Ontime Health

Circadian and Fasting Research

Evidence from research into intermittent fasting more accurately described as time restricted feeding has lead to many insight on human health diet and nutrition

6 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Brain

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Today, thanks to advances in neurological and behavioral science, we know more about the brain than ever before. While your brain weighs in at just three-pounds, this organ is the most complex part of your body. The three sections of your brain, the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain, work separately and together to influence your entire body. Your brain controls your thinking, learning, remembering, speaking, seeing, hearing, emotions, sensing touch, balance, coordination, and more. Your brain continues to develop throughout your entire life, and influences from diet, sleep habits, exercise, and stress can help or hinder this process.

  • Small but mighty: Consider that the human brain represents a mere two percent of a human’s body mass but uses a whopping 20 percent of your total energy budget each day.
  • Strategies for best brain health: Incorporate a multidisciplinary approach that includes physical exercise, nutrition, sleep, mental fitness, and social interactions for your best brain health.
  • Enhance mental functions with exercise: Physical activity can indirectly help brain health by enhancing just about every other function in your body.
  • Nourish your noggin: The more high-quality foods you get, the more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you and your brain get.
  • Slumber to recover and repair your brain: Sleep is as important to your brain’s health and survival as are food and water.
  • Strategies for better cognition over the lifespan: Research shows that mentally stimulating activities are linked to better brain function. Studies show that social engagement improves brain health.

Most of us already know to eat healthy, stay active, sleep seven to nine hours, and manage stress levels, but you probably don’t know that when you do these activities matters a great deal. Scientists are now discovering that your body relies heavily on the 24 hour day/night fluctuations we experience each day. Your body is a magnificent machine, and a complicated one that works best when all its parts work in harmony, like musicians in a symphony. Your body can’t function optimally if all its “instruments” play at one time.

However, when your body’s instruments perform in a complex but synchronized manner, the result is beautiful music. Your brain works like the conductor, and your body relies on receiving the correct instructions at the right time to carry out its many complex roles accordingly. If your parts flow, you thrive; if they don’t, your health suffers.

To synchronize your clocks and to get your brain back to peak performance requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes exercise, nutrition, sleep, and daytime habits, as well as mental health and social interactions. Thankfully, most of what’s required for a healthy brain is within your control. Here’s what you need to know:

Timing is important

When it comes to your brain, it’s all about timing, says an increasing number of scientists who study circadian rhythms. These biological clock-like devices are found in all cells and are most strongly governed by the information we receive from the natural 24-hour light/dark environment in which we live. Your brain has a master clock, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN is located in your brain and receives direct input from the eyes. The input received by the SCN triggers a cascading effect that directs the rest of your body’s clocks. The problem today is that most of us no longer follow our biological timing systems—the SCN gets the wrong information, and therefore, so does your body—and the result is poor health in countless forms.

Your great-great-grandparents followed a natural “clock” set by each day’s sunrise and sunset. These distant relatives worked, were active, had meals, and socialized from dawn until dusk. Once it got dark, your ancestors rested and slept. In today’s modern world, we work, eat, live, and play at all hours of the day and night with little regard to the natural cycles of light and dark. This disregard for the natural environment throws our biological clocks out of sync. People who have out-of-sync circadian rhythms (your biological clocks) are more likely to struggle with excess weight, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, poor heart health, chronic pain, and many cancers compared to those who have synchronized clocks. Thankfully, there’s much you can do to get your body back in balance, including the following:


Regular exercise is essential for keeping all your highest neural structures healthy. Physical activity relaxes your brain by increasing endorphins and reducing stress hormones, which reduces depression and anxiety. When you move your body, you increase circulation and oxygen, which improves cognition and clarity. Exercise also indirectly helps brain health by enhancing just about every other function in your body.

These improvements include your heart health, blood sugar levels, insulin sensitivity, weight management, mental health and mood, better digestion, stronger bones and muscles, and living longer in general. Aim to exercise for 30 to 45 minutes at a moderate activity most days of the week. If that seems overwhelming, begin with five to 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the amount.


Nutrition here stands for two things: Time-restricted eating (TRE) and a Mediterranean diet (it’s one of the healthiest). By eating all your meals within a 10-hour window each day (as you’ve been asked to do) is TRE, and you may have already noticed that you feel more clear-headed since you began this style of eating. What you might not know is that a growing body of research shows that TRE significantly and positively influences brain functioning.

