CrossFit PTC Fam,
Just a quick update. March 15 was probably not the best day for Ceasar, but at least he wasn’t worried about COVID-19.
Our goal is that our clients are healthy and achieving their goals! A little better today than yesterday.
First, we will remain open unless told to close by city, state or federal officials. We are committed to you.
Second, we want all of our clients to be able to train without fear. So, if you want to work out at home, we will provide an option for that. This also means if you are sick, have a sniffle, cough, or any other symptoms we are asking you to stay home. Even if you know in your heart it is allergies, others don’t know that and in today’s environment, they may not be comfortable being around someone showing any symptoms. Let me say that again if you have any sniffle, cough, or signs of cold please do not come to the gym. Work out using the remote / bodyweight option.
Third, clean, clean, clean. We will work to clean between every class, but we need you to help. We will ensure that you are stocked with disinfectant cleaner and clean rags. If you touch it, please clean it. In addition please use your phone to check-in to class and to enter your scores. The class coach will be disinfecting the keyboard, and we ask that only the coach touches it. Also, we are asking everyone to wash their hands before and after the wod.
Fourth, we love hugs, high fives, fist bumps and other forms of human contact. However, for the time being, we are going to ask that we all settle for elbow bumps. Please don’t share equipment, stations or mats without wiping them down between uses.
Finally, Ric will be hosting a FB Live CFPTC Town Hall meeting on Monday 3/16 at 8:30 in our CFPTC FaceBook group. If you aren’t a part of that group, now is a great time to join. We will have an open discussion addressing concerns and questions as we all attempt to navigate the COVID-19 daily impact.
Hey CrossFit PTC Fam,
Thanks to COVID-19 it seems that the world has gone crazy, but we want to share some great news with you.
First: You are already doing all that you can to prepare yourself for sickness. Strong, fit people that are eating a healthy whole-food-based diet are hard to kill and they bounce back quickly. You have already focused on sound nutrition and smart supplements. If I were the virus, I’d be more worried about you.
Second: Despite the outside craziness, by all appearances, locally we are well ahead of whatever comes. There are places overseas where folks are already overwhelmed.
Third: Spring is here and warmer weather will allow us all to get out a little more (when it stops raining).
Fourth: CrossFit PTC is a member of a strong group of gym owners worldwide, and we are learning and collaborating as a group so we can help you. (Special thanks to Mike Warkentin).
- We will remain open and doing a fun mix of functional fitness with friends.
- Please do not come to the gym if you feel sick or show any symptoms. Even if you have something else, in the current environment you may spook others.
- Listen to all the guidance being put out. Wash your hands for 20s, try to avoid touching your face, cough into your elbow, give others space, etc.
- We love high fives, hugs and handshakes…but for now, let’s stick with elbow bumps!
- Clean everything you touch, we will ensure that all of our disinfectants are mixed to ensure they have maximum effect.
- Wash your hands before and after the workout
- We are limiting some of the things that are harder to clean or people have expressed concerns about (rope climbs, assault bike)- They are available but we won’t be using them in regular group classes.
Long Term Plans
Due to the worldwide situation, there is a potential that gyms and other public spaces may be forced to shut down. We will adhere to all government regulations and requests.
Should we be forced to shut down, we will not stop coaching or running training sessions. We will use social media and internet tools to instruct workouts. We take pride in being a beacon of health and fitness and that is not going to go away. We will not go dark! We want you to keep working out, even if the government says we can’t do it here. We will also look for alternate venues (park, the track at Wisdom Road, outside, etc)
If forced to close we will continue to post workouts with detailed descriptions every day. We will create options using every day/common household items. We will use technology to connect and lead classes. We are up for the challenge.
Some things you can do:
- Go out and buy a kettlebell or a set of dumbbells. You can probably get something for $100 or less, Dick’s, Academy Sports, Play it again sports and even Wal-Mart are local stores that usually have them. You can also order them online. Select a weight that you would use in a longer wod. You can also swing a dumbbell like a kettlebell. Don’t worry, you can stay very fit with just one kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells.
- If you don’t have the $$ right now, then fill some jugs with water, or find a heavier object that you can lift with a handle or a strap.
- Make a space where you can do “CFPTC online”. Think about 8×8, garage is awesome. Make sure you will be able to do a burpee without killing the cat.
- Get back on FB for just the duration. It is likely that we will be using that platform.
- Send the cable guy or whoever provides your internet some flowers.
We are very hopeful that we will not have to close. If we are required to, we will obey the authorities.
We will not leave you high and dry. We will look for any and all ways that we can provide enthusiasm, community, programming, energy, and fun.
