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Your Healthy Family: Diet & exercise resolutions can protect you from Omicron variant

Posted at 7:31 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 12:32:19-04

The month of January is when many of us are focused on putting our New Year's resolutions into action. If you need extra motivation to get healthy in 2022, doctors say eating right and getting more exercise can help you in the fight against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The stay-at-home orders and work from home life brought on by this pandemic has some people carrying a little extra weight. Now that we're in a new year, experts said now is a good time to work on fitness.

"I would say since the beginning of the pandemic, that's the biggest thing. The lack of activity,” Kristen Sharp, a personal trainer, said.

Sharp said eating right can help keep you from getting sick and boost your immune system.

"What you're putting in your body, is kind of like your fuel and what keeps you working properly. So I like to use the analogy of the car. You want to put the right fuel in your car to keep it running and you want to maintain it, and that's what we're supposed to do with our bodies," she said.

Health experts have said a majority of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated and overweight. According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "the strongest risk factors for death were obesity, anxiety and fear-related disorders, and diabetes with complication."

Dr. Shad Marvasti said with a majority of Americans dealing with weight problems, that can be a major risk factor for COVID-19. He hopes people will trying eating healthier in 2022, because a good diet can protect you from a severe case of the virus.

"Nothing is 100 percent, right? Masks aren't 100 percent. Vaccines aren't 100 percent. But they're pretty darn good. A healthy diet isn't 100 percent. Vitamin D is not 100 percent. But again, all of these put together will give you the best possible protection by boosting your immunity and stopping the spread of COVID," he said.

If a healthy diet and exercise are your New Year's resolutions, Sharp recommends creating a plan with goals you can actually reach. Starting out with small changes can lead to bigger changes later.