Studies link the benefits of TRE to increases in brain function, sleep, energy, and metabolism, and decreases in stress, depression, obesity, overweight, heart disease, diabetes, and gut disturbance. You can boost this TRE response by getting more high-quality foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits (organic whenever possible), lean protein and fish, whole grains, legumes, healthy fats (think, extra virgin olive oil), and nuts and seeds.

With TRE, you don’t have to worry about following a strict diet or eating regimen. The keto diet (a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet) has been touted as a style of eating that improves brain functioning. The claim is that Keto-eating promotes ketone bodies (which are breakdown products of fat), which some say provide a more potent energy source for your brain and body. Ketones are an alternative energy source when the body is short on glucose.

However, research findings as to whether or not it truly provides better brain energy, especially long term, are still being investigated. Here’s the thing: Eating within an 8 to 10-hour window each day appears to promote ketone bodies without you having to live a bread-free existence. That means that you can keep eating whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables. You’ll naturally get the benefits of a keto-like diet while keeping your brain and body balanced, and you won’t need to live a bread-free existence.

Sleep and Stress

The adage, “I can sleep when I am dead,” should permanently be put to bed. Sleep is as vital to your brain’s health and survival, as are food and water. Lack of sleep reduces memory, increases fatigue, and damages reaction times, concentration, focus, and clarity. Sleep deficiency has also been linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, your entire immune system, and other issues that affect brain health.

Sleep flushes out toxins, modulates stress, consolidates daytime experiences, preserves memory, organizes and stores information, and provides time to repair and replenish all your cells. While relaxing is good, it isn’t the same as sleep, especially when modulating stress. If you aren’t asleep, even if just reading a book, you are still connected (you can be disturbed by pings, tweets, rings from your phone, or other disturbances).

Sleep is a time when you literally take yourself “offline” and give yourself time to release the stress you build up during the day. If you can’t get all the benefits from sleep at night, then make it up with napping for 30 minutes at other times of the day.

Mind Games and Brain Health

Research shows that any mentally stimulating activity is linked to better brain function. This includes doing a daily crossword, working on a puzzle, or playing games with other actual people (think, Scrabble). These simple daily activities can stimulate brain health, as can memorizing a phone number or writing a letter by hand.

Social Interactions

Studies show that social engagement improves brain health by lowering stress, enhancing motivation and mood, enhancing heart health, and stimulating your brain better than isolation. Making new connections with people provides you with the opportunity to remember names and learn new information about people. One caveat: the benefits of social ties are influenced by the quality of the connection. Negative people and toxic relationships increase stress and hurt your brain—avoid them.

In a perfect world, you’d put all of the above practices into action every single day, but don’t beat yourself up if you fall short. Strive to accomplish as many healthy behaviors as you can, but keep in mind that doing any one of the above will help to keep you in balance. For example, on a day when you have no time for exercise, be sure to eat healthy and get enough sleep. Or, if you fall short on sleep, make sure to get out for a walk during the day. One healthy behavior is better than none.

Exercise and Your Immune System

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• Exercise boosts immunity: With each bout of exercise, studies show that you’ll improve the antipathogen (disease-fighting) activity in your tissues, you’ll reduce inflammation, and enhance your overall immunity.
Protection while you rest: Studies show that after exercise, the cells inside our muscle produce increased amounts of immunity-protecting molecules.
• Sitting equals sickness: The most sedentary people have the highest risk of getting sick with colds and flu and are also at a much higher risk of suffering from many chronic diseases. Multiple studies show that when adults regularly workout, they cut their chances of getting sick.
• When exercise hurts immunity: The general rule is that if you have symptoms that are primarily above the neck—stuffed or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat—exercise is okay. However, if you have body-wide symptoms, then rest is best.
• Exercise after an illness: Make sure that you no longer have a fever. Easy does it, listen to your body, and start back gradually.

