Focus on overall health while gyms are closed, fitness expert says

Ben Henry
Updated: May 10, 2020 06:53 PM
Created: May 10, 2020 01:50 PM

The vast majority of deadly COVID-19 cases in Minnesota have had a couple things in common: The patient was either living in a long-term care facility or the person had an underlying health condition. Now, more than ever, it's a great time to focus on strong metabolic health as we live through this global pandemic.


Life Time has been a pillar in Minnesota for people to strive for healthy lives. Even with its gyms closed across the state, its experts are offering advice to maintain healthy metabolic levels.

"It isn't always fun to exercise at home," Tom Nikkola, Vice President of Nutrition and Virtual Training for Life Time, said.

Nikkola added if we can develop healthy habits now when gyms open, it will be an easier adjustment. But there's more to it than exercise to avoid issues such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity-related cancers that leave people much more susceptible to COVID-19.

Here are things Life Time suggests people keep in mind:

  • Move often, but don't overdo the cardio.
  • Don't diet — focus on getting essential nutrients.
  • Eat high amounts of protein for each meal.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods and beverages.
  • Actively manage your stress and get good sleep.

"We don't see those as optional, we see them as almost non-negotiable," Nikkola added. "If we don't sabotage them (our bodies) by poor choices — diet, too much alcohol, not getting enough sleep — they are very resilient."

The Minnesota Department of Health also has a list of resources to help you and your family stay healthy.

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