PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, building a stronger immunity through proper nutrients and physical health is often overlooked.
One local nutritionist and gym owner believes it's more important than ever before.
According to a study done at the University of Arizona, there are some good reasons for staying active during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While exercise and nutrition are known to have a profound impact on one's immune system, Nutritionist Chelsea Hoover is providing free dietitian counseling for those who qualify through their insurance, to help encourage healthy lifestyle habits.
"I think a lot of times it can seem easier for us to take a supplement or take a pill," said Hoover. "But it's not always the easiest as far as changing diet habits or lifestyle habits.
Hoover, who is the owner of Fuel For Thought Nutrition says one thing that she tried to get across to her clients is that small changes really can make a huge difference.
Hoover, who has both a master's and undergrad degree from Drexel University in nutrition and exercise science says, people have more control over their immunity than they realize.
"Food can really be just a huge form of natural medicine, and when it's used properly it can take us a really long way," said Hoover.
Not far from Fairmount, Will Mac, gym owner and physical trainer in Olde Kensington at WillPowerLive has been offering free fitness classes every Saturday since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
"People understand that they want to be healthier, I don't think it's uncommon knowledge that people need to be more active and eat better," said Mac. "But at the same time, it's hard."
Will says COVID-19 has a huge impact on individuals with underlying health conditions and encourages people to take control of the natural resources in front of them.
"Obesity is the number one risk factor for developing a severe case of COVID-19 for people under age 55," said Mac. "So it's more important now than ever to maintain a healthy weight, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle."