The back to school virus found its way into my house this week. It feels like a cold heading towards bronchitis – but I’m told its a very nasty virus back in town. My first instinct is to just work through it. Sweat more, ignore the incessant coughing, go to work.
But that’s not the right way to take of my health! There are many tools available to us to ensure we get better, stronger, healthier. One of the most valuable tool is SLEEP.
Yes, sleep. There are many benefits, here’s a few:
- Most of tend to not get enough sleep and think ‘I can sleep when I’m dead.’ Turns out, death comes quicker when you don’t sleep enough.
- Lower inflammation. When your sick, your body throws up inflammation to keep the bad stuff away. However, too much inflammation is not good! C-reactive protein is higher in those who don’t get enough sleep – and that protein is associated with heart attack risk the higher it is.
- Better healthy weight is a big benefit! Well rested dieters lose more fat, sleepy dieters tend to lose muscle mass.
Another group of tools that has really helped me stay on target is the walking tools.
- Fitbit. It tracks my steps, my sleep, my water intake and my diet if I want it too. I take part in the weekly challenges with several people – and their step goals are higher than mine. Turns out I’m a bit competitive! By tracking my steps and theirs I find I walk more. My fitbit costs about $100.
- My smart phone and podcasts. First of all I take pictures of some neat stuff I see along the way, and my iPhone 6+ is wonderful for that. I also listen to podcast as I walk. Currently on rotation is: Beating Around the Bush (small town stories from Australia), Casefile True Crime (I’m a fanatic for this kind of stuff), The Owner’s Mind by Chris Brogan (if he can’t motivate you, no one can), Build a Bigger Life (Adam Carroll interviewing small business people and motivational folks). I find I will walk until the end of a podcast – and that’s more steps. These podcasts are free to listen to.
- Challenge Box. They sync with my Fitbit. They send me a box each month with snacks to try that are healthy and workout gear. Their online program is very helpful too. Lots of great advice, a short weekly email loaded with information and tips to use. www.getchallengebox.com There is a charge to be a monthly member.
I’ve rested a lot this week, and walked less. I know the value of rest, and it’s hard to sit and do nothing. However, I feel better today because I have! Rest and my diffuser running day and night is helping. Walking resumes this coming week! (Not to say I haven’t walked at all, but I have cut it down by 50%.)