Nutrition, Fitness and a Healthy Immune System

To begin this is not a attempt at undermining covid. I see a lot of talk trying to undermine covid and the precautions we should take concerning it. So wanted to get that out of the way up front. This is also not about blaming people. That’s the wrong paradigm and not the angle I’m coming from.

Most people agree that a healthy immune system helps you stand a better chance against sickness. A lifestyle where good nutrition and exercise is part of can help people deal with stress, anger, boredom, and unhappiness. It’s not a bandage for problems, but can be part of the solution.

Good nutrition is very important. We require energy for everything we do. Plenty of books cover why a healthy diet is essential. It’s tied directly to disease of affluence. What you eat , what you don’t eat, and how much you eat can be a difference to a long active life or a early grave.

Fitness is often confused for health. But they are not the same. You can be very fit, but very unhealthy. Look at the mortality rates of very athletic people like NFL players or steroid stuffed lifters with high blood pressure. Fitness is about strength, flexibility, speed, and endurance.

My question is for those who are into health and fitness and makes it part of their life what are the rule of thumbs and routines you follow. Do you feel worse if you don’t eat healthy or workout for a while? What are some of the things that helps keep you motivated to stay healthy.

I exercise daily (For the last year or so I’ve been using the free fitness app FitOn).
I cook almost everything from scratch with fresh foods (by necessity because of where we live).
I track calories and macros with MyFitnessPal.
I try to incorporate some time of relaxation/breathing/meditation/prayer into my day.

Personally my biggest motivation to watch what I eat and exercise is that I have some health issues that are exacerbated by weight gain. Also, I was told the only way I could put off another surgery on my spine was to keep a pretty intense regimen of core training and maintain a weight that is slightly below my body’s preference. This helps with some of the chronic nerve pain I have. Sometimes I am seriously annoyed by all the promises that if you eat healthy and workout, you will feel great, because I don’t. I am in pain (and usually hungry) all the time. But it is worse (nerve pain instead of joint and muscle pain) if I don’t do all the exercise and careful eating. Also, I think regular exercise does have noticeable mental health benefits and helps relieve stress and anxiety and keeps various hormones in balance.

One thing that kind of concerns me is that for women especially, the line between healthy vigilance and discipline and disordered eating/obsessive exercise can be a fine one. I sometimes struggle with the balance, especially when life is chaotic and stressful. Weight and diet is something that you can control when other things feel out of control so it’s easy to let maintaining “healthy” habits become an unhealthy fixation or way of avoiding other things.


Sorry to hear that you are in pain constantly. It definitely sucks. I broke my back and had to get spinal cushion and it sucks. I am doing way better with it than without but especially in winter I notice it. But it also helped teach me better posture. Bad posture will hurt me so I lift better and I’m always more certain of foot placement and how much counter leverage in working with. I take no pain pills because I see the damage and addictions that easily arise from it and so I try to manage it by moving smarter and relaxing as well. Hot showers and minor stretching is a daily must. I do t have nerve pain though. At least I don’t think so.

There are definitely concerning trends out there. Stuff that makes no sense like thigh gaps. I see it on the other end too. I see unhealthy bodies often being promoted as brave. But I figure that’s normal with everything. You have extremes on both sides trying to normalize it.

I think all the talk about health and fitness making you feel better is being compared to without it. Being hungry can definitely suck. Hunger is a confusing subject too. It’s hard to tell bored hungry from calorie deficit and so on. Even now I sometimes struggle with am I truly hungry or do I just want to eat while watching a show. The feeling of being stuffed is also sometimes confused for esting enough. I’ve read of people who only felt satisfied when they had that full “ pressure “ feeling and it was not tied to calories at all.

I use to count calories. I ended up movie going away from it and now mostly focus on making sure my macronutrients hit certain levels and even then I am gradually moving towards a no counting system and more of just generalized plate dividing systems and alternating days of using oil to cook with verses just water.

I do hope that you’re able to find a way to have more satisfying meals and not always feeling hungry. A friend told me once that sometimes that constant hunger feeling can be tied to dehydration or macros being off. That to little fat or protein is often the problem. I think read micronutrients being off can also make you feel hungry because your body is signaling to eat in hopes it will get the trace elements it needs. But I don’t know enough about it.

I’m not sure whether I’m “into” health and fitness, but I do try to make healthy choices most of the time. I do find, especially this year, that if I am not active on a daily basis, I feel more physical symptoms of anxiety, like bodily tension. So making time to exercise, especially during the winter, has become a priority for me. In the past I have followed routines, but then I would feel bad about not keeping up with them, so sometimes I find it’s best to just do whatever it takes to move, even if it’s not an official workout routine. Sometimes it means jogging in place, other times just dancing to music. I got one of those cheap, clip-on pedometers this summer which has helped with motivation, and whatever detriments it causes in the realm of fashion don’t matter much since we haven’t been out much. :wink:

We also have to cook a lot from scratch, partly because my husband has to avoid some common ingredients, but also because it’s usually cheaper. But I also don’t apologize for getting some Talenti gelato once in a while (the containers with the screw-on lids are really handy for use around the house, so I tell myself I’m really just doing it for my family :wink: ) The healthiest I’ve ever eaten was when I was pregnant with gestational diabetes and couldn’t have any sweets at all (except fruit, but in small portions). I don’t remember feeling any better though, probably because I was tired from pregnancy anyway.

Yes, and this is one thing that bothers me about how much “weight loss” rhetoric kids (especially girls) are exposed to all the time, not just through media but through the way adults talk about their own bodies. I’ve had times of over-strictness as well, so balance is so important.

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