While there’s still no foolproof cure for Covid, the good news is research shows that if you’re a healthy person under the age of sixty, your chances of being hospitalized or killed by the disease are extremely low.
Many people can rightly dismiss Covid as “just another respiratory virus.” However, what if they have an underlying health condition like diabetes, heart disease, or chronic bronchitis?
Or, what if they’re healthy but want to make themselves as Covid-resistant as they possibly can? What can and should they do?
Scientists have collected and analyzed a huge amount of data on Covid and have a good understanding of the major lifestyle factors that increase and decrease the risk of catching a bad case of the latest variant.
In this podcast, I’m going to cover the top 9 tips to naturally reduce your risk of Covid.
0:00 – New Recharge flavor Grape is out now! Try Recharge risk-free today! Go to buylegion.com/recharge and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points
4:37 – Maintain a healthy weight
6:25 – Exercise 30 min a day
9:06 – Get enough sleep
11:11 – Drink less alcohol
13:08 – Reduce stress
17:41 – Quit smoking
18:05 – Eat well
20:49 – Spend time outdoors
22:48 – Take the right supplements
Mentioned on the Show:
New Recharge flavor Grape is out now! Try Recharge risk-free today! Go to buylegion.com/recharge and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points
Take the Legion Diet Quiz to get specific advice about how many calories, how much of each macronutrient, and which foods you should eat to lose weight quickly: www.buylegion.com/dietquiz
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Well, after two years now and billions of dollars of research and development, there still is no foolproof cure for Covid. Fortunately, research shows that if you are a healthy person under the age of 60, your chances of being stricken, hospitalized, or killed by the disease are extremely. Low, specifically data from the CDC show that about 0.013% of 30 year olds who catch covid have died with the disease and not necessarily from the disease key point.
Whereas this number rises to just 0.214% for 60 year olds, and 2.836% for people aged 85. And over to put those numbers differently. If 1,000,030 year olds catch covid, only 130 of them will die with the disease again, not necessarily from it. Whereas nearly 29,000 out of 1,000,085 year olds would die.
Other research from the C D. C shows that 95% of people who have died with it also had another serious medical conditions such as heart disease, the flu, or cancer. And on average, people who died with Covid had four additional. Comorbidities and so many people can rightly dismiss Covid as just another respiratory virus.
That is all it is for many people. But what about the people who do have an underlying health condition like diabetes or heart disease or chronic bronchitis, or what if someone’s healthy but they just wanna make themselves as coof proof as they possibly can be? What should those people do? Well by now, scientists have collected and analyzed a terrific amount of data on Covid, and they have a good understanding of the key lifestyle factors that increase and decrease the risk of catching a bad case of the latest scar end.
And in this podcast, you are going to learn. The top nine before we get to it. Your ability to gain muscle and gain strength is greatly impacted by how well your body can recover from your training and how strong you get in your training. And that’s why it’s not enough to just hammer away. At the weights every week.
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Use the coupon code muscle and save 20% or get 10% cash back in reward points. Try recharge, risk free and see what you think. So the first is to maintain a healthy body weight because study after study after study has shown that being overweight or obese markedly increases your risk of severe illness from covid.
For example, in one study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford, researchers parsed the medical records of nearly 7 million people, and they found that those with a bmi, a body mass index of 23 or below had the lowest. Risk of admission to a hospital or intensive care or dying. The researchers also found that the risk of becoming seriously ill with covid increased in lockstep with B M I, specifically, someone with A B M I of 25 had a 10% higher risk of hospitalization and a 20% higher risk of landing up in the I C U than someone with A B M I of 23.
And those numbers shot up to 35 and 70% respectively for someone with A B M I of 30. Now, B M I is an imperfect barometer because lean, muscular people register inappropriately high. My B M I, for example, is about 25, and I have probably about 40 to 45 pounds more muscle than the average guy, and I have quite a bit less body fat.
But the point still stands if you are overweight, one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of being pasted by covid is to trim down. And if you’d like some help with that, head over to buy legion.com/diet quiz, b u i legion.com/diet quiz and take that 62nd quiz and it will help you understand what diet is going to work best for you, how many calories to eat, what your macros should be, what types of foods you should be eating, and more.
All right. Number two on my list is exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Now it’s common knowledge that exercise boosts immune function. It reduces your risk of a long list of non-infectious diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And in fact, studies show that strength training in particular is more effective at boosting your body’s natural defenses.
Than supplementing with vitamin D, for example, which is also prudent, but which is often held up as a powerful immune booster while strength training is even better. But what you might not know is that exercise also significantly reduces the risk of contagious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria like.