As with many things having to do with your health, “balance” is the word when it comes to using physical activity to boost your immunity. In many respects, actively moving is both good for what ails you, or what would like to ail you—big and small. Studies show that those who exercise regularly are at a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, improved mental health, sleep, stronger bones and muscles, and a longer life than those who live sedentary lives. When it comes to other infections and viruses such as colds and flu of all sorts, physical activity also seems to help your body’s disease-fighting system and recovery process.
Your body is constantly being bombarded by pathogens. Comprised of a complex network of cells, organs, and chemicals, your immune system (if healthy) can recognize and destroy threats that would otherwise make you sick. This is a never-ending job for our immune systems. You can help or hurt your body’s disease-fighting, health-protecting system by your choices and habits with diet, sleep, daily stressors, and emotions. When it comes to physical activity, the correct amount of exercise enhances your body’s ability to fight infections and to heal you after injury or illness. And while you probably know that too little activity isn’t good, you may not know that neither is too much. Knowing the difference is essential.
Pushing yourself to keep up with an intense regimen of fitness while you are fighting the flu, strep throat, or bronchitis, for example—probably won’t help, and it could hurt. When your immune system is busy fighting bacterial or viral infections, rest might be best. It’s important to listen to your body. If you feel up to it, a gentle walk might be okay, but if you have a fever, body aches, a flaming throat, or trouble breathing, then exercising could put you out of commission for longer than staying in bed. Let’s examine how exercise works to protect and enhance your immune response:

Protect with Regular and Frequent Exercise: Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s—you name it, and chances are that fitness lowers your risk compared to being sedentary. Overall, being active reduces the risk of all chronic disease and lessens your chances of getting sick or being injured. Regular exercise also helps to enhance your immune system in many indirect pathways. Improvements in muscle strength, bone health, motor coordination, gut function, sleep, and mood all help to support and build a healthy immunity. With each bout of exercise, studies show that you’ll improve the antipathogen (disease-fighting) activity in your tissues, you’ll reduce inflammation, and enhance overall immunity. Aim to get 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Add to that two bouts of strength training and some flexibility sessions, and you’ll be good to go.

The After-Exercise Immunity Benefits: Studies show that after exercise, the cells inside our muscles produce several molecules that protect immune responses in the body. One of them is interleukin-15 (IL-15), which improves bone health and sleep, and also helps your immune cells respond to microbial invaders and parasites. Another benefit to those who exercise is the increased production of irisin, a molecule linked to reduced obesity and sleep apnea, both markers of weakened immunity. Finally, regular exercise increases the level of the enzyme heme, an essential iron-containing molecule that carries oxygen to all our tissues. Heme activates immune cells to destroy disease in the body.

The More You Sit—The Sicker You’ll Get: It’s true. The most sedentary people are at the highest risk of getting sick with colds and flu and have a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, even Alzheimer’s, and more. The good news? You can reap benefits by starting with as little as 10 to 15 minutes of easy walking. Even light activities such as gardening, walking, and housework lower inflammatory markers in the body that are associated with illness and disease.

Exercising Lowers Colds and Flu Risk: The trick with exercise is to do it before you get sick. Multiple studies show that when adults regularly workout, they cut their chances of getting sick. Plus, when exercisers do get sick, the illness tends to be milder and recovery faster than non-exercisers. There is evidence that regular activity strengthens the antibodies that fight colds and flu. Even if you aren’t currently following a regular exercise routine, getting active right now (as long as you aren’t already sick) can lower your chances of illness, chronic disease, and will strengthen your immunity.

The Rare Case of Too Much Exercise: An overuse injury can happen by taking on too much or too intense of an exercise too quickly, or by not taking a rest when your body tells you it needs one. Your muscles, ligaments, and tendons can all get strained or torn in these cases. While your body often sends signals in the form of pain, you’ve got to be “listening” carefully to pick up the difference between a pain that indicates normal muscle soreness from a good workout, and pain that signifies overuse. Know the symptoms of too much exercise. Harmless achiness after a workout usually presents as stiffness, soreness, fatigue, or even burning. More severe injuries tend to present as pain that is stabbing, sharp, or deep in an area that doesn’t usually hurt. Symptoms of overuse don’t always mean that you need to stop all activity but do take care and possibly switch to a less intense form of exercise for a few days.

How do I know when I am too sick to exercise? With a mild illness such as a cold, you may benefit from moderate to easy exercise. There is some evidence that it may help to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. The general rule is that if you have symptoms that are primarily above the neck—stuffed or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat—exercise is okay. However, if you have body-wide symptoms such as fever, aches, chest congestion, stomach distress, diarrhea—then it is best to rest. Some studies show that the immune system is depressed during intense physical exertion, so no marathon training with a fever. If you still insist on exercising, modify your intensity or duration. Walk for 15 to 30 minutes instead of running for an hour.

