About a month ago, when it became clear COVID-19 was a legitimate pandemic threat, a few of my colleagues posted a statistic on social media.
The stat read:
“Coronavirus has killed 10,000 people this year. Obesity has killed 300,000 people this year. You’re fighting the wrong enemy.”
It was a bold statement to make.
I didn’t make it personally, as it was a bit too in-your-face for me. I didn’t feel right equating a world wide pandemic to a lifestyle disease like obesity, so I steered clear.
And the colleagues I have who did post the statistic received a lot of backlash.
Which was again understandable. I felt like it was “too soon” to be suggesting a virus like this was “no big deal” and obesity was a “much bigger deal” like the memes were stating.
But something extremely interesting began to happen.
I noticed it.
Perhaps you noticed it, too.
Nearly everyone who was having serious complications had predisposed and underlying issues.
And the same with those who were passing away from COVID-19.
Underlying issues. Almost all of them.
And in article after article I kept seeing the same, main underlying issue whose symptoms had manifested in a variety of different ways.
And that underlying issue was in fact, obesity.
However, the underlying issue ITSELF was never classified as “obesity”.
It was classified as cardiovascular disease.
Or gout, or high blood pressure, or osteoarthritis, or gall bladder disease, or kidney dysfunction, or sleep apnea, or asthma.
It was never called “obesity”.
Because that wouldn’t be politically correct to say.
But (and here’s the controversial part you may not want to hear) when you looked at the pictures of the person who had been hospitalized or had passed, it was clear what the true issue was.
The true issue which caused the symptom was obvious.
Nearly every time.
And last week, an article came out which finally admitted this – “Obesity May Be Fueling The Coronavirus Pandemic“.
Among the excerpts:
“For example, respiratory function in patients with obesity can be compromised from asthma, restrictive lung disease or obstructive sleep apnea.
Cardiovascular disease is highly prevalent in patients with obesity and this may mean that those patients will have less physiologic reserve if cardiac complications of COVID-19 develop.”
That’s some scary stuff, no matter how you slice and dice it.
I’ve seen a few “camps” since COVID-madness began.
There’s the camp that has been treating the quarantines almost like a Spring Break.
Non-stop drinking, non-stop eating crap food, not getting any exercise, binge watching Netflix and complaining about everything on social media.
And there’s the camp who are using this as an experiment in self-discipline.
They’re doing what they can to block out the coronavirus “noise”, take care of their own “inner circle”, and look inward for ways to improve themselves as they now have more time on their hands.
And I’ll be honest with you.
I’m not too worried about myself, personally. I train hard regularly, eat well, and try to get 8 hours of sleep per night.
I don’t smoke and I drink in moderation.
I think I’ll be good if I contract COVID-19. Doesn’t mean I want to get it or anything. I’m practicing social distancing and being a good citizen.
But I still think I’d be fine if (or when) I come into contact with the strain.
I do worry about my own friends and family, though.
A lot, in fact.
I worry that if they come into contact with COVID-19, their bodies may not be able to handle it.
And sadly, in many cases, it’s due to their own choices and lifestyle they’ve decided to live.
One of my favorite quotes ever:
“You have 2 choices. Take the easy path and live a hard life. Or take the hard path and live an easy life.”
Everyone gets to “Choose Their Hard”.
Do you want your “hard” to be the workout you did today?
Or sticking to your diet?
Or do you want your “hard” to be complications from a worldwide pandemic?
Really makes you think, doesn’t it?
Perhaps the part about all of this that is truly troubling is the number of “YOLO” type posts and tweets I see on social media.
You know the ones.
The quotes stating “There are only 2 times of the day during a quarantine – Coffee Time and Wine Time!”
And “What day is it? I have no clue! I haven’t taken off my pajamas yet and I’ve been getting drunk non-stop!”
These posts really make me cringe.
But I get it.
We all need to blow off some steam, so when I read these comments, I cringe, but I’m hoping they’re simple jokes and not a true reflection of reality.
Sadly, I know that there are certainly a lot of people out there who have this as their current reality.
But there is some good news here: It’s not too late.
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus.
It takes about 6 weeks to get your lungs from baseline up to elite shape.
Seriously, it doesn’t take long at all. Perhaps you won’t reach your ultimate physique goal in 6 weeks, but 6 weeks is all it truly takes to make your lungs healthier than they’ve ever been before.
But your lungs don’t get healthy from sitting around thinking about it.
They get healthy from getting off your backside and doing something about it.
Action above all else.
If the year was 2010, and I was still the 300 pound, overweight teacher with asthma, acid reflux, and sleeping issues, I would be taking this Deadly Serious.
Because that’s exactly what this is for someone in that condition – Deadly Serious.
We seem to have a fair amount of time left.
A few months, most likely.
If you’re not a front line worker, and you have significant time at home to your own devices, use this as your wake up call.
It’s right there, right under your nose.
For perhaps the first time in your life, there is a present and immediate threat that has the potential to do serious damage to your well being if you’re not doing what you can to stay active and energized.
And it won’t just be good for you during the quarantine.
Deep down, you know it’s best for you period, no matter what the situation may entail.
Best, be safe, and be well,
PS – Our clients are doing incredible things during their quarantines.
We have beefed up our Bodyweight Routines, we’ve added Dumbbell Only and Kettlebell Routines, and we’re nailing our diets and making the most of our situations.
This thing isn’t going to end soon.
And your health is vital.
Doing nothing for the next 2 months is going to take a physical and mental toll on you.