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It Doesn’t Stop When the Workout’s Over…

Working Out Is Not Enough

Getting the body that you want isn’t something that can be done in 30 minutes a day or even an hour. Most people think that they are done once the workout is over. That’s just not true.

Working out is an important part of being healthy. However, there are three other key components to getting and maintaining a healthy body.

First piece of the puzzle: Eat right.
Eating right doesn’t mean not eating. It means eating the right foods, in the right portions and at the right times.

Eat throughout the day. Always have healthy foods available for snacks. Having healthy snacks around when you’re hungry can prevent overeating at meal times due to feelings of “starvation.” Also, when hunger strikes, you won’t grab a candy bar from the vending machine, because you have a healthy alternative.

Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because the body is in fasting mode when you wake up. Your body will burn less calories until you eat, or “break your fast.” So, by not breaking your fast shortly after waking up, you lose the opportunity to burn more calories in the early hours of the day.

Don’t take this as an excuse to eat bacon, eggs, and pancakes every morning. While you may have started your engine early, you’d  be drowning it with more fuel than you can easily burn. So, eat a reasonably sized, healthy breakfast.

Second piece of the puzzle: Relax.
If you feel stress building up in your life, take action to dispel it.  Allow yourself the opportunity to relax.

Chronic stress is harmful to our bodies.  It can weaken our immune system and upset the normal balance in our life. Prolonged stress has been linked to  heart disease, certain types of cancer, depression, poor sleeping habits, poor eating habits, anxiety and headaches. It is hard to be healthy when you are chronically stressed.

Take a time out, if you feel stress building
. If stress is building up too high, take a short break. During that break put aside whatever issues are causing the stress. Instead, do something that relaxes you. That could be as simple as going for a walk, listening to your iPod, or meditating.  If that doesn’t work, you could try talking to someone sympathetic. The act of sharing often helps to relieve stress.

Third piece of the puzzle: Get enough sleep
.
There are four reasons why sleep is important in conjunction with being healthy.

Physical Recovery. If you’re exercising correctly, your muscles gets pushed to the limits of what they are capable of. This produces soreness. While you’re sleeping, the muscles do most of their repairs and make you stronger. These new stronger muscles burn more calories. So, getting an inadequate amount of sleep means that you won’t receive the full benefit from your workout.

Mental Recovery. In order for your brain to be functioning at its peak capacity, you need to get sufficient sleep. Without adequate sleep memory and judgment are impaired.

Preventing a Weakened Immune System
. Inadequate sleep suppresses your immune system. That means you’ll get sick more often, you’ll recover slower and feel worse while you’re sick.  Not only does that make you miserable, but it makes it difficult to eat properly or get exercise.

Prevent Disease.  Getting an insufficient amount of sleep has been linked to increased chance of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or other anxiety disorders according to the Mayo Clinic. Inadequate sleep could also double the chances of becoming obese according to ScienceDaily.com.

So, get enough sleep because it is essential to being healthy. Plus it will help you to get the full benefits of those workouts you put in.

The bottom line, is that being healthy involves more than just working out. You can’t  neglect eating healthy, managing stress or getting sufficient sleep. If you do, the one hour a day you work out will be undone by the other twenty-three.

Comments (4)

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  1. Blake Hagen says:

    i think you are right on with #1… eat right. eating right is one of the most important keys to a healthier lifestyle. thanks for the tips.

  2. Mark Salinas says:

    Wow! I try to include a healthy diet (mostly :) )…especially breakfast!. I think far to often the emotional and mental aspects are neglected. Of course rest, sleep, stretching play a key role in the routine and I do find myself falling behind in the sleep and stretching depts. This is a good reminder. I thanks for all your healthy Tweets as well! Much appreciated! Such a good post with enormous amounts of information!

  3. Because of following you on twitter…..I have decided to be healthier.

    I stopped drinking soda and processed foods on Monday.

    I have slept great since the drop in caffeine!

    I’m hoping to start exercising next week…I am getting over a tailbone injury.

    Thanks for the motivation!

  4. WOW. This is a great post. I absolutely agree, stress and sleep are two HUGE factors that many people forget about in terms of overall health and things that can hold you back from reaching your body goals. We all need rest, I say 7 ours minimum. And we need to learn to LET STUFF GO! Ha!

    Sheila
    http://www.livewell360.com

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