How do I get back to exercising after being sick? You are feeling better. So, how do you get back to your exercise schedule? Make sure that you no longer have a fever. Easy does it, listen to your body, and start back gradually. If you have been fever-free for a full 24 hours and feel better, give it a try. Go for an easy walk. Take longer than you usually would to warm up, and if you begin to feel sick or overly fatigued, cut your session short. Ditto for overuse injuries.

Healthy Immunity: How to Boost Your Immune System

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• The immune system defined: Your immune system is mostly made of immune cells that perform a multitude of complex functions to act as your body’s security, surveillance, and defense system.
• Disease fighters in every cell: Inside all cells are immune response systems that work to detect harmful substances, infections, and abnormalities that can initially hide from immune cells.
• The body’s recycling center: Autophagy is the recycling center of the body. It breaks expired cells down into molecular building blocks and then uses the viable leftovers to make new cells.
• Immunity-boosting tips: A healthy immune system is able to discriminate, adapt, evolve, recycle, and respond efficiently and quickly. Healthy lifestyle strategies such as nutritious eating, exercise, mindfulness, and sleep will boost your immune system.

Every cell in your body is equipped with a 24/7 surveillance crew that constantly investigates your body’s environment for threats such as infections, disease, cell mutations, or irregular cell death. Your body comes with a sophisticated and complex immune system that continuously surveys your body to detect any harmful agents, including viruses, allergens, and toxins, and much more. As a whole, your immunity uses enormous resources and produces a large number of cells that are dedicated to identifying and defending your body from all sorts of dangers. Most of adult immune cells are produced by your bone marrow, but inside every single one of your trillions of cells are immune response systems that work to detect harmful substances, infections, and abnormalities that can initially hide from immune cells. If a cell’s immune receptors detect a threat, they trigger an alarm that signals your immune cells to release cellular compounds designed to attack, defend, repair, and/or eliminate a destructive or mutated cell.
Compromised immunity is more vulnerable to illness and disease. This can happen because of poor nutrition, depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, and even due to a shortage of fun (yep, adults need to playtime too). Plus, compared to employees of a regular nine to five job, immunity is weakened in those who are shift workers, and in those who suffer from anxiety or depression. Body-wide chronic inflammation can result in these high-risk groups, which increases susceptibility for all illness and disease, including increased risks of asthma, acne, joint pain, colitis, respiratory problems, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
So, that’s the bad. The good is that there’s plenty to do to strengthen your immune response, beginning by knowing what a healthy immune system looks like.

A Healthy Immune System…
• Discriminates between harmful and harmless substances: It’s essential that your immune system be able to tell itself from foreign matter, as well as distinguish innocuous foreign substances from dangerous ones. Your disease-fighting cells can mistakenly attack something harmless, or your immune cells can overreact by continuing to attack an already-resolved illness or other threat (as if it doesn’t have an off switch).
• Adapts and Evolves to the Environment: This type of immunity (called acquired immunity) is critical when it comes to preventing cancer and infections. Thankfully, the human body has an extraordinary ability to renew itself. It does this by having an excellent memory. Your immune system stores information about past infections and illnesses, so it can react even faster if there’s a reoccurrence. This memory system is dispersed all through your body, via antibodies in your blood that travel everywhere circulation goes. These antibodies keep killer cells posted 24/7, where they remain on alert in areas of your body that were attacked previously.
• Recycles its old parts: When your immune system signals cell death because of an abnormality, the parts of the cell that are reusable are salvaged by your body (called autophagy). In contrast, the most dangerous and defective parts of the cell are removed as waste. Autophagy sorts the treasure from the trash by breaking cells down into their molecular building blocks and then using whatever leftovers are viable to make new cells.
• Must be a Rapid Responder: Your immunity is always open for business. Threats don’t take holidays, and infections and cell mutations can often divide more rapidly than healthy cells. Some abnormal cells develop to “hide” from your immune system. This unpredictability, rapid transformation, and deviance of abnormal cells make it critical for an optimal immune system that reacts quickly and efficiently.

