Since the start of the pandemic last year we have had a total of two Empower members test positive for COVID-19.  Of course, we do not want any of our members to test positive for COVID but these two cases have been reassuring to me.

Both cases were traced to contact outside the gym and in neither case did we see any transmission to other Empower community members which suggests that our COVID measures are working.  That is great news.  Let’s stay disciplined and keep adhering to the safety measures currently in place!

In fact, it is interesting to note that in any given year we have three to four waves of cold or flu that go through our community which sees many of us affected.  While we have had many members sick with non-COVID cold or flu symptoms over the past 12 months, unlike previous years, we have seen no transmission of these illnesses through our community which suggests that the measures currently in place are effective against the transmission of other illnesses too.

Another positive is that neither of the two members who did test positive had any significant symptoms of illness.   Both successfully battled the illness and were quickly back to action demonstrating that a strong, healthy immune system is a good defense against COVID.  Keep on exercising and eating right! 

Of course by now quite a number of our members are vaccinated and each week there are a few more vaccinated which is decreasing transmission risk in the gym.

After the brief cold spell COVID cases in BC were up last week but the data has certainly indicated that the virus is transmitted better in cold dry environments than in warm damp ones.  We just recently had our coldest (and mostly dry) week but we are back this week to more typical Vancouver warm and damp so we will hopefully see the transmission numbers drop again quickly.

Walking by two local gyms recently we saw through the windows of one that folks, though not in group classes, were exercising at high intensity with the doors and windows all shut.  The other gym we could not see what was going on inside because the closed doors and windows were completely fogged up by the heavy breathing happening inside.  It made me cringe to imagine working out in such an environment.  These are not models we want to emulate but the fact that these gyms are NOT reporting transmission events suggests to me that with our doors and windows wide open all day we are by far the safest place to train!

Meanwhile, for those of you still awaiting your vaccine, it is still important that you take charge of fortifying your immune system.  Another study recently indicated that vitamin D reduces COVID deaths by 60%.  If you are not yet taking a daily dose of vitamin D3, why the heck not?  It is cheap, safe and good for so much more than COVID survival. 

Of course your immune system relies on much more than just vitamin D.  Trace minerals like selenium are critical for immune function.  Deficiencies in any one trace mineral could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infection.  That’s why I started using HEAL as a hedge back in August 2019.  Given my sleep and training schedule, I put my body under a lot of stress and it’s hard to make sure I get every micronutrient every day but HEAL is a regulated meal replacement used in hospital settings to provide tube fed patients with 100% of the vitamins and minerals they need to live on.  Yes, I try to eat 3 Brazil nuts per day to get my recommended dose of selenium from real food.  But a couple scoops of HEAL makes sure I’m sufficiently dosed even if the Brazil nuts might not be enough given my work or stress load or in the event that I forget to eat them or we have run out and not had time yet to get to the store. 

Since I started taking HEAL in August 2019 I have not had so much as a sniffle!  Even that flu that went through our gym in October 2019 didn’t touch me, it was the first time I didn’t get sick during a 5 week CrossFit Open.  Even when my whole family got sick on our Cruise in January 2020, I remained healthy.  This is one of the reasons I’ve had little fear during the pandemic.  I’m very confident that I am taking all the protective measures to bolster my immune system.  Of course at the start of the pandemic, leaving nothing to chance, I added several other immune-supporting habits: I added in the Brazil nuts (selenium), a daily slice of Jarlsberg cheese (vitamin K2), vitamin D3 doses daily plus walking outside whenever the sun shines, better sleep practices including naps during my long work days, stress relievers like 15 minutes of leisure reading per day and stress-relieving hobbies like chopping wood.   

Fear is a call to action.  If you’re afraid of robberies, lock your door.  Afraid of car accidents?  Wear your seatbelt.  If you’re afraid of COVID, fortify your immune system.   Of course, when you take protective measures, you feel less afraid, you begin to feel empowered.  Action is always the antidote to fear.  What are you doing to arm your immune system against the enemy?

Monday WOD

Warm Up
Yoga Flow

WOD Movements

Tabata box jump, 16/20-in. box

Tabata L-sit

Tabata handstand hold

Tabata sit-up

Tabata lunge

Cool Down
Cobra Pose
Scap Rock

Scap Rotations