Physical resilience is the ability of our physical body to endure various challenges and maintain stamina and strength. It also determines your healing process when damage was already done. In other words, when your physical resilience is poor, you’re likely to be sick more often, you’re aging faster and you may even die sooner. That sounds scary, right? Unlike the low level of social, mental and emotional resilience. Consequences of neglecting your physical wellbeing are obvious and can’t be ignored. As you probably know, body and mind are interconnected and influence each other. Low physical resilience can cause also depression, anxiety and other mind related illnesses. How to get your physical resilience to the next level? We’ll talk about three non-negotiable pillars of physical resilience: proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
The food, you eat, can heal you as well as harm you. Try to recall meals you ate today. Have you had some vegetables? Fruit? Nuts? What are the amounts of food you eat daily? Scientists from NYU Langone Medical Center found that calorie-restricting diets slow aging. Other reports from University of Southern Carolinaand Gladstone Institutes conclude similar results. Instead of overeating, try to decrease your calorie intake. If you’re already eating the amount of calories, your body needs to function, and you’re not overweight, don’t reduce your calorie count. If you’re athlete, I bet you already know a lot about nutrition and you also know how many calories you need in order to perform.
Every calorie has different quality. It has a completely different effect on your body. Imagine that you take 1000 cal from vegetables or 1000 cal from burger and fries. It’s a big difference. One universal perfect diet doesn’t exist, but there are few good pieces of advice I can share with you, so you can eventually find the perfect diet for yourself.
- Drink liquids – try to drink at least 2L a day. Preferably water and unsweetened tea. Avoid those sweet and colorful sodas at all costs. It’s usually just sugar in liquid form. You might complain: “But hey! It gives me energy!” Yes, it does. But just for a short moment due to high glycemic index. Artificial colors and sugar stays in your body for longer and eventually can cause a lot of nasty diseases.
- Make sure you have protein on your plate – protein is responsible for your muscle growth and it’s also affecting neurotransmitters simulating neuronal connections in stimulating way and also calming way. You can find protein in plant sources as well as animals. Great protein sources are legumes, kale, whole grains, dairy, fish, poultry. On benefits of protein-rich diets, you can read more in the study of American Academy of Neurology, University of East Anglia or Boston University Medical Center.
- Eat regularly – your brain needs glucose to function. Choose nuts or some fruits/veggies as snacks during the day. Instead of heavy “main” meals, go for lighter options with vegetables. Energy drinks, sweet sodas, cookies and other sweets just raise your glucose level and then drop down leaving you lethargic.
The power of exercise
According to a study of University Health Network, sitting for longer periods is connected to higher risk of diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and even earlier death. If you’re sitting right now, give yourself a gift and take 5 minutes and take a walk. Are you back? Great, do this also in 1 hour, or every 30 minutes. Researchers from Indiana University found that 5 minutes break after longer period of sitting can reverse the damage long period sitting has on arteries.
Regular exercise can lower your risk of heart disease and early death. American College of Cardiology researched this topic and if you don’t take my word advocating regular exercise, read what these scientists have to say in this report. Article published in PLOS Biology, suggests that long-term exercise is also beneficial for your brain and prevents age-related brain changes. You should definitely consider renewing your gym membership or simply step outside and find an exercise buddy while running around like I did.
How many times I heard that sleeping is just a waste of time, which could be used in a more productive way? Sleep is necessary. Our memories are formed when we’re sleeping. Instead of writing you more about important of sleep, watch this video instead.
Do a little bit for your physical resilience today, take a glass of water now and have at least 6-hours night sleep. See you next Tuesday with another blog post.
If you’re leading a team that needs a resilience boost, feel free to contact me. We’ll find the best solution for you and your team.