How to Fortify Your Immunity
If your immune system is chronically weak or overwhelmed, it won’t be able to keep up with illness, disease, or environmental toxins. Thankfully, there are a lot of strategies you can incorporate to boost your immune system and protect yourself. Get started with the following strategies.
• Get Sleep: Boost the body’s defenses with seven to nine hours of nighttime sleep whenever possible. Modern lifestyles and your profession can endanger your ability to get enough slumber time. While sleep won’t always protect you from getting sick, lack of it will leave your immune system weakened and more vulnerable to illness and infection. When you are sleep-deprived, your body will produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, and your immunity suffers. If you must be up at night, for work or by personal choice, make up lost time and protect immune function by napping. This can be especially helpful during flu season when your immunity is already working overtime. You might even want to splurge on two siestas. According to the National Sleep Foundation, taking two naps, for a maximum of thirty minutes (one hour total), one in the a.m. and one in the p.m. offsets the harm sleep deprivation has on immunity.
• Practice Relaxation: Chronic stress is another cause of too much cortisol in the body, which can cause system-wide inflammation. In addition, stress decreases the white blood cells that fight off infections. It’s important to protect yourself by activating the relaxation response. A simple solution is to include five to 10 minutes of focused, slow breathing, or mindfulness meditation each day.
• Optimize Nutrition: Poor nutrition can increase the risk of illness and infections and can compromise your immune function. Protect yourself by choosing the best immunity-boosting foods rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that cause inflammation and inhibit immune functioning. The most common inflammatory foods are refined grains and sugars, highly processed foods, red meats, and saturated fats. Instead of these artery-clogging fats, enjoy unsaturated versions that include raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and extra-virgin olive oil. Finally, go for a zero-sugar tolerance level. Refined sugars cause system-wide inflammation that can overwhelm and weaken your immune system.
• Exercise Frequently: Physical activity can help flush bacteria out of lungs and airways, it may kill harmful bacteria in the body, and exercise increases in antibodies in white blood cells that fight disease. Regular exercise also improves the regulation of stress hormones. While scientists still don’t have the full explanation behind the magical healing properties of exercise, research does find that regular exercisers have stronger immune systems than their slothful counterparts. Is it okay to exercise if you are sick? It depends. The rule of thumb typically states it’s okay to work out if symptoms are “above the neck.” That means it’s a go if you have a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, or a minor sore throat. But, listen to your body. It’s a good idea to reduce the intensity and length of your workout (walk instead of run). Don’t exercise if you are fatigued, have a fever, a severe sore throat, or widespread muscle aches.
• Respect the Clock: Your immune system follows a clock that is designed to do certain tasks at certain times of the day. These include immune cells that survey the entire body to check for danger, receptors within cells that trigger an alarm and send a signal for help, cells that fight and kill illness and disease, and other components that repair, recycle, and clean up threats. There are many nuances to the immune circadian clocks that would take hundreds of pages to detail. What you need to know is that if you are eating within a 10-hour window each day (8 a.m. to 6 p.m., for example), then you are already strengthening your immunity. How? When you refrain from eating for 14 hours at night, you give your body the time and rest it needs to heal, repair, reinforce, and rejuvenate your immune system.