You are someone who works out no matter what. This is your happy place.
We are going to make sure that continues.
Today we are going to look at a couple of other supplements that may help maintain a healthy immune system.
First, to repeat. The basics of a healthy immune system include: Eating whole foods that are nutrient dense, drinking plenty of fluids, getting regular exercise, sleeping, and washing your hands.
Tuesday, I covered the things that have some good studies behind them in terms of vitamins and minerals (C,D, and Zinc). Today I want to cover a few things that don’t have as many studies, but still seem solid.
Whey, Umcka, and Elderberries
Whey– Ok this seems odd. Why do I suggest whey protein?
If you are reading this you are probably already taking the good advice to work out regularly. Regular exercise is kind of a two-edged sword. Exercise helps strengthen the body and sends all kinds of chemical and hormonal signals to the organs of the body which are immensely helpful in keeping the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and just about everything else in good running order. However, working out does stress the system and we want to create the best environment for growth and health, to do that we need to make sure we are getting adequate protein.
Whey protein contains all of the amino acids that your immune system requires. The biggest of which is L-glutamine. Glutamine is the most widely recognized immuno-nutrient and your immune system uses it as both fuel and as building blocks. Additionally, glutamine helps regulate the metabolism and processing of other key amino acids in your immune cells. Bottom line, if you are working out, you need to keep a good source of glutamine so that your muscles don’t steal it from your immune system. Whey is this source.
Whey also contains a host of powerful proteins and peptides that provide direct anti-microbial activity. Whey has proven immune-modulating effects that seem to be larger than the sum of their parts. What this means is that you should continue to have your post-workout protein drink and try to get in about 20-30g of whey protein per day (more if you are trying to gain muscle).
Umcka, Umckalobo, African Geranium, EPs 7630,Pelargonium sidoides
All of these terms are about the same thing. The extract from the African Geranium plant. These extracts are very effective for treating acute bronchitis and increasing the body’s natural healing rates. While this is not particularly helpful when dealing with something like a viral infection, many times the viral infection leads to a bacterial infection with that hanging on bronchitis. It also treats symptoms associated with bronchitis, including headache, fever, fatigue, cough, chest pain, nasal drip. EPS7630 is a patented extract and most of the studies used/recommend using the hydroalcoholic extract (water and ethanol). While this does not prevent a cold/flu/bronchitis, the suggestion is to start taking it immediately when you start seeing symptoms. Here is a link to the pubmed paper- Efficacy and safety of an extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) in adults with acute bronchitis. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
There are some studies (small ones) that suggest that elderberry syrup can shorten the life of colds and flu. There are also studies that show that elderberry extract possesses antimicrobial properties against various strains of strep. Inhibitory activity of a standardized elderberry liquid extract against clinically-relevant human respiratory bacterial pathogens and influenza A and B viruses. However, the elder plant itself can be poisonous, the leaves, flowers, bark, young buds, and roots contain a bitter alkaloid that under certain conditions can produce hydrocyanic acid. Poisoning from Elderberry Juice — California So, it is important to choose a quality product that is made from the berries, and not the rest of the plant. It is most likely that elderberry extract is helpful after the beginning of symptoms and not as a preventative.
CrossFit PTC Head Coach
As Nutrition Coaches we often get asked if there are supplements that can “keep me from getting the flu” or more recently COVID-19. This is the first of at least two posts on nutrition and cold/flu.
Well, the answer is complicated. First, we are not giving medical advice. If you think you may have the Flu, a bad cold or anything else get medical attention. Second, there are not a ton of solid studies, but there is pretty good evidence (both cohort studies, and real trials) as well as a plausible mechanism for some things. Also, most of the supplements help you AVOID getting something, and/or shorten the effects of an infection. (Note: I pull a lot of my info from different sources, I suggest Examine.com, Suppversity.com, PubMed, and the National Institute for Health (NIH)). Third, and probably just as important. There are a bizillion micronutrients and helpful chemical compounds in the food we eat that impact the way our bodies grow, perform and protect us. The best advice I have ever heard is ‘eat the rainbow’. Eat as many different types of colorful veggies and fruits that you can. Start there. Variety and diversity of nutrients.
That being said let’s talk some supplements with a pretty good history of studies.
The Big Three.
Three vitamins/minerals that we would recommend almost all of the time, even if you weren’t sick (and probably better to take before you are sick).
