What a disaster the year 2020 has been for public health. Millions of people have sickened with Covid-19, and hundreds of thousands have died. But it has even been hard on those who haven’t caught the virus. Largely trapped in our homes and unable to be with friends and family, many of us have “fought” the virus by binge watching, stress eating, and drinking immoderately. And yet we know this is no way to live. The passing of the year 2020 is purely symbolic, but symbols can be useful. Let us take advantage of this one and resolve to prioritize wellness in 2021. Peak Recovery & Health Center may be able to help.
I have tried to come up with a good working definition of wellness. Wellness implies good health in both body and mind, but it’s not accidental. It requires deliberate effort. Wellness means making a choice to be healthy. That choice then informs the decisions you make in daily living. So I define wellness as the active pursuit of good health — both body and mind — through smart decisions in diet, activities, and lifestyle.
Most of us have a fairly good understanding of a healthy diet, probably based on the Food Pyramid. Your biggest source of calories should be fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, and whole grains. Protein can come from nuts, beans, fish, and chicken. Round out this diet with 1-2 servings of dairy per day. The Pyramid calls for sparing use of red meat, butter, refined grains, sugar, and alcohol. A diet based on the Food Pyramid can easily meet the nutritional needs of the average adult.
You may not be an average adult, however. If you don’t stand in the exact center of the population for age, gender, weight, height, activity level, and metabolic rate, then you may need to tailor the Food Pyramid. This is an area in which I think we may be able to help. Peak now offers a nutrition plan service. Our lab equipment measures your unique metabolism, cardiovascular and respiratory condition, cellular health, and fat burning zone. Then we provide you with a nutrition plan tailored to your unique metabolism. This plan accounts for your preferences and restrictions. It also provides smart alternatives and offers realistic options including the ability to easily work cheat meals in, change the contents of a meal with the click of a button, and track your results. See our web page for more details.
The World Health Organization advises 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity, or some combination. This is another one-size-fits-all recommendation, and you should probably consider it a minimum for wellness. If you want a true measure of your fitness, the best metric you can get is VO2 Max, which is your maximum oxygen consumption. It turns out to be the best single measure of fitness, so good that it can be used to calculate your “fitness age.”
Wearables routinely calculate VO2 Max (based on heart rate and movement), but it’s difficult to say how accurate they are. Peak Recovery & Health Service is now offering a direct measurement of VO2 Max. We can put you on an exercise machine, use a mask to capture your exhaled air, and analyze your breath to determine how effectively you’re consuming oxygen during exercise. You could compare this true figure with the number your wearable comes up with and calibrate the wearable. See this page for details on VO2 Max measurement.
Prioritize Wellness in 2021
If you have diet and exercise dialed in, the balance of a healthy lifestyle lies in managing your stress. A certain amount of stress is actually good for you, but too much unremitting stress can undermine your immune system and even shorten your life. Peak happens to be very good at helping you manage the sources of stress in your life. Whether you want to relax and sweat in our infrared sauna, use cryotherapy to give yourself a rush of endorphins, raise your energy level with photobiomodulation, turn the world off for a time with our float therapy, or treat yourself to the tension relief of a skilled massage… you can find stress relief here.
Photo: “Chiropractor” by Ryan Weisgerber. CC 2.0 License.