2021 was a very eventful year in the realm of public health. Still, the current state of affairs shows great promise for the future, and we continue to focus on providing you with the best tools for achieving and maintaining physical and mental wellness.
Although we faced many challenges and threats to public health, the situation drove a radical shift in perspective, resulting in a health and fitness revolution led by an empowered population looking to take control of their own future.
As new coronavirus variants emerge, healthcare authorities are promoting the idea of continual boosters to combat infection and death rates. Although the scientific community awaits the future of specified vaccines, similar to flu season, we have new strategies for fighting infection and keeping symptoms under control. There has been exciting news regarding the Merck and Pfizer antiviral drugs. Currently generating buzz in Canada, Pfizer’s “Paxlovid” is a combination of antivirals (ritonavir and molnupiravir) that work to bind and inhibit an enzyme (3CL-like protease) involved in the replication of the virus – generating an 89% efficacy rate in patients with severe symptoms (1,2). Although this continues to be a problem we face daily, we are much better prepared to deal with the virus and its variants than we were at the beginning of 2021.
We continue to approach the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic with patient safety and care as our top priorities. While we remain vigilant about preventing the spread of infection at our clinics, we must emphasize the importance of staying informed about the most recent guidelines set out by Health Canada. Of course, preventing infection altogether is the best course of action, but taking steps to bolster our health and immunity puts us in the best position to overcome any challenges that infringe on our health and wellness.
New years is a time that is often accompanied by ambitions and resolutions to improve ourselves. We always strive to help our members achieve their health-related goals and persistently work towards self-improvement. This is a great time to find motivation, make positive changes to our lifestyles, and improve our overall well-being. It can be beneficial to push ourselves closer to our limits and out of our comfort zones when it comes to growth and improvement. Growth is not always an easy thing to achieve and takes hard work. With this in mind, we must also consider the importance of setting achievable and sustainable resolutions that can be maintained and adapted as a part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Setting unattainable goals can be demotivating and detrimental to our chances of success. The tried and true approach is to find the healthy line where we push our limits while maintaining goals that are within our reach. A powerful way of assessing a new technique or tool is to take time out of the day to check in with your body and see how it is feeling. Whether full of energy or exhausted, both serve as valuable feedback. Building the ability to sense our internal state (interoception) can help us stay in tune with our physiology and understand how we respond to change. In the end, it’s important to realize that balance is vital, and the best way to achieve this is to pay attention to your body (3).
While 2021 was a challenging year for public health, our focus is to make 2022 the year of growth and development for Preventous members. We want to show you that the power to improve your well-being is already within you. Everybody knows that the start of every new year is often accompanied by the rise of new trendy diets and “health hacks” to get into shape. While diet and exercise are some of the best things to adjust to improve your quality of life, it’s important to remember that not every diet or exercise plan will work for everybody. Short-term diets and exercise plans may help you achieve your goals quickly, but these are often followed by a relapse period where many people will regain weight. Striving to maintain an ambitious exercise plan can also be healthy, but overexertion can lead to injury and burnout, setting us back even further in our fitness goals. Change is never easy, but making small objectives that are easier to meet can make our goals feel more attainable. Minor lifestyle changes can still have major positive impacts on our health, which can add up over time to improve our mental and physical well-being. For example, simple behaviours like limiting bright light exposure and stimulating activities before bed or starting a regular meditation practice can greatly influence sleep quality. Jumping into a strict diet may be difficult at first, but we can start small by reducing our consumption of processed foods. Shifting from a sedentary lifestyle to a 5 day per week exercise routine could seem nearly impossible, but maybe starting with incorporating some mobility sessions and easy cardio can help you ease into the activity. Changes are not made for life, and we should continually be revisiting and adjusting our goals to help us continue to progress.
In the age of information in which we live, there are a vast number of new tools and behaviours developed for improving our lifestyles every day. Therefore, it can be extremely valuable to have a way to monitor whether a lifestyle or behavioural adjustment is working for you. With new health-tracking technology for things like sleep and glucose monitoring, we can use your personal data to figure out which lifestyle habits work best for you. Preventous hopes to make this a reality soon with the upcoming launch of our new precision medicine program – a personalized healthcare program to optimize you for today and years to come. Subscribe to the precision medicine newsletter to stay updated!
Dr. Rohan Bissoondath,