Recharge Your Health

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Create a habit with a plan that will make “healthy” automatic.
Track your progress by hand, on your smartphone, or online to see better results.
It’s easy to say, but not always easy to do. If you feel like you’ve been following all the “rules” of healthy living but aren’t seeing the results you’d hoped for—the scale isn’t moving, your six-pack still looks like a loaf of bread, or your blood pressure hasn’t dropped—it’s time for a review of your health habits. Maybe you started off strong, but lately, not so much. This is normal. Diets and fitness plans usually 1
start off with you feeling revved up and full of motivation, but life can get in the way. Taking a vacation, family events, holidays, busy work schedules, and no time to prep and cook. In any case, the first thing to do is to stop and take an inventory. Grab a pen and notebook to take stock of where you are now, and to write out a plan for how you’ll proceed. Writing everything out will help you pinpoint where you’ve been off track, where you are doing great, and it gives you a place to acknowledge what could be improved, revamped, or revved up.
As you take stock, some sticking points might be obvious, such as overdoing it at a buffet or holiday dinner, snacking while you make dinner, or skipping one too many workouts. On the other hand, you may very well have been doing everything right—eating healthy, exercising, sleeping, and have a balanced mood—but aren’t seeing results. In this case, a little more digging can help. A detailed self-evaluation and self-reflection can help to lead you to some new angles, strategies, and actions to get you moving toward your goals again.
To that end, here is a guide to reviewing the four pillars of health and strategies to remind, enlighten, and illuminate how you can once more get moving toward being healthier and happier.
Eating: There are countless methods, books, websites, and magazines that tout “the best” way to eat, and many do work—for a short time. However, a Mediterranean diet seems to be one of the healthiest and easiest to follow long term. Before you begin, do a review of what you have been eating and drinking.
First, write down exactly what you remember eating and drinking yesterday. Here be as detailed as possible.
Then do a brief review of how and what you ate or drank over the previous week. This part doesn’t have to be as detailed but do take note of the big offenders—the calorie-filled, sugary and alcoholic drinks; processed or fast foods, huge portions, and refined flours and sugars. These are often the perpetrators of plateaus.
Examine your portions. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they are eating healthy foods, it means that they don’t have to pay attention to amounts. Not true. All meals come with calories, and calories do count, even healthy ones. Make sure that you are eating appropriate amounts for your age, gender, weight, and activity level.
Now, examine a sample Mediterranean meal plan or a diet that works for you and write out what you will eat and drink today, or if you are writing this in the evening, then plan for tomorrow. Take it one day at a time, but aim to avoid processed foods and stick with real whole foods, lots of veggies and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats—all portion-sized for you.
Exercise: The basic guidelines for exercise state that you should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Here, you’ll want to review the following.
How many minutes of exercise did you get last week? Was it moderate or vigorous? Here, you are striving to participate in continuous physical activity that gets your heart beating faster and you breathing harder. If you are averaging a decent amount of aerobic exercise, it might be time to increase your time. For example, if you are walking for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week, increase to 40 minutes or add some bursts of very fast walking intermittently during your workout. Alternatively, add some variety. If you primarily walk, try swimming or cycling. If you are underperforming, start wherever you are. A 10-minute walk around the block is a great begin
ning. You can gradually add on until you are up to the recommended minutes.
Are you doing any strength training? As we age, it is especially important to preserve and build muscle. This helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves other health markers. Consider incorporating two days a week of strength training. The Mayo Clinic’s website offers numerous strength-building how-to videos for all levels of fitness.
How about flexibility? How many times did you stretch out your muscles last week? It’s a good idea to do a few stretches when you wake up and after a workout. Stretching is also a great way to relax before bed.
Sleep: You need seven to nine hours of sleep during each 24-hour day. Period. Sleep protects your mental and physical health. Lack of sleep causes an increase in heart disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Write down:
How many hours you slept last night. How many hours you averaged over the last week.
If you are having trouble hitting your quota, check your sleep hygiene. There are several simple strategies you can create to help you better. Where are you getting snagged? Make sure your
bedroom is quiet, dark, and screen-free. Cut out caffeine after 1 pm and alcohol before bedtime.
Choose and write down a bedtime and a wake time you will follow for the next three nights (hint, choose a duration of seven to nine hours).
Emotional Health: How you feel can influence your thoughts, and your thoughts and feelings tend to direct your actions and behavior. Thankfully, we humans can steer our thinking toward a more positive outlook, but it does take effort. Complaining, gossiping, being critical, feeling helpless, feeling less than, or more than others, feeling stressed, anxious, fatigued, or depressed. The fix?
Start by making a commitment to text a friend or family member each morning three things for which you are grateful. Finding things to be thankful for (food in the fridge; a bed to sleep on; a beating heart, etc.) improves mood, reduces anxiety, and decreases depression. Do this each day.
Check your social life. It’s vital to have people to talk to about how daily life is going, and it’s even more important to remember to call and see how others are doing. Make a commitment to call (not text) one friend each day.
If you are feeling down, overly anxious, or depressed, get help. You can find a certified psychol ogist at the American Psychological Association. Also, thanks to our modern technology, you can now find and work with therapists online, just be sure to do your homework.
Now that you’ve reviewed the four pillars to stellar health, you are ready to get back to work and start seeing results. The final step is to have a system to track your progress. You can do this with plain old paper and pen in a notebook. Just write down when and what you eat, how you feel, what you are grateful for, and what your exercise was for that day. It will keep you accountable. If you’d rather keep track on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, there are plenty of to help you track your food, fitness, sleep, and emotional health. Any way you choose to do it, logging your daily happenings will keep you accountable to your health.