poor gut health from eating processed foods, a sedentary lifestyle, and even emotional distress.
Get your mind straight and your body will follow. You can see that at work in our “autonomic nervous system”, the part of our nervous system that focuses on our organs. It’s broken into two parts: parasympathetic and sympathetic.
How do you trigger the parasympathetic nervous system to lower inflammation? Meditation. Good reason to start a meditation practice.
But what’s the best anti-inflammatory practice that is available to everyone?
2) Sleep is a priority. It’s not a privilege.
Ideally, we should get about eight hours a night to achieve optimal sleep. That can vary between seven and nine hours, however.
Sleep and exercise feed one another. Burning energy during the day leads to better quality sleep at night. And getting enough sleep restores your body and allows for the recovery needed to tackle a new day of exercise.
Deep sleep, if interrupted, affects your memory. Sleep also influences your overall mood. I’m not just talking about feeling cranky if you don’t get enough sleep. Serotonin is a hormone that works primarily as a mood regulator and stress reducer. But our gut, not our brain, makes 90% of our serotonin.
When we don’t get enough sleep, we destroy our healthy gut bacteria, which can hurt our serotonin production. And not enough serotonin leads to depression, which is a risk factor for dementia.
So how do you improve sleep quality?
Not only does exercise help with sleep, but so do nutrition and stress management. Eat foods that promote the sleep hormone melatonin. These include cherries, bananas, oats, and honey. Practice unplugging before bed! Shut down devices, dim the lights, and relax with reading or meditation. Creating a ritual before bed (like taking a warm bath, followed by reading a chapter of a good book) also helps train your body and mind to go to sleep.
My Favorite Way To Keep My Energy Going
I know it might not make sense to you, but I’m still, two months later, watching this video every……single……day. I just love it.
Here’s a staying healthy recommendation for you: I read an article a couple of days ago that advocated a one minute gargle with a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution every evening, maybe once or twice during the day as well.
I’d add to that a recommendation to consider a Propolis spray as well (this is the one I use any time I feel a bit anxious about possible exposure to germs).
Until next week when I’ll send you the second half of June’s newsletter, find Joyinmovement each and every day!