We all know that getting a good sweat with regular exercise is a huge part of our health. But, if you neglect other types of self-care, you could be undoing all of your hard work! Here’s the science behind why you have to make time for yourself.
Get your ZZZs:
It’s easy to skimp on sleep when you’re being pulled in other directions. You may even wake up extra early or stay up late to get your daily workout in. But, that’s not always the best choice for your long term health. According to Harvard Medical School, conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease can be attributed to insufficient sleep. It’s important to make room in your schedule for the 7-9 hours of sleep that adults generally need to stay healthy.
Find a job you love:
We all know it’s a drag to go to work if you haven’t found your dream job yet. But, according to a Gallup report, people who are engaged in their work are actually healthier than those who aren’t, and are less likely to have chronic health problems, such as diabetes and obesity. If you’re miserable on the job, it’s time to start networking and find a path you enjoy to benefit your health (and hopefully your wallet, too!).
Check your mood:
A 2012 study found that positive psychological well-being – otherwise known as happiness – helps to protect us from cardiovascular disease regardless of other factors. If you’re stressed or in a situation that has you down, it can have a negative impact on your health that exercising can’t undo. Be sure to nip unhappy feelings in the bud before they affect your physical state.
Watch what you eat:
Duh, right? What you may not know is that 80% of our health is dictated by what we eat, with only 20% determined by our exercise habits. There are lots of reasons to hit the gym – think of the joy and killer cardio workout you get from Zumba® classes! – but you have to make time to prepare healthy meals, too. Beware of trading meal prep time in the name of exercise or other activities, as you could be reversing the impact of your sweat sessions.