Most of us attend the gym to be as healthy as we can be. No doubt that physical activity plays a huge role in this, but there are also things outside of physical activity that play a huge role in our long-term health. It’s not about who has the best looking muscles, who can lift the most weight, or even who can run the fastest. It’s about making sure that YOU can function in the best way that YOU possibly can.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAINTAIN HEALTH & WELLNESS?
GET BETTER SLEEP
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can result in higher rates of depression, anxiety, immune system failure, heart failure, cancer…we get the point. But how much sleep is enough? Current recommendations say that 7-9 hours of quality sleep is ideal. Make sure you’re settling into bed early enough that you are able to get that quality sleep before your alarm starts ringing the next morning.
If you need another reminder of how important sleep is to our health: – a 2018 study by the American Heart Association found heart attack risk jumped 24 percent the Monday after switching over to daylight saving time. And that’s only one hour of lost sleep.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT VITAMINS
We know all the basics. Losing weight requires a caloric deficit (which means you’re burning a higher amount of calories than you take in each day.) Don’t eat junk food or processed foods. Eat our greens, drink plenty of water. But what are the other little things that make a big difference – specifically for your immune system? Studies from Italy are showing that both Vitamins C and D are playing an important role in attacking viral infections. That means eat your kiwis and oranges, as well as your fatty fish and dairy. If you’re finding it difficult to get enough of these micronutrients through food, look into supplements to help out.
GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN C: citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, grapefruit), kiwi, leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, green and red bell peppers
GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D: tuna, salmon, whole eggs, mushrooms, fortified dairy sources like milk (some soy milks are also fortified with Vitamin D)
The mind-body connection is real. During my time competing, I found that a major factor in my success was maintaining a positive mental attitude. The outcome is never certain in any situation, so if we remain as positive as we can be and work as hard as we can, that results in the best possible outcome, and the best possible experience.
Control what you are able to control, accept what you cannot control! Stay positive, stay healthy!