Prioritizing or even recognizing the importance of sleep is not something most of us do. While nutrition and exercise are known keys to health and wellness, sleep is often talked about far less but has HUGE implications for health and wellness. In fact, every major organ, physiological system, and every process that takes place in the brain is either enhanced or impaired by the amount of sleep you get. Getting insufficient sleep for just one week can impact blood sugar levels so dramatically that you can be classified as pre-diabetic. Poor sleep has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease and stroke, depression, lower testosterone, reproductive issues, inflammatory bowel diseases, and obesity. On the flip side, good sleep positively impacts problem solving skills, memory, athletic performance, creativity, heart health, metabolism, and weight. If that isn’t enough, good sleep is associated with longer life spans and overall quality of life. So, yeah, sleep is important.
Magnesium may be small but it is mighty. It doesn’t take up much room in the body - about 25 g of magnesium is in an adult body - but it’s the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and helps the body function in almost every capacity. Specifically, it helps keep the heart beat steady, keeps bones strong, maintains normal nerve and muscle function, regulates glucose levels, and supports a healthy immune system. It contributes to energy production and the composition of teeth. It also helps regulate other nutrients within the body, like calcium, potassium, and Vitamin D. Magnesium is a powerhouse and people should start paying attention to it...especially considering an estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium.
You know the word cholesterol - you’ve heard it before and probably know a little bit about it. Odds are you probably know someone with high cholesterol who is taking a statin drug, like Lipitor, to help lower cholesterol. And when you hear the word cholesterol or read it in this sentence, my guess is you immediately have a negative connotation with the word. Cholesterol=bad. Something to manage, avoid, or lower. But cholesterol is actually a very necessary part of your bodily functions and kind of a cool reminder of the beautiful, complicated organism that is your body.
From the moment you are born you start aging - it is an evitable part of life but often times gets a bad wrap...and rightfully so. Lots of things begin to change as we age: energy, metabolism, hormones, our immune system, our bone and muscle strength, our memory and overall cognition, and our ability to move. Yay for aging! While we can’t control aging, there are some things we can control like how we age and how soon the changes start to kick in (and how drastic they are).
Most of us (if not all of us) want to be healthy - we really do - but sometimes it can feel so hard to do. Our time is limited, and work and family suck most of that up. If we can find the time to work on healthy habits, we tend to overcomplicate it, thinking we need to do more - restrict more, count more, push our bodies more. Our busy, demanding, and overachieving selves compartmentalize what healthy is - like it’s some thing we do in addition to the countless other things on our to-do list. But health and wellness shouldn’t be just another thing that demands more from us; it should be seamlessly woven into our daily lives in a way that serves us well and supports the other components of our lives. Sounds nice, right? But we know, it’s easier said than done. That’s because it’s really a slow process that incorporates small changes, but it’s also less complicated than we think. Using the five basic building blocks of healthy living, here are tips on how to slowly start building a solid foundation of healthy practices that results in more health, wellness, and overall happiness.
We tend to overcomplicate most things in our lives - from making plans with friends to the products we purchase, to even deciding what to have for dinner. The same goes for what we think we have to do to be healthy. It feels like the only way to be healthy is go hard with exercise or count out macronutrients, but that isn't it at all. In fact, that kind of thinking usually results in an "all or nothing" approach, with the majority of us doing nothing (or trying to do it all but not sticking with it because it's hard and unsustainable). We are overcomplicating how to be healthy which means we actually miss out on the simple, everyday, and basic foundation needed for health.
The concept of coaching is probably not new to you: someone with expertise in an area helps you learn and improve so you excel in that area. The most common places this exists are in sports, music, and the business executive world. Notice health wasn’t one of the areas mentioned; yet your health is one of the most important aspects of your life - and also one of the most expensive and difficult to navigate.
Most of us have heard about, talked about, or complained about our metabolism at some point in our lives but not many of us really know what it is and how it works. Magazine articles promising to “boost your metabolism” give us a false sense of what metabolism is as well as our ability to control it (we all know someone who has chugged green tea, started running sprints, or bought a certain supplement in the hopes of increasing their metabolism). Spoiler alert: metabolism isn’t some thing that we can manipulate, like a bicep or our hair color. It is a lot more complex, and interesting, than that. It’s a natural process for making energy, and your body is a pretty sophisticated system with a lot in place to regulate your metabolism and ensure your body has everything it needs to function.