Grok On The Three S`s
We`ve covered diet and exercise for health. This page will talk about the three other, very important aspects to help you live a healthy life. Hint:They all begin with an "S".
So far we`ve talked about the why`s and how-to`s in regards to adopting a Primal diet and how you can turn your body ineo a fat burner instead of a fat burner. We`ve talked about exercise and the thought that you really don`t need to do that chronic cardio everyday to reap health benefits and body changes. Now I`d like to talk about the other things we need to spotlight when it comes to being our best health wise.
Many people under estimate the effects of not getting enough sleep. Sleep is when your body restores and repairs itself and if you don`t give it enough time, it can`t accomplish fully what it needs to do. It`d be like your boss saying he needed a 100 page article written by days` end. You could get some of it done, but probably not all of it.
Most people don`t get enough sleep. We wake up hitting the snooze button and groggily drag ourselves out of bed, head to the coffee pot, and pour a couple cups down our gullet. We don`t awaken feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We stay up late and watch T.V. or stare at our laptops. I know I`m guilty! I love Wizzley so much, sometimes it`s really hard to put it down!
Up until about 120 years ago people would go to bed when it got dark, and wake up with the sunrise. Candles and oil were too costly to burn every night so people just went to sleep. This is how our genes evolved and this is how they work best.
This is what happens when we don`t get enough sleep:
- Our insulin sensitivity decreases, reducing our ability to tolerate carbs and burn fat, which makes it harder to lose weight if we want to.
- We get an increased risk of depression.
- Secretion of testosterone, which performs all sorts of healthy functions in our body, is interrupted. The growth hormone that promotes fat burning and cellular restoration is also interrupted.
- Loss of sleep raises blood pressure and boosts the rate of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Flip the coin and get enough sleep and here`s how you benefit:
- Fat melts off as carbohydrate tolerance increases.
- Exercise performance improves. Recovery time, speed, and strength increases.
- Your immune system does its best work when you`re sleeping. This helps in the ability to keep viruses and bacterial illnesses away.
- Your brain works better. Your memory and problem solving abilities improve.
Those are just a few of the benefits. Sleep is essential and we all should be striving for eight hours of quality sleep a day.
Unfortunately most of the public nowadays seems to be affected by chronic stress syndrome. Our daily commute to and from work, squabbles with our spouse over bills, overtime at the office, deadlines, raising kids and trying to give them the attention they need and deserve; all of these contribute to chronic stress. Our bodies weren`t designed to be able to operate in this manner. They were designed with the flight or fight response for those times they were confronted with say, a mountain lion or something. But as for being under constant stress, we just aren`t built for that.
Our genes can`t distinguish between chronic and acute stress. In regards to our adrenal system, being stuck in traffic and coming face to face with a sabre tooth tiger are the same thing. They both produce the same response; an adrenaline surge, pounding heart, sweaty palms, heightened senses, a hyper awareness of everything around us.
In a life or death situation that can be rectified in a minute or two, it is the perfect response. As a constant state however, this response will harm you.
Now I know stress can`t be avoided, but it can be managed. By eating what we`ve already discussed, getting adequate sleep, and adopting a workout routine that fits, the harmful effects of stress can be greatly minimized.
Last But Not Least
For years we`ve been told to avoid all sunlight. We`ve been conditioned to be scared to death of skin cancer and sunlight`s exposure. We`ve been told to slather chemical laden sunscreen all over our porous bodies.
I wonder what our ancestors did without sunscreen? What did they do without blinds and buildings to block the sun`s rays?
We evolved in sunlight. Regular amounts of sunlight is needed by our bodies. Let`s scratch the surface of why. UVB rays (the ones we`ve been told to block) from the sun interact with cholesterol in our skin to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D isn`t really a vitamin, it acts more like a hormone, affecting a bunch of organs, functions, and tissues.
What does vitamin D do exactly?
- It`s essential for bone mineralization. Calcium and magnesium can`t do anything to build bone without proper amounts of vitamin D.
- It improves insulin sensitivity and increases fat loss.
- It`s needed for the production of testosterone.
- it prevents tooth decay.
- Our immune systems need it to function.
- It reduces systemic inflammation.
- It plays a role in protecting against many, if not all, forms of cancer.
We just need a little bit of sunlight each day to get our requirements. Thirty minutes of full sun on eighty percent of our body is all it takes. Start out slow though because you`re probably not used to this much at once. Take off as many of your clothes as you can get away with and sit in the sun for a few minutes, increasing the exposure a little at a time each time until you reach the desired thirty. Only apply sunblock after you`ve gotten what exposure you need because sunblock does what it says; it blocks the rays and your body can`t make vitamin D without the rays.
If you can`t get that amount of sun for whatever reason, take a vitamin D-3 supplement. It`s close to as good as the real deal, and it`s a zillion times better than getting none at all.
Wrapping It Up
Diet and exercise aren`t everything. You can`t eat your way out of a sleep deficit and you can`t exercise your way out of not getting enough sun. If you try to eat and exercise your way out of stress, you`re actually adding more of it to your life! The three S`s we talked about are essential to living a healthy life. So pay attention to getting enough sleep, managing stress, and get enough sunlight! Your body will thank you for it, I promise.