Workout Wednesday: How to better your overall health to help prevent diseases

Local News

BATON ROUGE, LA (BR-PROUD) – Boosting your immune system during this pandemic is especially important, and the YMCA is offering tips to improve your overall heath.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take a closer look at our health.

“Underlying health conditions were really brought to light through this whole coronavirus announcement. So it really made people reflect and go oh my gosh do I fall into that category. So it was very eye-opening for people to go wow, I’ve got heart disease, diabetes, obesity and I am, on paper, at a higher risk for contracting this disease,” said YMCA Personal Trainer Meredith Atterbery.

What can you do to protect yourself?

“It comes back to exercise and healthy eating,” Atterbery said.

Atterbery said improving your overall heath can help improve your chances of fight off coronavirus.

“Most doctors will agree that the better you are health-wise when you contract any disease or get any injury, your recovery time is going to be shorter and a lot easier to handle because you’re starting out at a higher threshold.”

Where do you start?

“A recent study found that exercising some sort of aerobic exercise five days a week will reduce your risk for respiratory disease by 40%. So anything that’s going to elevate your heart rate for 20 minutes. So a minimum of 20 minutes,” Atterbery said. “For some people that may be a leisure walk if you haven’t been doing a whole lot. The thing is to focus on increasing from there.”

But Atterbery added it will take some work.

“You didn’t just all of a sudden wake up with heart disease, that is something that develops throughout a lifetime. So slowly taking steps toward being more active and making healthier choices, that’s actually going to reduce your risk,” said Atterbery.

Keep in mind, the sooner you make those positive changes, the better.

“You hear people say tomorrow never comes because you wake up the next day and say OK I’ll do it tomorrow. Then you wake up the next day and say OK I’ll do it tomorrow, and all of a sudden it’s been 10 Years. So start now because it’s never too late.”

Atterbery said if you get your mind set right, the rest will follow.

“Get that positive outlook. Look at this huge pandemic and go you know what I’m a lot better off than I thought I was. I wanna get back to that place where I was when this whole thing started. And it may be that you go wow I do have heart disease and you know what it’s not too late. I’m still here, I’m still able to tell my story and there is still time for me to reverse this or slow down the progression and maintain the quality of life.”

For more information on the YMCA click here.

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