Who heals the healers?

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CLAY COUNTY – Recently we attended a health fair at one of the local hospitals. You know the kind, where businesses set up tables and workers can walk through during downtime and talk to local business owners. You may have attended a similar event at your workplace and walked away with swag that ends up going into the trash eventually. Being a health studio that focuses on the fitness and nutrition of the community we brought our scale.

Not just a scale but a monitor that will read your body fat, body weight, and muscle composition.

We were giving free scans to nurses and doctors, or anyone who happened to walk by and want one. As we talked to so many health care professionals something occurred to me. Many of them were struggling with health issues themselves. Some had weight issues, some had high blood pressure, some had not had a good night’s sleep in years. It made me wonder, “who heals the healers,” the ones who heal us when we are sick or hurt?

This problem is staring us right in the face like some kind of unfunny joke. I am sure you have heard similar jokes about other professions. The mechanic who is too busy fixing cars and lets his rot away. The contractor builds dream homes for other people while he is neglected because he works so much. Doctors who preach to you about health and keeping yourself from getting sick who are overweight and sick themselves. It reads like a twisted version of some archetypical character.

During the most dangerous time of the COVID-19 pandemic, these healthcare professionals were our hero’s and became the frontline infantry against this invisible terror. They toiled themselves tirelessly to help so many people. They watched as people got sick, people died, and just continued to work hard and long hours so we could remain safe. Now that things are getting back to normal, I fear the lessons we should be learning from this virus are not sinking in.

Our countries health problems were brought to the forefront. A study by the CDC shows that increased risk of hospitalization, ICU admission, invasive mechanical ventilation and death are higher with increased BMI. A study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found having vitamin D levels higher than traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of COVID-19 infection.

So how do we help these essential workers who are working long hours and being indoors most of the day? This is where the fitness professional comes in. It is up to our industry to care for the health of those who care for others. Any doctor or nurse will tell you that exercise and good nutrition will keep you healthy and out of the doctor’s office. Yet so many health care workers are out of shape…and they know it. They need a plan and although not all of them can get to a gym there are some things they and you can do.

Exercise three or four days a week, even if that means going on a walk. Start tracking your calorie intake using an app on your phone. Apps like MyFitness Pal are easy to use and great for doing the math for you. You can also pack healthy snacks so that in the event you only have a few minutes to eat they are within reach. In closing, I would say that it is our responsibility as a community to help those who help us. If you know a healthcare worker, ask them how they are doing. Get a walk or a workout in with them. One day that person may be the one who saves your life.

William Davis has been in the fitness industry for 10 years and he’s run Steel Mill Fleming Island for seven years. He’s also a USA weightlifting sports performance and USA powerlifting club coach, a CrossFit Level 2 trainer, PN nutrition coach, CrossFit powerlifting trainer, aerobic capacity trainer, movement and mobility trainer and rowing trainer.

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