“Glutes” is a word most of us know and associate with going to the gym and doing weight work as a way to strengthen/tighten the large muscles of our buttocks. Is that a good thing to do? Essential, even? Abso-glutely, YES!
For decades we have known that exercise boosts your health span and even your life span. Although prolonged intense endurance exercise can be too much of a good thing and, at least temporarily, decrease immune functioning, there is now ample evidence that moderate exercise boosts health in myriad ways, including improved immune system functioning.
Has the pandemic changed exercise habits?
The answer to that question appears to be yes, with the data suggesting that as the pandemic began, people were exercising less than prior to its beginning.
There was one interesting study done with an app that measured people’s activity levels and provided data from prior to the pandemic’s start that found the among some UK adults over age 65, exercise levels increased (1)
“After lockdowns lifted or eased, most people began exercising a bit more often, but, in general, only those older than 65 returned to or exceeded their previous minutes of exercise.”
That increase in exercise among seniors is great news for their health and for the economic well-being of the countries where they reside. The first great benefit is the role that exercise plays is in stress reduction, a known factor for suppressing our immune systems.
It certainly makes logical sense that an activity that opens lung tissues and improves circulation in every cell in our bodies is useful for a body being threatened by any pathogenic organism that damages lung tissues. Building your butt glutes is a very good idea.
Your Other Glute
Your other “glute” is glutathione, which is your body’s master antioxidant. Glutathione is found in every cell in your body, with much if it being found in your liver. That makes perfect sense as your liver is a major organ for reducing the toxins in human bodies. Like many of our physiological resources, glutathione is more prevalent and more active in younger bodies.
That makes sense; Mother Nature has an exquisitely designed plan that enables youthful, healthy bodies of reproductive age to produce healthier babies. It also makes sense that as we age, we have less glutathione as we have already made our contribution to the gene pool.
In the United States we are placing demands on our livers and toxin reducing capacities at an unprecedented level. As I have been observing the statistics of COVID-19 infections and deaths, it is striking that a huge number/percentage of them are happening in the US. It is also striking that so many of them have occurred in seniors.
Why would that be so? What if it is, in part at least, related to our being the world-leader in the production, use and increasing dependence on chemical pesticides and herbicides to grow and preserve our food. Food, that unless it is organic, non GMO, is delivering daily doses of toxins into the cells of our bodies. Currently, sixty percent of the foods Americans ingest is of the highly-processed, highly chemicalized, low nutrient-value kind, aka “faux food.”
Our bodies have evolved for hundreds of thousands of years depending on foods that Mother Nature designed. We to grow and thrive on natural foods. Faux foods laced with myriads of chemicals with virtually unpronounceable names are unable to provide useful nutrients to our cells; those foods are foreign substances requiring our bodies to engage detoxification resources in a way and to an extent that human bodies have never been required to ever before in our entire history on this planet.
Back in 2005, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a study showing “Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests.” Fifteen years ago! In the last fifteen years, the use of those dangerous chemicals has grown by the ton. I recently read that glyphosate (RoundUp) is being found in raindrops.
According to the EPA, “About 280 million pounds of glyphosate are applied to an average of 298 million acres of crop land annually.” Our bodies are required to detox any and all of the glyphosate AND all the other chemicals we are now exposed to on a daily basis.
It is my belief that our body’s ability to produce adequate glutathione has been overwhelmed by the mass and number of toxic substances to which we are all exposed. Why are the pandemic numbers so much worse in the US? What if it is because our country is so toxic due to our pervasive use of those chemicals?
Is there anything you can do to increase your glutathione levels?
Yes, there is! For one, get enough sleep. Lack of sleep has been connected to low glutathione levels. For another, choose foods known to boost glutathione levels such a raw or very rare meat (not meats from factory farms, as those are loaded with antibiotics, other drugs, and chemicals) unpasteurized dairy products and some freshly-picked fruits and veggies, especially those from the cruciferous vegetable family, such as cabbage and broccoli.
Also on the list of glutathione boosters are garlic and others of the allium family, eggs, lean chicken, nuts and legumes. It is critical that these are organically grown, non GMO foods. If they are not, you will be ingesting exactly the toxins you want and need to get out of your body!
A recent (Dec, 2020) article published in European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences started by “determining the risk factors of COVID-19 mortality and trying to find a common pathway among them.” The extensive review of scientific literature was “this common pathway to be a low baseline of reduced glutathione.”
“In particular, a low baseline GSH level was the common factor included in the high-risk group for COVID -19 mortality.”
A recent study in pre- reported the results of a study looking at 500,000 Medicare recipients (as someone with an earned doctorate I have read a large number of studies. I have never seen one which had such a large number.) The article reports that of those 500,000 seniors, “fewer than 2500” who were free of co-morbidities had died from COVID-19.
If low glutathione levels are a common factor in the path to death from COVID-19 and if being free of co-morbidities, vastly reduces the odds of dying of this pandemic, doesn’t it make sense to invest creating and utilizing resources that help seniors create lifestyle changes that reduce their co-morbidity status? Doesn’t it also make sense to educate all Americans in the life-saving potential of lifestyle/behavior change and taking active personal responsibility for improving their own health? What if something a simple, as inexpensive and as potentially powerful as increasing one’s own glutathione levels was adopted on a wide scale?
According to CNN Business, Pfizer and Moderna stand to make 32 billion dollars in 2021. The vaccines may or may not stop the advance of the pandemic; already new, more contagious coronavirus strains are being found in different countries.
However, regardless of the results of massive and massively expensive vaccinations, no one’s health will be improved by vaccination. Great if vaccinations stop the spread of COVID-19! Improved health is not the direct purpose of vaccines; their purpose is to stop the spread of a disease. In addition to vaccines, it will serve us all if we engage in behaviors and attitudes that improve our health.
I dearly wish that the number of months and number of dollars that Americans have spent in passively waiting for the vaccines, as if those vaccines were the knight in shining armor coming to our rescues, had been balanced by education and fiscal investment in helping Americans become proactive with regard to their health by taking the simple steps that we know improve health, adequate sleep, physical activity, stress reduction, reduction of faux food/toxic exposures.