Getting sick is no fun, neither was being on lockdown or home isolation. It is hard to believe we are almost 2 years into this and it looks like there is no end in sight with new variants popping up all of the time.
So what can YOU do to help protect yourself or maximize your recovery should you get sick.
Locking yourself in your bunker and never seeing the light of day again or having live interactions with your friends or family is one option. I have actually heard about people making this extreme decision to avoid getting sick.
But let’s face it, that is not living. We are social creatures by nature and limiting our interactions with friends and family is having a major impact on our mental and physical health.
As a physical therapist I am seeing more and more people who are suffering not only with the typical back and neck pain but general deconditioning, including difficulty breathing and getting their energy levels back due to recent COVID episodes.
Movement and interaction with others is good not only for our mental but also our physical health. Shutting down gyms, churches and restaurants has implications that are further reaching than just the financial impact. Jobs were lost and people’s routines were severely altered.
Over the last year and a half I have seen people who recover from covid within a few days and others who took several weeks. No rhyme or reason. The good news is that the overall the survival rate is 98.4% according to data compiled by statista.com
But still we all know someone who didn’t survive and that makes it scary.
In fact, I talked with a patient just the other who said he is 4 months into his recovery and is still struggling with his energy levels. I hear this situation several times a day. The crazy thing is I hear about people who got sick and bounced back within a few days! So what gives?
This got me thinking about your health and what could be done to improve your chances of avoiding getting sick and or recovering faster.
So how do you try to protect yourself in the first place and then if you do get it make maximum recovery?
I have written a report that discusses how to build immune boosting habits. You can get it FREE by clicking HERE.
Of the patients I have seen, most report feeling run down and tired all of the time. They get extremely exhausted from a short trip to the grocery store, often having to go home and rest or take a nap.
Others are not sleeping well, don’t have a desire to do anything because it flat wears them out, so much so they don’t do anything and just sit in their recliner all day…which by the way only makes it worse.
Others are concerned that they will get sick again and feel that their immune system failed them, not wanting to go through the struggle again they resort to being a hermit and not living the life they truly want.
Having to resort to these extremes can make you grumpy, disturb your sleep causing you to feel run down and have a general sense of fatigue that you just can’t shake
In turn most of you want to play with your kids or grandkids, take walks when the weather is nice, play golf or return to work however you feel you are not able to do so.
The lungs, just like the muscles, need to be trained and when that doesn’t happen their function declines. Same thing happens when you get sick. Poor lung function leads to decreased oxygen exchange which explains why you are feeling sluggish and tired all of the time.
Not to mention it’s hard to breathe.
This creates a nasty downward spiral of not feeling well so you limit your activity. You tell yourself you will get active once you start to feel better. But the catch is that you won’t start to feel better if you don’t get active.
Before long several weeks and or months have passed and now your endurance and breathing has really gone downhill and you ask yourself how did this happen?
So how do you reverse this downward spiral and start to rebuild your endurance and living your life?
Everyone seems to be looking for the magic bullet!!!
A pill, super food, supplements or some device they can put on themselves at night and magically wake up the next day feeling better.
I am afraid I am the bearer of bad news. That ain’t gonna happen.
But what I will tell you is that thoughtful, consistent choices over time can add up to a huge change. I talk more about this HERE.
Others feel they are doomed and can not do anything to improve their situation. You might feel this way. I am here to say that you won’t know how good you can be until you really try.
One thing is for sure, is that your energy and breathing issues won’t go away on their own.
I have talked about this for years. I call it The 3 D’s. You can learn more about it HERE. Basically when you have a problem you can do 3 things about it.
- Ignore it and hope it goes away –almost never works and usually makes everything worse.
- Mask it – this usually involves taking some pills or using a brace to cover up a problem, not truly addressing the underlying cause
- Do something about it – address the issue head on, while it may be tough at first it will get better
So now for some actionable steps. If you have not grabbed my FREE Covid Report then I suggest you do it HERE.
Some of the best things you can do to improve your recovery are to pay attention to your diet, get in some progressive exercise (endurance and strength training) along with focused rest.
In a prior post I discussed the 14 Best Foods to combat inflammation and help those old creaky joints. Since they assist with reducing inflammation they can also help you recover from an injury or illness.
I have also discussed the top 10 “supplements” you can add to your diet to help with inflammation as well.
A short list includes fish oil, ginger, Vitamin D and Green tea.
Research has shown that progressive strengthening and endurance exercise can build lung capacity and function. Since Sars-Cov2 (Covid) is a respiratory virus, anything you can do to build lung capacity before or after will help you regain your endurance and stamina.
For those that are highly deconditioned it could be simply getting up and moving around. This is one of the easiest things to do. Simply take a walk. Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of activity a day. This does not have to be high intensity. You can even break this up into smaller chunks vs. 30 minutes at once.
Ex. Get out of your chair at every commercial break (if you are watching TV) and walk to the kitchen or some other room in your house and back. While this won’t make you a marathon runner it will force your body to work a little which in turn will make it stronger.
Keep a record of how often you are moving and then begin to make slow improvements on a daily basis.
The final component is not only adequate sleep but also deep restorative sleep. There are 4 distinct phases of sleep and each one has its own specific purpose. The key to feeling rested is getting enough sleep in the appropriate stages.
Deep and REM sleep are the 2 key stages for physical as well as mental rejuvenation respectively. If you would like to learn more about the 4 stages click HERE
If you struggle getting good restful sleep then you might want to check out these 3 simple tips I posted to help improve your sleep and recover from injury or illness.
In summary you should focus on addressing your problems and know that something can be done to help. Focusing on healthy eating, exercise and sleep are 3 ways you can work to build your immune system and healthy habits to help you recover from covid or be as strong as possible to fight off any type of illness or injury.
The ultimate question to ask yourself is what type of life are you going to live and what do you need to do to get there?
If you are recovering from an illness or injury and want to be the best version of yourself then building your immune system is a great place to start.
“A healthy man has thousands of wishes, a sick man has only one”. –Agnes Karll Schwest Krankenpfleger
Remember the KEY is to start so small that it is impossible to fail. -Kaizen
If you would like to learn how we are helping the Springtown community recover from COVID by incorporating these tips to help them improve their health, recuperate quicker and get their endurance back then give us a call at 817-220-MOSS (6677).
We love helping everyday people get back to doing the things they love to do.
At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process.
1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. We are taking extra measures to ensure that you remain safe during this pandemic.
2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term.
3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry.
So what do the most successful people do when they have health concerns? They address their problem.
I call it The 3 D’s Principle (™) for handling any problem in life: 1. Don’t Ignore it, 2. Don’t Mask It, 3. Do Something About It.
NEXT ACTION: If you are really serious about recovering from COVID start by calling 817-220-6677 today to schedule your FREE NO OBLIGATION Discovery Visit.
To your health,
Dr. Robert Moss PT, ScD, OCS, FAAOMPT