CDC Issues New Guidance For Fully Vaccinated Adults

On March 9, the CDC issued new guidelines for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “Fully vaccinated” is defined as people who have received and are at least two weeks out from both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Fully vaccinated people can now gather with each other indoors without masks or six-feet of physical distancing. They can visit unvaccinated people from a single household if everyone in that household is at low risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.

And perhaps even better news, fully vaccinated people with no COVID symptoms no longer have to quarantine or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

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COVID Effects On The Athlete’s Heart

Since early in the pandemic, COVID-19 has been associated with heart problems, including reduced ability to pump blood and abnormal heart rhythms. But it’s been an open question whether these problems are caused by the virus infecting the heart, or an inflammatory response to viral infection elsewhere in the body. Such details have implications for understanding how best to treat coronavirus infections that affect the heart.

In a recent scientific publication, a collaboration between medical and athletic training staffs from 6 major U.S. professional sports leagues showed that the rate of return to sports participation after COVID-19 infection is very high.

The rate of return to sports for collegiate and high school athletes is also believed to be high, with very low risk for heart damage. However, the issue has not been well studied in the younger age groups, and caution is still needed.

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What’s The Best Time To Exercise?

I’ve been concerned about underactivity amongst all age groups during Covid-19restrictions and have written about this. Today, let’s look at a related question: is there a best time of day to exercise?

The short answer is: whenever you can.

The more nuanced answer is: probably between 3pm and 6pm, if you’re an adult looking for fat loss and metabolic control.

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Please Get Up And Move

I’ve written previously about inactivity and underuse in teenagers during Covid restrictions, and additional evidence is emerging that inactivity has increased amongst all age groups.

That’s not particularly surprising given the rise in virtual learning, work-from-home, and stay-at-home health mandates in some municipalities. But preliminary studies in adults shows the extent of the activity decline is worse than expected.

There’s now evidence across all age groups that people are becoming far less active, and with that inactivity comes a wide range of negative effects on health. Each of us needs to make efforts to get up and move to promote health during Covid restrictions. The good news: even tiny amounts of added movement can have positive effects on your health.

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Keep The Goal In Sight To Avoid Covid Fatigue

I’d like to finish 2020’s blog posts with a simple message: if the goal is to get back to “normal” keep that goal in sight and please stay with the safety precautions you’ve taken up to this point.

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The Dangers Of The Pregame Meal (The Covid-19 Version)

As we work through the current Covid-19 surge, with hopes for a vaccine in the near future, it’s instructive to dig deeper into how individuals become infected with the coronavirus and how to decrease risk. In the world of sports we’ve seen multiple NFL players infected, and even in F1 three drivers have tested positive. We can be certain that Lewis Hamilton didn’t get the virus by driving himself in his vehicle.

So what’s going on? While it’s impossible to be 100% certain of the risk factors a common thread is emerging. The virus appears to be spread through aerosol particles in the breath, and inhaled by someone else. The higher risk is not on an outdoor field of play, it’s indoors at a team meeting in a small room or at a meal with others. The meal, the car ride, the shared hotel room, and the whiteboard session are likely risker than the game itself.

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“Underuse” In Covid-19 Is A Real Problem

The global Covid-19 pandemic seems to have put a halt to the overuse injuries in adolescent and high school athletes that used to be so prevalent. Fewer overuse injuries is a good thing. The problem is that the pendulum of activity has gone the other way, towards far less activity than in the pre-Covid days.

It’s still too early to have definitive data, but limited survey based data from parents report that kids were less physically active during April and May compared to February. Also importantly, older kids tended to be affected by the Covid-19 restrictions more than the younger kids, with steep declines in physical activity.

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Use It Or Lose It? Exercise Can Be Hard To Do Now.

So many folks are just plain tired now. It seems that many events around us are sapping us of our energy. You did the best you could for the first several months. Your gym was closed, no bootcamps happening, impossible to get home exercise equipment. Now, many people have lost their desire to train.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it”.  How many days or weeks can you miss from exercise and still keep your level of fitness? It turns out that for most healthy adults in their 20s and 30s you can take 2 to 3 weeks off and still retain most of your strength and cardiovascular fitness. The amount of time off can be even longer if you are a teenager, and unfortunately it’s shorter if you are an older active adult.

For all age groups the good news is that you will lose some conditioning when you stop exercise, but fitness predictably will return when you start exercising again.

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Low Vitamin D Increases Covid-19 Risk

This week I’ll highlight two interesting studies linking low Vitamin D levels to increased Covid-19 risk. Both of these studies suggest that low Vitamin D levels are independent risk factors for Covid-19 risk, meaning that there is something about the low Vitamin D level in the body that leads to the increased risk, without other contributing factors.

In my experience, a surprising number of adults have low Vitamin D levels. Given that it’s so easy to increase your Vitamin D level either through a modest increase in sunlight exposure, proper food sources, or through supplementation, this represents an easily controllable way to reduce risk of Covid-19.

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Post Workout Protein: What Your Muscles Need

Continuing our theme of return to sports and fitness after the coronavirus layoff, we’d like to briefly touch on the usefulness of dietary protein after your workout as a key factor in assisting your strength gains.

There’s some difference of opinion on this point, but we believe that taking in about 20gm of protein within the first 30 minutes after finishing your workout is the best time to take your protein.

Further, we believe protein intake after a workout becomes even more important as we age, and there are several natural food options available to help you.

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