Whether you’re a CEO or a full-time student, it’s a daily challenge to find time for your health alongside professional and social responsibilities. The average American works 47 hours a week, or six days, leaving little time for the gym, but it’s vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle even when you can’t make it the gym or fitness classes.
The essential components of a healthy lifestyle include physical activity, balanced nutrition, socialization, and mental wellness. It’s necessary to maintain each aspect in order to feel your best, but holistic maintenance takes work.
Consistent physical activity is important in maintaining overall health and mental well being while also reducing the risk of many chronic illnesses. It is recommended adults get 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity with some muscle strengthening activities at least two days a week. Brisk walking, jogging, or even biking are all aerobic activity which will increase your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and blood oxygen levels. High HRV increases the parasympathetic response, which promotes relaxation, digestion, sleep, and recovery.
Instead of spending hours on the treadmill or in spin class, try walking to grab coffee and lunch, or even to pick up light groceries. Take the few extra minutes to walk or bike to work and regularly take the stairs instead of the elevator. Youtube can also be a valuable resource for at-home workouts such as yoga and circuit training.
The typical American diet now exceeds the recommended intake levels or limits in calories from solid fats and added sugars, refined grains, sodium, and saturated fat. Americans also eat far less of the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Healthy eating has an immediate impact on energy and alertness, and over time helps reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
A busy lifestyle challenges healthy eating habits, but planning ahead can have a positive impact. Instead of going out for lunch, prep healthy meals at home. Drink water or tea instead of soda to stay alert throughout the workday and pack fruits and vegetables for snacking. At home, buy fresh produce and lean meats for meals, or sign up for a healthy meal service which delivers pre-prepared dishes or healthy ingredients for cooking.
Stress is one of the largest contributors to poor overall health and can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. High levels of stress negatively impact sleep, decision making, and socialization. Lower stress levels lead to better mental health resulting in increased productivity, reduced risk of chronic illness, and stronger relationships.
Clearly, mental health is directly related to physical activity and diet. This balance is key as physical activity leads to lower stress, and better sleep. To further improve mental health, get enough sleep each night and seek small ways to relieve stress, such as yoga or daily meditation— even 10 minutes a day can improve attention span, immunity, sleep, and overall brain function.
Biostrap helps ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle inside and outside of the gym. By tracking your every move at a clinical level, Biostrap’s metrics can be used to inform your overall well being and help you make healthier choices every day.