Covid. For example, in one study conducted by the scientists at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, researchers found that people who were consistently inactive, people who did zero to 10 minutes of exercise per week, had a threefold increased risk of hospitalization with covid versus people who consistently exercised at least 150 minutes per week.
And that’s just about 20 minutes per day, by the way. And those people who were sedentary had nearly a. Fivefold increased risk of dying with covid. Now, what happens if you exercise more than 150 minutes per week, more than just 20 minutes per day, which is really a bare minimum for maintaining health and wellbeing?
Well, while there’s no data on how much each additional minute of exercise beyond that threshold will increase your immune defenses, it’s likely that the more you exercise up to a pretty high point. The lower your risk of succumbing to covid. For example, the latest activity guidelines from the WHO recommended, people aged 18 to 64 get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity, plus at least two strength training sessions.
Per week. And again, that is considered a minimum amount of exercise and strength training to stave off disease, not necessarily an ideal dose for optimizing your health and mood and vitality and physical performance and body composition and the rest of it. Now if you’d like to exercise more and if you’d like to do strength training, but you’re just not sure where to start, if you are a guy or gal over the age of 40, check out my book and the programs in it.
Muscle For Life. If you are a guy under 40, check out bigger, leaner, stronger. If you are a gal under 40, check out. Thinner, leaner, stronger. All right, next up we have get enough sleep because chronic sleep deprivation is devastating to our health and wellbeing. So it’s really no surprise that studies routinely show that people who sleep more are at a lower risk of ill health from immune related disease like covid.
Than people who sleep less. And although the optimal amount of sleep is largely determined by our genetics, it does vary from person to person. A good rule of thumb is most of us need to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Now, if you are finding it, Difficult to do that because dropping off in the evening is easier said than done.
Here are a few tips for improving your sleep hygiene. One is to avoid coffee, nicotine, alcohol, and other stimulants for at least four to six hours before you go to bed. And for someone like me, it needs to be more like eight plus hours because as I’ve gotten older, I’m a little bit more sensitive to caffeine.
I don’t do nicotine or alcohol, but I do espresso. The next tip is to make your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark. Then there is don’t eat or drink too much before bed because a large meal can disrupt sleep. Then we have create a relaxing pre-bed routine that might include things like reading, stretching, listening to calming music, or bathing.
Now, if you can’t sleep, Get out of bed and go do something quiet, like one of those relaxing activities until you feel sleepy, until you feel the urge to fall asleep. Then once you are ready to go to sleep, go back into bed. Don’t just toss and turn in bed. Going to bed at the same time every night has been shown to help as well.
With getting sleepy, being able to fall asleep, being able to stay asleep and last is only use your bedroom for sleep. And sex. Don’t put a TV in your bedroom. Don’t put a computer in your bedroom. Those two activities are the only things that should be happening in the bedroom. And research shows that if you do that, your sleep can improve.
Okay. Getting back to the natural lifestyle related ways to reduce your risk of covid, we have drink less alcohol. Now one study conducted by scientists at Shenzhen Mental Health Center made headlines recently when it suggested that consuming red and white wine and champagne reduces your risk of dying from covid while consuming beer, cider and spirits increases your risk.
Winos rejoiced. But what the scientists and the media outlets, really it’s more on the media than than the researchers. What they failed to mention was that any link between wine drinking and reduced risk from Covid was correlation, not causation. Which by the way, is almost always the case when you see these paradoxical headlines, these paradoxical purported outcomes.
And so what I’m saying here is the researchers noticed that people who drank. Red and white wine and champagne tended to have a lower risk of dying from covid. But that doesn’t mean the plunk deserves the credit because in reality, research shows that heavy drinking inhibits immune function of any kind, heavy drinking of any kind, whereas moderate drinking is not likely to help or hurt immune function.
And that’s particularly apropo to Covid because. The lockdowns have caused many people to drink a lot more alcohol than they normally would to cope with the fear and the loneliness and depression. And those who increased their drinking the most have tended to experience rougher covid symptoms. So if you drink.
Moderately giving up alcohol entirely is unlikely to make, uh, a significant difference in your risk of getting really sick with Covid. But if you teeter between moderate and excessive alcohol intake, or if you are an unabashed boozer, then cutting back will reduce your chances of getting shellacked by the cove.
All right, number five on my list here is to. Chill out because studies show that stress and indeed loneliness can suppress immune function and make you more susceptible to infection and illness. And the best way to counteract stress is just to find ways to relax. And if you want a few evidence-based strategies to help you quiet the noise and cool your jets, here they are.
One is to change your perspective on stress because research shows that our perception of stress as harmful can really give it. Teeth. That is, it’s possible that getting overly stressed about stress overly worked up. You know, really working ourselves up into a lather is what makes it particularly harmful.
