It’s that time of year where many people are making “New Year, new me” goals and health-related aims are often popular.
As clothiers, part of our job is to help people look good and feel confident in what they wear, but this is always helped by how a person feels about themselves and their overall health.
It’s not just about maintaining a healthy weight, but taking a look at the bigger picture of your overall health. For example, someone might be within a healthy weight range but constantly stressed, and this will impact on their health and of course, their looks.
Do you have health goals this year? Here are a few key areas where many people can improve their overall health:
Get quality sleep
When you lead a busy life, it’s often the case that sleep gets neglected. A CDC report found that one in three adults in the U.S. don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. Official recommendations are that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to promote optimal health and wellbeing.
Many people think nothing of going without sleep, especially if it’s a busy time at work or home. However, losing sleep may not do you any favors in the long run – getting a healthy amount of sleep is more likely to help your performance at work than doing without to try and squeeze extra work in.
Lack of sleep not only affects mood and performance, but it can profoundly impact your physical health too. For example, prolonged lack of sleep can:
- Impact your immunity. You may find yourself catching every little bug and virus that goes around.
- Put you at risk for serious diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.
- Put your mental health at risk.
- Put yourself at risk of accidents or injury due to fatigue.
Of course, lack of sleep can absolutely impact your appearance too. It is known to lead to skin issues healing more slowly, wrinkles, puffy, dry eyes and premature aging. As sleep deprivation stresses your body, it can also lead to hair loss or unhealthy-looking hair.
On the other hand, studies have shown that people who get a healthy amount of sleep are often slimmer, have better immunity, improved mental well-being, even improved sex-drive. Any of these things are bound to make you feel better about yourself and lead to an improved outward appearance, too.
If getting more sleep is on your list this year, here are a few tips:
- Avoid using your smartphone, tablet or other device within the hour close to bedtime. Studies have shown that your phone can disrupt your circadian rhythm and lead to poor sleep.
- Have a bedtime habit and routine. That means going to bed at around the same time each night and getting up at about the same time each morning. This helps your body to get into a healthy rhythm.
- Charge those devices outside of your bedroom. Those glowing notification screens or noises can disrupt your sleep.
- Seek medical help if you have chronic trouble sleeping. We often brush this sort of thing off, but it’s important enough for your health to get it checked out.
An important point to remember is that sleep debt accumulates over time. This refers to the number of hours of missed sleep. For example, if you slept just six hours each night for a week, this would be a minimum of seven hours of sleep debt. If you are chronically in sleep debt, this can lead to things like memory loss, poor concentration and general malaise.The trifecta for improving your health this year: sleep, diet and movement Click To Tweet
Busy lifestyles often lead to hurried dietary decisions, or even skipped meals. When you’re in the middle of a busy project at work, it’s easy for what you put in your mouth to be far from your mind.
We all know we “should” be eating a healthy diet, but a bit part of the problem is that this idea of “healthy” seems to have many definitions. It can be downright confusing trying to decipher the many different opinions out there. For each type of diet you see, you’ll find people who argue strongly for or against it.
Putting specific dietary requirements (or allergies) aside, this article shared a few recommendations based on scientific studies. These tips are for a diet that can lead to a healthier brain and body:
- Avoid sweetened beverages as much as you can. Instead opt for water or even naturally flavored water. Sugary beverages such as sodas can fast-track you toward damaged metabolism and diseases such as diabetes.
- Eat plenty of “whole” foods. This means things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, meat and seafood, in general, foods that haven’t been processed in some way first (sorry bacon, salami and other processed meats!).
- Avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible. These are foods high in concentrated sugars and starches that can cause blood sugar spikes. Think donuts, cakes, pastries and many sugary cereals.
Eating a healthy diet impacts both your body and your mind. What you eat can make you more alert and energetic. It can help you to get a good night’s sleep and to maintain a healthy appearance. Your diet can either help or hinder the appearance and overall health of your skin, hair and eyes.
Move your body
Do you sit a lot of the time for work, or even at home? Research has shown that this is problematic for your health in many ways. Prolonged sitting can lead to a cluster of health concerns, such as obesity, poor circulation, muscle degeneration, high blood pressure and excess body fat, specifically around the waist. Too much sitting also increases your risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Many people in the corporate world exercise in bursts, such as by going to the gym before or after work. However, research shows that a few gym sessions per week probably won’t counteract the ill-effects of sitting for too long. In an article entitled Is Sitting the New Smoking?, it was stated:
“Sitting is the most underrated health-threat of modern time. Researchers found that sitting more than six hours in a day will greatly increase your risk of an early death.”
That comment might be hard to digest if you spend your day in a chair. And, for those of you who have a ‘butts in chairs equals productivity’ mindset, Rath also mentioned that walking could increase energy levels by 150 percent. “Inactivity is dangerous,”he said, “In fact, some research shows inactivity now kills more people than smoking.”
The good news is that there are some tips you can follow to counteract the harmful effects of sitting, such as:
- Get up and move every 30 minutes. Set a timer if you need it.
- Use a standing desk.
- Try using a Swiss Ball instead of a chair.
- Take regular stretch micro-breaks.
- Track your steps and aim for a minimum of 10,000 per day. (This is a “maintenance” level, exercise for weight loss will mean more steps).
To clarify all of this, having a regular exercise routine (such as those lunchtime walks or morning gym sessions) is important, but so is finding ways to break up your periods of sitting. Doing so will contribute to a healthier you this year!
There is one final point we would add as clothiers – have an up-to-date wardrobe so that worrying about what you’re going to wear isn’t adding stress to your day! We’d love to help you out with selections that will suit you.
We wish all of you a happy and prosperous year – to your health!