By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
How much have your routines or lifestyle changed due to COVID-19?
Many would say “a lot.” Adapting to a schedule where you’re working from home or having to adjust to remote learning for your kids can be stressful.
These concerns can make it difficult to stick with a committed workout schedule or remain mindful about the foods you eat. Why is this important? Because it’s part of maintaining a lifestyle of physical wellness.
You might be asking yourself “What is physical wellness?”
It’s making lifestyle choices and decisions that keep your body healthy and in top condition. Common ways to achieve physical wellness are to eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a consistent sleep schedule.
Your body is an amazing machine that gives warning signs when something is wrong. An easy way to stay on the path to physical wellness is to watch for any signs of distress.
Common signs of physical distress include recurring pain in your joints or muscles, a high Body Mass Index (BMI), insomnia, unexplained exhaustion, and breathing trouble. Any sort of drug or alcohol abuse, along with cigarette smoking, will greatly inhibit attempts to achieve physical wellness.
I can’t stress enough the importance of sleep. Modern society often tries to celebrate those who are willing to “grind” and work without sleep. You might feel like you’re being productive by cutting down your sleep, but you’re just tricking yourself. A lack of proper sleep severely inhibits mental and physical energy.
When it comes to sleeping well to enhance your physical wellness, maintaining a sleep cycle is vitally important. Your body craves a normal sleep routine. Forcing it to adjust and adapt to different bedtimes will lead to a lot of physiological stress.
Most healthy adults need an average of eight hours of sleep per night. A few might be able to operate on as little as six. According to the American Psychological Association, the need for sleep does not decline as a person gets older. Instead, the ability to rest for six to eight hours at one time might be harder as you age.
What’s the best way to sleep well? One smart tool to get your body on a regular sleep cycle is to supplement with melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone your body releases when it’s dark to help time your circadian rhythms. Melatonin gummies are a popular and easy-to-ingest way to help you sleep.
A lot of people wonder if weighted blankets help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more restful sleep. Check out our review of these blankets to see what one of our writers said!
Eating well is a foundation of a healthy lifestyle. A proper diet gives your body the energy it needs to function, can reduce harmful inflammation, and equips you with a range of vital vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
When it comes to your diet, be watchful of your eating patterns. Even if you’re eating healthy foods, it can be very easy to start consuming snacks without giving them a second thought. Mindful eating practices focus your brain on the meal or snack in front of you and lead you away from using food as an antidote to stress or worry.
Looking for a few foods to add to your diet to enhance your physical wellness? Here are a few good choices to include in your healthy meal prep.
Yes, sweet potatoes are one of the best foods you can eat. They’re packed with vital nutrients like potassium and fiber. They’re also filled with carotenoids, a powerful antioxidant that actually produces the colors that many fruits and vegetables have.
Greek yogurt is a popular snack, and for good reason. It goes great with berries, whole-grain cereal, or bananas. It’s chock full of protein and is great for your gut health since it contains vast amounts of probiotics. Gut health is a crucial component of physical wellness. Your body’s ability to properly digest foods and extract the most amount of nutrients possible will enhance your health.
Plants like spinach, kale, and collards are great choices for your health. These leafy plants contain large amounts of beneficial nutrients like Vitamins A, C, and K, along with generous doses of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and fiber. Building a salad with different leafy greens is an easy (and appetizing) way to make any meal nutritious.
Fatty fish like salmon are great foods to get a proper dosage of Omega-3 fats. These help your body reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of many of today’s ailments. Omega-3 fats are particularly effective at lessening the risk of stroke or heart problems. If possible, try to purchase wild-caught salmon rather than farmed.
Many wonder if eggs should be included in their diet. Some argue that they contain high levels of cholesterol. Others point out their nutrient-rich nature. The truth is pretty simple.
Are eggs healthy? Yes! Eggs are one of the most nutrient-packed foods on Earth. A single egg is full of healthy fats, protein, and a plethora of vitamins and minerals.
Best of all, eggs are a versatile food. From scrambled to poached to hard-boiled, you can eat them in a variety of ways if your taste buds get bored.
Physical wellness is vital in performing up to your ability and potential across every area of your life. Every facet of physical wellness, from the foods you eat to your sleep patterns and even your stress management and mindset, all interlock.
If you’re not eating well, you’ll find that it’s harder to effectively exercise and sleep. If you’re not sleeping on a regular schedule, your diet will most likely suffer, and stress and anxiety levels will increase.
Fortunately, there’s a number of strategies you can pursue to optimize your physical wellness. Exercise, a healthy diet, sleep management, and cultivating a positive mindset are building blocks for a life full of productivity, joy, and peace.