And studies show that we can consciously reappraise stressful situations. We can choose to look at them differently and thereby deprive them of a lot of their destructive. Power, and so a frustrating situation doesn’t have to be an excuse to rip your hair out instead, for example, you might want to view it as an opportunity to exercise a virtue, like maybe patience or tolerance.
Or maybe you could look at it. As an opportunity to learn what doesn’t work or learn that you’re actually a bit tougher than you thought. Another reliable stress buster for many people is classical music. Next time you’re stressed, put on some slow, quiet classical music, and before long you will be nestled in.
Its soothing, embrace. And for what it’s worth, Beethoven is my favorite. There’s something about. His music. That really resonates with me. But maybe Mozart is more your thing and he’ll be able to do more than just chill you out too. Because studies show that classical music can sharpen your mind, it can engage your emotions.
It can lower blood pressure, it can lessen physical pain. It can. Reduce depression, it can help you sleep better. It is a powerful form of music. Next on the list here is to consume less media, because research shows that exposing yourself to a constant barrage of bad news and fear mongering and morbid reminders of your mortality increases stress levels.
You don’t say. And while the media has always specialized in spotlighting tragedy and turmoil, right, if it bleeds, it leads, this bias has reached gargantuan proportions. For instance, economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 87% of news coverage. On Covid has been negative, whereas only 54% of news coverage was negative in most other countries, and 65% in scientific journals.
So basically what most US news outlets have been doing is embellishing the bad news. Oh, cases are rising, burying the good news. Uh, deaths and hospitalizations are falling to give the gloomiest picture. Possible. Now, if you don’t want to swear off media altogether because you want to at least stay informed about the state of things, try limiting yourself to just one, maybe 15 to 20 minute bout of news browsing per day.
Another effective way to bring stress levels down is to just spend less time with tech, because studies show that the more people use and feel. Tied to their computers and their cell phones and their tablets, the more stressed they feel. In fact, overuse of technology has even been linked with various symptoms of poor mental health like depression, and scientists aren’t certain as to what is causing that, but the relationship is unmistakable the more time.
We spend with our devices, the worse our mental state becomes. Lastly, if you’re gonna spend less time with tech, why not spend more time with people? Because spending time with people, especially your nearest and dearest, is one of the best ways to bring stress down to extinguish anxiety. So make seeing people in the flesh a priority.
Even if it’s a hassle, because that is going to be more effective than just talking on the phone or talking on Zoom, which is still worth making time for if you can’t get together in person. Okay. The next lifestyle tip I have is a bit of a counsel of perfection because many people try to do this and fail at it, but there are many people who try and succeed as well.
So I’m gonna share it with you. And that is quit smoking and this one. Is unsurprising given the carnage that smoking causes on your respiratory health and immune function, and several studies have found a consistent and positive association between smoking and the risk of covid related death. Now, the good news is it doesn’t take long for your cardiovascular health and your respiratory function to begin to improve once you quit smoking.
Okay, number seven on the list here is eating well. Eating a healthy diet. When your body gets infected by a virus such as SARS COV two, your immune system creates a cascade of proteins, immune cells, and molecules, such as lipid derived mediators that rush to fight the infection and to organize this molecular assault, your body uses the nutrients that are supplied by the food that you eat.
Those are the raw materials, and multiple studies show that the fewer vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you eat, the fewer. Of those building blocks there are to mount a robust immune response to something like SARS Cov two, and thus, the more likely you are to become severely ill with it. Therefore, an easy way to shore up your body’s defenses is to eat well, to eat the right number of calories and enough protein, carbohydrate, and fat to maintain a healthy body composition, to eat enough vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other.
Phytonutrients to function well without the need for supplementation. And finally, to drink enough water to make sure you stay hydrated. And while there are no hard and fast rules about how much of each food or food group you should eat or not eat, a healthy diet also includes an abundance of whole, nutritious and relatively unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, dairy, pulses, nuts, seeds, legumes, and.
Spoils and a good rule of thumb for how much you should be eating of all of that stuff is to go for at least two to three servings of fruit per day with a serving being about a fistful and three to five servings of vegetables per day. Same serving size with. Some whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds based on your preferences and your calorie needs.
I like to get in one serving of whole grains per day in addition to the fruits and vegetables, for example. And for me, that is oatmeal. And it’s actually not in my meal plan right now because I’m cutting for a few weeks. And so I just took the oatmeal out to bring my calories down. But normally, I do a cup of dry oatmeal and then I cook it, of course, but I, I measure it dry and then I throw in a small handful of walnuts and I cut up a banana or cut up some strawberries or throw in some blueberries.
