Living and working hard can take its toll on both mind and body, which is why these days it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re taking good care of yourself. Here are three things I believe will ensure you’re doing yourself justice in living a healthy and balanced life.
1. The power of rest
According to Ana Noia, Physiologist in Neurophysiology and Sleep, a good sleep routine will allow you to keep your immune system strong, reduce your stress levels, as well as keep your heart strong and your weight under control.
While you’re sleeping, your body repairs and restores your cells. It will help you to physically and mentally recover energy to cope with what’s coming up tomorrow.
Sleep will also boost your creativity, and your productivity, and will allow your body to recover from intense workdays and workouts.
2. The importance of exercise
Regarding our second pillar, the American Psychological Association reports that regular exercise is the key that will trigger the chemical elements in our brains which regulate our stress, anxiety and general mental health:
“Preliminary evidence suggests that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people […] The more sedentary we get, the less efficient our bodies are in responding to stress.”
3. The impact of a healthy diet
And of course, the third element is eating right. By following a balanced diet, we will fuel our mind and body to perform well in all the aspects of our life.
According to the English National Health System (NHS), to have a healthy, balanced diet, you should try to:
- Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day
- Base your meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
- Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
- Eat beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)
These three basics (yet often overlooked) aspects will help you enormously when engaging in strenuous physical or mental exercise, whether it’s training for a marathon or boosting your level of life and your efficiency at work: sleep well, exercise almost every day and eat healthily.