Get Healthy, America!
In an effort to be optimistic amid a global crisis, I hope Covid-19 will make Americans healthier. The virus is particularly fatal to those with weak immune systems, this should be extremely alarming for Americans because we are overwhelmingly obese compared to the rest of the developed world. 30-40% of US adults are obese compared nations like Japan who report being under 4%. We need a wakeup call, if this doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. The hardest part with improving health through exercise is starting. Habits and routines are hard to break, but unworked muscle fiber isn’t. If you are too sore to workout the second, third, forth time, you just wasted your time.
No one asked, but here is my guide to starting a fitness transformation anyway
I am quite healthy. Partly thanks to genetics, I come from a family of athletes. Being an athlete has conditioned me to participate in healthy activities without even realizing it. I’m good at sports so I like to play sports. This helps tremendously. I’ve also been attempting to be better at sports my whole life. Even now as a 30+ Men’s league softball/pick-up basketball player, I don’t want to get tired because that effects performance. So, I run up hills almost every day.
If you have an interest in playing a sport, this is the best way to get in shape. Much more fun than running.
Eating habits also have a major role but I won’t get into diet, even though it may be a more important aspect of a health transformation.
If I woke up obese. This is what I would do.
Start here. Stretching will reduce soreness, increase muscle growth, and prevent injury. If you enjoy stretching you can even lose weight doing intense yoga routines. Building up to a decent workout is useless if you get hurt once you are able to increase intensity.
Walking a Mile
My favorite part of cardio is that it is free. Jog a block walk a block. Jog a song walk a song. Walk uphill jog downhill. There are so many ways to increase intensity over time, the most important part is getting out at least 3 times a week.
I used to look down on runners. I didn’t want to lose bulk and running was boring to me. It was punishment for athletes. A prophetic man once said, ‘I’m not trying to be the best at exercise.’ Things changed when my athletic career ended. Not being outside on a baseball field every day is something I tragically didn’t foresee or realize how much I enjoyed. After a few years my college athlete body started to fade, and I got back into the gym but realized I didn’t want to spend 5-10 hours inside excising every week. I started out running a specific hill in my neighborhood. Run up walk down, ten times. Mimicking weightlifting in a way. Now I mostly run on trails in the woods with a sharp elevation gain.
Take protein after workouts. This will speed up the recovery process. Protein reduces muscle damage, increases performance, and protein synthesis. Eating foods high in protein or taking protein powder will do.
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Pre-Work Out Powder
I hate to admit it, but I don’t work out very hard without taking a supplement. My intense runs turn to strolls in the park when I don’t take prework out. My favorite is from Steel Supplements. Their products are incredibly potent, I take about a ¼ scoop of powder before working out. This makes me feel like I’m not putting as much potentially harmful chemicals into my body and a $50 tub of lasts a long time. If you can exercise without taking pre-workout, I would highly recommend doing so but I’ve found my workouts to be less intense when not taking.
We are in strange times. I’m uncertain where we go from here. I don’t think we will go back to our ‘normal’ lives ever again after coronavirus. However, I hope we treat our bodies with more respect. We are fortunate to operate incredibly complicated vehicles that require proper care, a lot of Americans have been neglecting their personal vessels for too long. Many people have weak immune systems for reasons they cannot control, it’s time for everyone who are blessed with capable bodies to treat them with the care they deserve.