LifestyleYour Health Matters


Diet and exercise should be on your 2021 New Year's resolution list, experts say

Screen Shot 2020-12-31 at 5.59.28 AM.png
Posted at 8:08 AM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 08:08:48-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Tomorrow is the start of the new year, and the “new year new me” mentality is in full swing as 2020 finally comes to a close.

For most of us, at the start of each year, we set new goals, but as we head into 2021, still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say a healthy diet and exercise should be at the top of everyone’s New Year’s Resolution list.

Doctor Jennifer Hartwell with IU health said we can do things to help our body recover and work through an illness a little bit better.

She says vitamin c, zinc, magnesium, and calcium are all things we should be trying to have in our diet.

“We know all of those anti-oxidants like those vitamins, particularly vitamin C, are really good for the immune system, and those come naturally in our citrus fruits in our dark green leafy vegetables, so those things that we think of that are fruits and vegetable salads those things are the best for us when it comes to those micronutrients and vitamins that help us a boost our immune system,” said Hartwell.

“I needed to find something to keep me moving because it's going to better my immune system and help my lungs work harder,” said Dania Whittey.

She’s been an Orange Theory Fitness member for four years.

Whittey said she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis as an adult, and one of the things her doctor prescribed was exercise.

“I am healthier now than I have ever been in my life,” said Whittey.

Because of her diagnosis, when the pandemic hit the United States, Whittey had to be more careful than before.

“In the beginning, it was really scary because nobody really knew what was going on didn't know who it was affecting more there was too many unknowns, so I pretty much speak even before quarantine started, I just stayed in my house as a person with cystic fibrosis I’m more careful than your average person,” said Whittey.

She froze her membership until she felt it was safe for her to come back.

“This place was already safe and very clean before COVID even started; again, I had to be aware of those things prior to COVID, so now coming in here, they are going over and above anything that I know most gyms are even doing there's nothing to worry about,” said Whittey.

“We are cleaning deep cleaning in between every single class we leave 20 minutes so that we can clean it can dry, and the next group comes in as safe in between our rotations members are wiping down our wipes are antiviral so that actually does help to kill the COVID molecules,” said Kaity Wachtel, the regional fitness director for OTF.

Besides the extra cleaning in between classes, she said they use a fogger with EPA approved cleaning products, maintain social distancing, require members to wear masks during transitions, and do temperature checks before each class.

She’s hopeful that soon they can get back to normal.

“We have found a lot of people that are back are very confident with our protocols we're not seeing transmissions in the studio,” said Wachtel.

She told me they are going a step further and working on policies to show lawmakers the gym is safe and good for your immune system.

“We are advocating that gyms are allowed to stay open. We're trying to provide data that is just not happening here,” said Wachtel, “you're actually building your white blood cells in your body, and it actually helps you to fight the COVID disease, so we want people to be back in here and working out we know that it's safe and yes we will hold the hold the line on being very vigilant about our cleaning about our social distancing and all those things until the world is back to normal.”

As for Whittey, she said she felt the effects of taking six months off the gym.

“I noticed it huge in my lungs I was coughing a lot more there was a lot more stuff trying to get out that wasn't getting out I definitely notice that my mental well-being was kind of taking a dip so yeah I definitely noticed it and things kind of relocated a little bit where I didn't want him to,” said Whittey.