It's a tricky feat, trying to get your sleep, exercise and diet to all match up so you can be the best version of yourself These three pillars of health are often quoted as being the most important aspects of your wellbeing. While there's no perfect formula, there are tips that can help you get on the right track.
Sleep is often overlooked and under-utilised. According to an Inquiry into “Sleep Health Awareness in Australia” carried out by the committee on Health, Aged Care and Sports for the Australian, four in every ten Australians are regularly experiencing inadequate sleep. This can be caused by a multitude of reasons including sleep disorders, stress, lifestyle factors, or the use of electronic media. Poor sleep can lead to various health conditions including heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
According to the Sleep Foundation,adults should get between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. In order to achieve this, we've listed some tips you can follow:
Setting up a scheduled sleep routine is important as it allows your body to get accustomed to waking up and falling asleep at certain times. Make sure you set a fixed wake-up time and keep to it, allowing your body to adjust to a regular sleep cycle.
Make sure you're not napping for too long or too late in the day as this can cause trouble when you're trying to get to sleep at night. If you do want to take a nap, the best time is in the early afternoon for around 20 minutes. Fighting the urge to nap can help to get you set on a good bedtime routine as you will be ready to sleep at a suitable time.
Wind down before bed by switching off your tech devices for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. This lessens your exposure to the light from the devices, which can suppress your natural production of melatonin, making it harder to go to sleep.
For individuals who find that as soon as their heads hit the pillow they start to overthink all the worries of the day, try listening to a podcast. Preferably one that is monotone and with only one speaker. Turn it down to a very low volume so you have to really concentrate to hear what is being said. True crime podcasts or pink/brown noise can be a great option. It often works well for neurodiverse people who often find getting to sleep difficult.
Having a healthy and nourishing diet isn't about what's trending or what will make you lose weight the quickest. It's about eating foods that are nutritious and that help you function to the best of your ability. It's important to think about the long-term benefits of eating healthy (such as improved energy and immunity) versus the short-term benefits of having something that’s cost-effective but has barely any nutrients.
Many people aren’t aware that they don't eat enough fruit and vegetables. fruit, veggies and dairy are the food groups that people don't get enough of, and instead eat heaps of meat and carbohydrates based food. The key to having a well-rounded balanced diet is planning and being aware of what your food groups are. It comes down to knowing what your core foods are, as some people are still not aware what a core food is, versus a discretionary food.
A core food is something like fruit and veggies, dairy, carbs and protein, while discretionary or enjoyment foods are things like chocolate, wine or chips for example. It’s also important that you’re making your diet realistic - It’s about being 80/20, so 80% core food groups and 20% of your enjoyment foods.
We don't expect people to eat perfectly 100% of the time as that’s not sustainable and not real life. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating has a comprehensive pie chart of how much of each food group you should be eating.
It's not uncommon for many people to have a love-hate relationship with exercise. It takes motivation and discipline to stick to a solid, consistent workout routine. But there are some effective ways to incorporate more exercise into your life:
Before you start adding more exercise into your life, it's important that you seek advice from your local doctor. Your doctor can give you guidance on your health capacity and if there are any physical limitations that you may need to be aware of.
Make sure you set realistic goals and start slow when it comes to exercise, this way you won't burn out straightaway.
Try to get into the routine of warming up and cooling down before you go for a run or hit the weights so you'll be less prone to injuries.
Make sure you're wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, as the last thing you want is nasty blisters or annoying workout gear that doesn't fit properly.
Choose an activity that feels right for you, whether that's running, boxing or cricket, pick something that you're excited about and that you want to keep up with. You might even enjoy a group workout to make it a little more social.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app to connect to our team of qualified, caring health professionals.
Information sourced from: Better Health, Sleep Foundation and Eat for Health
Image credit: Andisheh A on Unsplash
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.