OK, so this is a pretty easy one. Vitamin C makes sense because vitamin C is intimately involved in the function of your immune cells and skin (among a bunch of other things). Unlike most other animals, our (Human) bodies can’t make Vitamin C so you need to consume it. The good news is that studies have shown that if you are actively exercising regularly (CrossFit anyone?) while also regularly taking vitamin C you are half as likely to catch a cold and if you do catch one it will likely be shorter and less severe. The bad news…if you aren’t exercising intensely, regularly and taking vitamin C before you catch a cold, it isn’t likely to help that much. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold.
How much 200mg-2000mg (and it almost always comes with Vit E)- depending on how much fruit and dark leafy greens you eat.
I could go on for a long time about Vitamin D as it is involved in everything from cognition to bone health, cancer prevention, etc. However the bottom line in this context is that Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of immune cells when they are dealing with infections as well as a whole lot of other functions. Unlike Vitamin C our bodies can produce Vitamin D from cholesterol when we are exposed to sunlight (specifically UVB). We just don’t get enough sunlight due to a large number of factors (latitude, sunscreen, inside…you get the idea).
Suggested Vitamin D supplementation, 1,000 -2,000 IUs of D3 (not D2). You should take this with food that contains fat as D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. We highly recommend you get your levels of Vitamin D checked regularly by your Doctor. (For reference 20-50 ng/ml is considered adequate…if you are older 35-40 ng/ml is considered optimal for bone health)
Sucking on zinc lozenges can limit virus replication and reduce respiratory tract inflammation. Studies have shown the ability to reduce the duration of a cold by 2-4 days. The important thing is that this is effective because it affects virus replication in the throat and nose. If you chew the lozenge, it loses its efficacy. Also, please know that the dose to reduce the duration of colds (75-95 mg/day) is above the safe upper limit (NIH). This is not usually a problem for the duration of a cold (2 weeks), however, if you start having additional stomach problems (nausea, cramps, diarrhea, headaches) stop supplementing with zinc. (Also watch other sources of zinc, it is in many multivitamins and other supplements…for example some of the fizzy Vitamin C drinks like Emergen-C contain zinc).
The next post will be on some other things that seem to have some pretty good support and you see a lot on the interwebs. (Elderberries and Umckaloab – African Geranium)
A common question we get asked is “How do I get my significant other involved in my health and wellness goals?” Believe me, I know exactly where they are coming from and hard it can be. I have one of those at home too! We are here to help you with getting more support at home, turning your significant other into an at-home accountability partner to help you achieve your long term goals. Here are some ideas of where to start!
- Communicate: Yes. You are going to have to talk to each other. Let’s be honest. Many of us have tried many different things to improve our nutrition and/or lose weight. Many of those things are quick fixes that yield short term results and then a return of old habits. Share with your significant other that you are taking an honest long term approach and fill them in on your short and long term goals. Tell them WHY you want to participate in a nutrition coaching program and where they fit into this plan. Then give them the details of your nutrition coaching program. Let them know that you have enlisted the help of an expert nutrition coach to help them stay on track and that this is different from other strategies previously employed.
- The Shared List: Your significant other may not be ready for changing their eating habits right away. Acknowledge that this is their choice and that is OK. But, with being aware of your goals, you can keep communication lines open and start to come up with a shared grocery list. What are foods they want, what are foods that you want, and a challenge- what are a few healthy foods on your meal plan that you both want?
- Find One Thing: Your significant other may not be ready to dive into meal prep. That’s ok. Share your CFPTC meal plan with them and challenge them to find just one recipe that sounds amazing. Pro-Tip: there are many to choose from! We suggest the Meatloaf Muffins! This recipe can also be made into 1-ounce size meatballs- great for meals as well as fun bite-size snacks.
- Give it time– Be consistent with making this chosen recipe along with a few others to make some easy meals for yourself and you may find that your significant other might start to eat more of your meal prepped items. While this may be frustrating at first, and you may need to do a little midweek prep if you run out of prepped items, this is actually a good thing! Your significant other is starting to incorporate more real foods in their diet, realizing that healthy food can also be more enjoyable and you are gaining an accountability partner.
- Be Persistent: Continue to share your successes and goals – As you start to get some results, share these with your significant other. Communicate how their support is helping to achieve those results and share what healthy habits you are working on to keep those results coming. And if your significant other wants to start their own nutrition journey, you know where to send them!
Andrea Bauer, Head Nutrition Coach
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important. They have many powerful health benefits for your body and brain. In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids.
Here are a few health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that are supported by science.
