I live in a suburb of New Orleans, which is a hot spot for COVID-19. In an interview with Dr. Gee from LSU Healthcare, and a town hall call with Rep. Steve Scalise this week, both experts stated diabetes is the main cause of spread in New Orleans and Louisiana. Dr. Gee went on to also say that it’s specifically type 2 diabetes from obesity in our population being the main culprit. Overall, Louisiana does not have a large percentage of elderly population, we are in the top three of obese states. The mainstream media does not discuss these details, and instead focuses on washing your hands and staying socially distant.
Obesity. It’s in the health news regularly and is the cause of many health risk factors like diabetes and heart disease. Obesity is a lifestyle dis-ease and treatable by moderating food intake and increasing physical activity. Unfortunately, obesity is so prevalent with more than 1/3 of Americans on their way to achieving it, not many are paying attention to its devastating effects on the spread of COVID-19. Type 2 diabetes is a result of obesity and people being overweight, fact. People with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to viral infections, such as Coronavirus, with weakened immune systems, than those in the normal weight categories who don’t have diabetes.
The fact of all new strains of viral infections is they will run their course regardless. Some like COVD-19, are more dangerous than others and require different precautions and treatments. To add more facts and controversy people do not want to acknowledge, your lifestyle is the main contributor to the infection and morality rate. How you deal with these times regarding your food intake and exercise has a massive effect on the duration and intensity of the virus. Being socially distant does not mean stop physical activity and lay around stuffing your face on the couch. Continuing regular exercise, physical activity, and eating in moderation, increases your chance of reducing spread and survival. No medications necessary.
I’m not saying to abandon your state and federal guidelines about COVID-19. You can help yourself, your family, and your community by remaining or starting healthier habits. Your immune system is strongest when you get at least six, preferably seven, hours of sleep each night, in addition to being active and watching what you eat. Sound familiar? Yes, these are CDC guidelines for 365 days a year. When you follow them, the curve can remain more a speed bump than spike for everyone. Not to mention heart disease and many forms of cancer can have reduced risks from a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, healthy lifestyle news and updates don’t make much national and local nightly news shows. Instead, they focus on high drama and worst-case scenarios to attract advertising and ratings. As humans, we prefer that to common sense in our tv watching. Here’s a suggestion, turn off the high drama, and get around the block with your family. Governors are encouraging their citizens to get outside, while remaining six feet from others, and exercising. Use your devices to find resources for workouts, and not just scrolling up through social media feeds. Yes, you can reduce this time of quarantine and get Americans back to work sooner. All it takes are minor changes to your day, since you have more time now to do them.
Right now, stand up, gather your family and pets if necessary, and head out the door. Don’t come back for 30 minutes or more. Tomorrow, do the same thing. Do it every day for the next 60 days, at that point it becomes a habit. Exercise and food moderation do not discriminate on gender, race, sex, creed, or religion, just like COVID-19. Make a difference for yourself today, in the end, your ultimately responsible for your health.