I recently read the incredible book Eat Move Sleep (Tom Rath, 2013). I would highly recommend this book to you. The premise for the book is “how small choices lead to big changes.” When you make better choices in the moment, it benefits your overall health and well-being. While you can’t change your family history, you can change your family future by making better choices today.
The bottom line is that eating right is not enough; exercise alone is insufficient; and sleeping well, in isolation, is not adequate. When you focus all your energy on just one of these pursuits, it often comes at the expense of another. It is essential to think about all three elements together.
For the purpose of posting in this blog, I’ll separate my favorite content from the book into the three categories. I’ll update weekly, so please check back!
Move: Make inactivity your enemy.
- In today’s society, we sit far longer than ever before. With the click of a mouse, one can accomplish far more than ever before. However, while this increases efficiency, it comes at the expense of our physical health.
- Exercise alone is not enough. 11 hours of sitting cannot be offset by one full hour of exercise.
- Calories continue to burn after a high-intensity workout is done, sometimes for several hours.
- Work out in the morning, if possible. While working out in the evening is better than not working out at all, you’ll miss the positive benefits. Some studies suggest that a mere 20 minutes of moderate activity will significantly improve your mood for the next 12 hours.
- Align yourself. Take turns on which arm you carry something. Change your desk around, including monitor, phone, and peripherals. Include as much variability as you can often, to decrease burdening one side of your body.
- Your brain works better following exercise. Research shows that exercise creates an immediate benefit for your memory.
- Exercise a little more than you already do. Start small; some activity is always better than none. The last thing you want to do is set a goal so unrealistic or intimidating that it deters you from doing anything at all. Exercise isn’t just about physical improvement; there are many mental benefits as well.