31 May Diet, Rest, Exercise!
As an estate planning law firm, Phelps LaClair is interested in your future. We want our clients to live long, healthy and prosperous lives. The COVID-19 situation we are presently experiencing has brought a new set of challenges to be overcome. So let’s put on our warrior gear and go into battle. The key to staying healthy is to not get sick. As obvious as that sounds, it is true. Our bodies have a built in capacity to keep us healthy: our immune system. The best way to boost your immune system is through diet, rest and exercise.
A balanced diet of fresh healthy food provides the energy our bodies need to maintain good health. With an emphasis on low glycemic carbs, high protein and moderate unsaturated fat, we give our bodies the building blocks necessary for sustaining good immune responses to harmful bacteria and viruses. Studies have found that elderberry extract has an ability to inhibit viral infection. When you take any supplements, be sure to consult with your doctor first to ensure there aren’t any interactions with medications you may be taking.
Most of our body’s repairing activities take place during sleep. Sleep studies have determined that in eight hours of sleep a night, our bodies cycle through four stages of sleep five times each night. While we are happily sleeping, our bodies are busy working at deeper levels to heal, restore, re-energize, and prepare us for a new day.
In our deepest state of sleep, our blood pressure and body temperatures fall, our breathing and heart rates slow, our muscles relax and we receive greater blood flow to repair damaged tissue. Hormones are also released during this phase of sleep that control growth, hunger and appetite. As icing on the cake, our brain’s glymphatic system is most active while we sleep. This is the system that flushes the brain, removing toxins that have built up in it throughout the day. It is so important to our health that the brain cells actually shrink by 60% to allow more cerebral spinal fluid to wash through it. The bottom line is: don’t skimp on sleep! You will be vastly more productive and healthy if you let your body cleanse and restore itself each night.
Now that we are in quarantine mode, most of us are not getting the same amount of exercise that we are used to. Not having access to a gym doesn’t mean you can’t workout, though. There are many exercise programs that don’t require any equipment other than your body. You can do effective exercise at home.
The three goals of exercise include aerobic, strength, and flexibility training. There are exercises you can do in short periods throughout the day that will help you reach each of these goals. Remember the joy of skipping rope? That’s not just for kids or boxers anymore. It is a tremendous aerobic exercise for everyone. Don’t have a rope? Try jumping jacks. It accomplishes the same thing: elevating your heart rate. If these exercises are too strenuous, try stairs. If you don’t have stairs, stepping up and down on a step stool for five minutes achieves the same result.
Strength training is needed for building muscles or keeping muscle tone. You can use household items instead of barbells to lift weights. Start small, and work your way up. Some folks begin with a 32 ounce can of juice and do curls for a few repetitions. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds, so you can start there and graduate to 3 – 5 gallon water jugs as you gain strength.
You don’t even need any weight equipment; your own body weight provides a great resistance for strength training. Push ups, squats, crunches, and planking will work every large muscle group. You can be on the road to better health as you wait out this stay-at-home order.
For flexibility training, you can improve your balance by sitting on a beach ball. Wobbling while you sit will accomplish several things. It will strengthen your stomach muscles and it will move your spine. Keeping your spine flexible improves the ability of the glymphatic system to do its work. As you sit, twist side-to-side for 20 repetitions, then do front to back stretches for 20, and finish with side to side non-rotating stretches for 20 repetitions. You will be amazed at how this loosens your body up. Keep in mind that if you experience pain, you need to stop. Discomfort is normal; pain is not!
Stay Healthy and Have fun
The best routines are the ones that bring pleasure. Keeping fit in this time is one of the best ways to not only boost your immune system, but to boost your mood as well. Another way you bring pleasure is by knowing that your assets are protected and your family is provided for. Estate planning through Phelps LaClair is the best way to do that. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your estate planning needs and goals. We will get through this together and come out the other side healthier, wealthier and wiser!