Sleep more, eat better, and exercise. If health is the new religion, this is the Holy Trinity, and our body is our temple. In order to say feeling and looking great, we need to create a balance of all three. Here are some ways we can incorporate all three into our lives to stay happy and healthy.
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. Without it, your mind and body won’t work as effectively as it might otherwise. When you work out, you break muscles by putting stress on them, which makes them stronger, but to do this, you need to give your body adequate recovery time.
Sleep also restores attentiveness and brain function and can boost your daily productivity and effectiveness. Try to get 8-10 hours a night. Getting less than this can hinder a person’s ability to lose weight.
According to a 1999 University of Chicago study, restricting sleep of healthy young adults to four hours a night was enough to produce insulin and glucose characteristics similar to those of diabetics. Although four hours may seem a bit extreme, it is not uncommon to see such links between lack of sleep and obesity, so be sure to get those zzz’s in.
When hunger strikes, the most convenient options are often not the most healthy, and sometimes convenience is a priority, but beware. Journalist and nutritionist Rob Friedman cites a study reporting that participants who ate more fruits and vegetables and decreased fat intake were “happier, more engaged and more creative” than their less healthy counterparts.
The common misconception about food is that we think of it as “fuel”. According to Friedman, food is less predictable and what you eat can affect you in different ways so you need to “eat smart.”
Try to moderate the amount of sugar and caffeine in your diet, eat lean sources of protein and replace sweets with whole grain carbohydrates and fruits. Drink plenty of water and make sure you get your key nutrients.
Current studies show that exercising four to five times weekly for thirty minutes is best, however even ten minute energy walks can be effective for increasing energy levels and improving mood. Try to schedule regular exercise into your routine each day and try to do a variety of exercises to target different muscles and to keep from getting bored.
Although exercise is always beneficial, proper timing may help to optimize the benefits. Because exercise speeds the metabolism it may be a good idea to get in a good workout at the start of the day, but exercising right before bedtime may interfere with sleep. Sleep experts advise exercise in at least three hours before you turn in for the night and say the best time for exercise is actually late afternoon. This is because body temperature can take up to six hours to begin to drop after exercising. Since cooler body temperatures are best for the onset of sleep, late afternoon exercise provides the proper amount of time for a cool down.
What do you think? Are good nutrition, a balanced diet and adequate sleep the three golden rules for staying healthy? Let us know how you do it! We love to hear it.