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That’s the reason I decided to write out the basics of why this a mistake and why I highly recommend sufficient amounts of sunbathing, walking and sleeping.
Sunning – A lack of sunlight not only pushes you towards a depressive mental state but also depresses your willpower and self-control (they are not the same thing). The cells ‘feed’ on the red light (of the sunlight spectrum) in ways and for reasons we have barely begun to understand.
Avoiding the sun ‘is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking’ writes the authors of an article published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. Compared with those with the highest sun exposure, life expectancy for those who avoided sun dropped by 0.6 to 2.1 years.
By not getting enough sunlight, you are going to die as early as a typical chain smoker and (this is from my personal research), you will be exhibit a plethora of ‘metabolic’ problems, ie energy production and regeneration of tissues – you will age badly and you will feel miserable.
Sunlight will energize your cells directly, via the red light. Sunlight will reduce cravings. Sunlight will even suppress excess immune function which mean sunlight helps with any condition related to inflammation which means sunlight helps with any condition related to inflammation. Sunlight is pure magic.
General guidelines: 20-60 minutes per day in sunlight that will not burn your skin, You can expose yourself in small bounts throughout the day as well. You can sit behind glass and still benefit. But I have a feeling that bare skin exposure with no glass is probably optimal.
Walking – research from Mayo Clinic physician strongly suggest that ‘Walking is good, whether the outcome measurement is blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint problem or mental health’.
I view walking as the diametric opposite acitivity to weight training. Here is why;
- Walking is low intensity, weight training is high intensity.
- Walking is linear patterned, weight training is multi-patterned and nonlinear.
- Walking is primarily aerobic, weight training is anaerobic.
Together, they make a perfect bonded pair that covers the entire spectrum of physicality.
To not be walking on the regular is almost detrimental. Plus, I don’t even have the space to cover the numerous cognitive benefits that simply walking brings. Nearly all of our greatest thinkers, scientist to philosophers, were regular walkers.
General guideline: Walk 20-60 minutes every day. Walk slow, and enjoy the surroundings. The main idea I want to drill into your walk head is to not turn walking into exercise. I prescribe walking as a complement to proper resistance/strength training not as an addition.
Sleeping – A lack of enough deep sleep ruins everything from mental performance to physical performance. It also seems to directly correlated to how much body fat one carries. It is incredible how important sleep is. It is well known in scientific circles that organisms will die from a lack of sleep long before they will die from a lack of food and water. That is simply incredible. Recently we have discovered that organisms without brains also sleep which speaks volumes to the necessity and primordial nature of this ‘activity’.
Here are some fact to ponder;
According to leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker ‘In 1942, less than 8% of the population was trying to survive on six hours or less sleep at night – in 2017, almost 50% of the population is. The reasons are seemingly obvious. ‘First, we electrified the night’ Walker continues, ‘Light is a profound degrader of our sleep’. Second, there is the issue of work, not only the porous borders between when you start and finish, but longer commuter times, too.
No one wants to give up time with their family or entertainment, so they give up sleep instead. And anxiety, plays a part. We are a lonelier, more depressed society. Alcohol and caffeine are more widely available All these are the enemies of sleep.’
“Sleep deprivation may cause overeating by boosting chemicals for appetite as well as those that increase the pleasure of eating sweet or salty high-fat foods.”
Lack of sleep creates a “toxic” environment that promotes fat gain, muscle and bone loss and a surge in cravings, besides creating foul moods which can disrupt your entire life.
General Guidelines: Make absolutely certain that you sleep at the same time every night; you need bio- rhythmic consistency (circadian). To help induce deep sleep, have a pre-bed ritual, such as reading a book or dimming the lights so your body can begin to unwind and relax. If that doesn’t help you sleep, have some carbohydrates before bed to ensure good quality deep sleep (milk or orange juice can work and/or glycine and magnesium may also help).
Sunbathing, walking and sleeping may seem to have nothing to do with a fitness program and diet, but they really do in application. How you live and the quality of life you lead out- side of the gym and in between your planned meals has a dramatic eﬀect on how good your results will be. Everything eﬀects everything.
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