Omega-3s Can Fight Depression and Anxiety
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. Symptoms include sadness, lethargy and a general loss of interest in life. Anxiety, also a common disorder, is characterized by constant worry and nervousness. Interestingly, studies indicate that people who consume omega-3s regularly are less likely to be depressed. What’s more, when people with depression or anxiety start taking omega-3 supplements, studies show their symptoms improve. There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, EPA and DHA. Of the three, EPA appears to be the best at fighting depression. One study even found EPA as effective against depression as a common antidepressant drug
Omega-3s Can Improve Eye Health
DHA, a type of omega-3, is a major structural component of the retina of your eye.When you don’t get enough DHA, vision problems may arise. Interestingly, getting enough omega-3s is linked to a reduced risk of macular degeneration, one of the world’s leading causes of permanent eye damage and blindness.
Omega-3s Can Promote Brain Health During Pregnancy and Early Life
Omega-3s are crucial for brain growth and development in infants. DHA accounts for 40% of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in your brain and 60% in the retina of your eye. Therefore, it’s no surprise that infants fed a DHA-fortified formula have better eyesight than infants fed a formula without it. Getting enough omega-3s during pregnancy is associated with numerous benefits for your child, including:
Better communication and social skills
Fewer behavioral problems
Decreased risk of developmental delay
Decreased risk of ADHD, autism and cerebral palsy
Omega-3s Can Improve Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s leading causes of death. Decades ago, researchers observed that fish-eating communities had very low rates of these diseases. This was later linked to omega-3 consumption. Since then, omega-3 fatty acids have been tied to numerous benefits for heart health. These benefits address:
Triglycerides: Omega-3s can cause a major reduction in triglycerides, usually in the range of 15–30%.
Blood pressure: Omega-3s can reduce blood pressure levels in people with high blood pressure.
“Good” HDL cholesterol: Omega-3s can raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Blood clots: Omega-3s can keep blood platelets from clumping together. This helps prevent the formation of harmful blood clots.
Plaque: By keeping your arteries smooth and free from damage, omega-3s help prevent the plaque that can restrict and harden your arteries.
Inflammation: Omega-3s reduce the production of some substances released during your body’s inflammatory response.
Omega-3s Can Reduce Symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions. It includes central obesity — also known as belly fat — as well as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high triglycerides and low “good” HDL cholesterol levels. It is a major public health concern because it increases your risk of many other illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. Omega-3 fatty acids can improve insulin resistance, inflammation and heart disease risk factors in people with metabolic syndrome.
Omega-3s Can Fight Autoimmune Diseases
In autoimmune diseases, your immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign cells and starts attacking them. Type 1 diabetes is one prime example, in which your immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in your pancreas.
Omega-3s can combat some of these diseases and may be especially important during early life. Studies show that getting enough omega-3s during your first year of life is linked to a reduced risk of many autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Omega-3s also help treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis.
Omega-3s Can Improve Mental Disorders
Low omega-3 levels have been reported in people with psychiatric disorders. Studies suggest that omega-3 supplements can reduce the frequency of mood swings and relapses in people with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may also decrease violent behavior.
Omega-3s Can Fight Age-Related Mental Decline and Alzheimer’s Disease
A decline in brain function is one of the unavoidable consequences of aging. Several studies link higher omega-3 intake to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. One review of controlled studies suggests that omega-3 supplements may be beneficial at disease onset, when the symptoms of AD are very mild. Keep in mind that more research is needed on omega-3s and brain health.
Omega-3s May Help Prevent Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world, and omega-3 fatty acids have long been claimed to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Interestingly, studies show that people who consume the most omega-3s have up to a 55% lower risk of colon cancer. Additionally, omega-3 consumption is linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women in some studies.
Omega-3s May Improve Bone and Joint Health
Osteoporosis and arthritis are two common disorders that affect your skeletal system. Studies indicate that omega-3s can improve bone strength by boosting the amount of calcium in your bones, which should lead to a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Omega-3s may also treat arthritis. Patients taking omega-3 supplements have reported reduced joint pain and increased grip strength.
Omega-3 Fats Are Good For Your Skin
DHA is a structural component of your skin. It is responsible for the health of cell membranes, which make up a large part of your skin. A healthy cell membrane results in soft, moist, supple and wrinkle-free skin. EPA also benefits your skin in several ways, including:
Managing oil production and hydration of your skin.
Preventing hyperkeratinization of hair follicles, which appears as the little red bumps often seen on upper arms.
Reducing premature aging of your skin.
Reducing the risk of acne.
Omega-3s can also protect your skin from sun damage. EPA helps block the release of substances that eat away at the collagen in your skin after sun exposure.
The Bottom Line
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for optimal health. Getting them from whole foods — such as fatty fish two times per week — is the best way to ensure robust omega-3 intake. However, if you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, then you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement. For people deficient in omega-3, this is a cheap and highly effective way to improve health.
Head Nutrition Coach