Regular exercise, a healthy diet and getting adequate rest, are the three main components pivotal in determining a person’s overall health and wellness. How we take care of our bodies may affect our performance, whether at work, home or school. Neglecting exercise or being sleep deprived can lead to negative habits that impact our overall happiness and productivity.
Especially in these COVID-19 times, it might be tempting to skip a workout, particularly if working from home isn’t an option. Also, many people find themselves sitting for extended periods, as they work from home. And with the extra hours, there are those who are spending more time making their favorite comfort meals. Not to exclude the fear, anxiety, stress, and financial concerns experienced during this time – all of which can have a negative impact on a person’s physical health and mental well-being.
Making diet, exercise, and rest part of our lifestyle can make a significant difference in how we look and feel. Often, we think that taking care of the body takes too much time or is too difficult. However, it’s a small price we pay considering the many physical, health and mental benefits we enjoy.
Physical activity plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy body weight or losing excess body weight. When we engage in physical activity or get more active throughout the day, we burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories we burn.
Feeling sluggish, tired, and sleepy? The benefits of exercise go far beyond the physical. Exercise plays a critical role in increasing energy levels. It stimulates various brain chemicals that leave us feeling happier, more relaxed and generally in a better mood. Physical exercise helps prevent or manage many health issues, including diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and so much more.
If struggling to sleep, regular physical activity promotes better sleep and keeps us better rested. Among older adults, being physically active, especially through aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening exercises can slow the loss of bone density, reducing the risk of falling and injuries from falls.
While the long-term benefits of exercise are unrivaled, many people struggle to make it a part of their daily life. It’s never too late to start. If you have been too busy with work and found yourself having a sedentary lifestyle, you can start slowly by finding ways to incorporate more physical activity into your life. There are several ways to transition into a consistent workout routine. For instance, take the stairs instead of elevators, adopt a standing desk, walk to work, etc. Minor adjustments prepare us to engage in more intense physical activity.
Lastly, we can’t talk about physical exercise and fail to mention the social aspect that comes along with it. As we head to the gym, group workouts, or runs, we’ll likely interact with other people, helping to ease isolation. Social isolation is nothing to underestimate when it comes to mental health and well-being so go out for a hike, try an aerobics class, yoga, martial arts class and link up with like-minded people.
We’ve heard it before. Good food nourishes the body and powers a strong mind. Combined with physical exercise, diet is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Our diet choices can affect how we look and feel daily.
With a balanced diet, we benefit from increased energy levels, improved muscle strength, stronger bones, improved immune system and reduced risk of obesity. When it comes to mental health, a healthy diet is protective while a poor diet is a risk factor for anxiety and depression.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 90 percent of the food we eat to come from clean foods. Therefore, eat the right foods, comprised of proteins, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, vitamins, minerals, and do not forget to hydrate.
We could have the best exercise routine and dedication to the gym and the healthiest nutrition plan, but if we fail to incorporate rest, we might fail to achieve our fitness goals and optimum health. This is because adequate rest is a critical factor in our health, weight and energy level.
One of the most unhealthy habits exhibited by busy professionals today is putting their body through so much and skipping on a full night’s rest. While it can seem admirable at first, people who consistently sleep less tend to be less productive than their peers and experience extreme fatigue, sluggishness, memory issues and emotional instability. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to a host of health problems, including stress, cardiovascular disease, diabetes as well as early mortality.
Sleep is necessary for healthy functioning. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep a night as well as a regular sleep routine to stay healthy and alert. Research shows that it rejuvenates the body and mind, improves mood and improves learning and memory function.
Besides sleep, scheduling time to simply relax and enjoy yourself is important to our overall health and wellness. Whether it’s going to the spa for a well-deserved massage or a meditation session, find the time to unwind and relax.
The average American leads a busy life which puts health and wellness on the back burner. Maintaining a relative balance between exercise, diet, and rest is crucial. If one aspect is neglected, our entire system becomes at risk of falling apart. Let’s decide to take care of ourselves by prioritizing these dimensions to experience improved overall health and wellness.
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