And I cook all of that together in water. And then lastly, after it’s done, I mix in a scoop of protein. These days I use my own, of course I use Legion, but I use the salted caramel Whe, and. It’s so good with banana in particular. You do the oatmeal, you do the nuts, you do a banana, and you do the salted caramel whey protein.
Delicious. Okay, step number eight for reducing your risk of covid is spending time outdoors Now, just a few years ago, vitamin D was just known as the bone vitamin, and even today many. Physicians still believe it’s mostly just for bone health, and while that is true, it is good for bone health. Having insufficient vitamin D levels also increases your risk of many types of disease, including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type one diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and.
Covid. For example, in one study conducted by scientists at Galilee Medical Center, researchers found that people with a vitamin D deficiency were 14 times more likely to become severely ill with covid than people who had adequate levels of vitamin D. Now, there is some controversy over these findings and how this study was conducted, but other research shows that if your vitamin D levels are too low, your immune system.
Is affected negatively, and your risk of getting seriously sick with Covid does go up. It might not go up as much as the Galilee study would have you believe, but Covid will have an easier time infecting you and ripping through your body. Now, aside from supplementing with vitamin D, which I’ll talk about in a few minutes, one of the best ways to keep your Vitamin D levels topped off is to spend time outdoors in the sun.
And a good place to start is spending 30 minutes per day outside. Research shows that that’s enough to produce some extra vitamin D at least enough to lower your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and poor mental health. That said, if you live in cold northerly climbs, or you are just bundled up against the cold because it’s still winter and that means you’re of course shielded against the sun, then supplementation is the answer.
And a good place to start for most people is 2000 IU per day. Now, that brings me to the ninth and final tip that I have, which is to take the right supplements. And I saved this for last because unfortunately, no pill, powder, or potion or injection will bulletproof you against Covid. But there are a few supplements that appear to lessen the severity of the disease for some people.
The first one is omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that fish oil, which is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, reduces systemic inflammation and thus may help minimize the likelihood of ill health and death from covid. And if you want a high potency molecularly distilled fish oil with added vitamin D, you can check out mine.
It’s cold. Triton, you can find it at bi legion.com/triton. Next on the list of supplements is a Trio, vitamins, CD, and Selenium. Because studies show that maintaining high levels of these vitamins and mineral, it lowers your risk of becoming severely ill with Covid. And if you want a multivitamin that contains clinically effective doses of all of them, c, e, D, and Selenium, as well as 28 other ingredients that are designed to enhance your health and mood and.
Reduce stress, fatigue and anxiety. Check out mine. It is called Triumph. You can learn about it at bi legion.com/triumph. Next on the list is El Citraline, because research shows that El Citraline increases the production of a gas. Known as nitric oxide that widens blood vessels and improves blood flow.
And while the research on El Citraline potential impacts with covid is very much in its infancy, early signs are that it can help lessen the severity of certain symptoms like breathlessness and chest pain. Now you can buy El Citraline as a standalone supplement. You can also find it in many pre-workouts.
My pre-workout pulse has a clinically effective dose, the the top end of the clinically effective range, eight grams, which is a lot. That’s a good dose. And next we have Quercetin, which is a natural pigment found in fruits and vegetables that acts as an anti-inflammatory antioxidant and analgesic in the body.
And some studies suggest that quercetin may slow the spread of SARS COV two in the body by preventing it from infecting new cells, which then can decrease symptom severity and length of infection. And if you want to pick some up, You can get it from Now. Foods, that’s a brand that I like for individual ingredients or jro.
That’s another brand that I like because both are relatively inexpensive. They are large companies that don’t have an incentive to cut corners and their products consistently test out. You can trust that you are getting what you are buying. Next is zinc because of its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties.
Several studies have shown that zinc might provide an additional shield against infection with and illness from covid. Next, we have melatonin because research shows that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of melatonin might reduce the severity of covid symptoms when it is used as an early treatment.
Then we have Nigel Sativa, which is also referred to as Black Human Seed because research shows that it might make recovery from covid quicker in people with mild infections, and you can buy it as a standalone ingredient. You can also find it in my multivitamin triumph for at least in the male version of the multivitamin, in the female version, I.
Pulled out Nigel Sativa to add in a couple of female specific ingredients like MAA extract and chased berry extract. And the last supplement on my list is not one that you swallow. It is antiviral mouthwash because studies show that rinsing your mouth with antiviral mouth. Washes containing Chlorhexidine povidone iodine or cyl Pyridium chloride may reduce the SARS COV two viral load in your saliva, which then may reduce your risk of spreading the virus and speed up your recovery time.
Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share. Shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.