4 Easy Ways to Live A Nutritious Life: National Nutrition Month
If your daily nutrition is in need of some serious upgrading, now is the perfect time. March marks the National Nutrition Month, and with only 2 weeks of the month gone by, there’s still time to learn and practice healthy habits.
Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Nutrition Month is dedicated to shining a spotlight on the importance of proper dieting and exercise. National Nutrition Month works to remind the public of how critical nutrition is to overall health, and its importance in combating disease.
Along with dieting and exercise, nutrition has a direct link to sleeping habits. At Lull, sleep is incredibly important, and there are many reasons why it should be to you as well. If you have been struggling with your personal nutrition or perhaps you’re wanting some more insight, here are 3 key connections found between sleep and nutrition:
Sleep Problems and Obesity
Millions of Americans suffer from a disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes restlessness throughout the night, as individuals who suffer from it will periodically stop breathing. Sleep apnea commonly stems from obesity. At the same time, people who suffer from sleep apnea are less likely to exercise or diet due to daytime tiredness, thus creating a vicious cycle between the disorder and obesity. Anyone hoping to lose weight who also suffers from sleep apnea is advised to first resolve their sleep apnea with breathing therapy.
Sleep and Exercise
The time of the day you workout can greatly affect your quality of sleep. Experts advise working out at least 3 hours before bed, preferably in the afternoon, to avoid having a negative impact on your sleep. Exercising raises heart rate and body temperature, but in order to fall into a deep slumber, the body needs to be at a lower body temperature. Therefore, working out too close to your bedtime is not wise. It can take up to 6 hours for body temperature to lower, making it crucial to not exercise too late in the day.
Sleep and Diet
People who don’t achieve enough sleep each night consequently have a bigger appetite. The feeling of sleepiness is quite similar to that of feeling hungry. Hence, when you feel tired due to insufficient hours of sleep, you may also feel a need to snack. Because of this, inadequate sleeping habits can lead to struggles with weight gain.
Getting a better grip on your personal health can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’re in the midst of a month dedicated to it. However, bettering your health can be relatively simple, and can also be done in small steps.
In the spirit of National Nutrition Month, we have compiled 4 small, yet powerful steps you can take towards improving your personal nutrition. So whether you’re a nutrition expert or a beginner, here are some ways you can make the most of this month:
Keep Only Healthy Food in the Kitchen
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised by how many unhealthy foods you unknowingly surround yourself with. Be diligent that all food in your kitchen is either fruits, vegetables, natural and organic proteins, or in another way nutritious to you. Tempting yourself with any kind of junk food will be sure to lead to constant indulging. Even if you bought something unhealthy to eat sparingly or perhaps on a special occasion, the temptation of having it around can begin to feel unbearable. As a rule of thumb, keep only healthy and nutritional foods in your kitchen, so if you’re ever hungry you’ll automatically be grabbing for something that will benefit your health rather than harming it.
Stock Up on Healthy Snacks for On-the-Go
Grabbing snacks and quick bites for when you’re on-the-go is common due to the hectic lives most of us live. On top of this, truly healthy snacks are not always at our disposal once leaving the house. To ensure you’re not always grabbing for a bag of chips or a candy bar, have your pantry stocked up with an array of healthy snack options to take with you wherever you go. You don’t want to be snacking all too much anyway, so it’s better if the snacks you do have are ones that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
Eat More Earlier in the Day
To avoid night time cravings, and eating right before bed, try to eat more earlier in the day. Many experts recommend for the heaviest meal of the day to be breakfast, so hunger hormones are more stabilized at night. If you find yourself too busy and rushed in the morning to prepare a large meal for breakfast, having a larger lunch can also help.
Invest in High-Quality Bedding
In order to obtain the best quality sleep, which will then ensure better quality health, you’ll need the proper bedding. A mattress that will cater to your body, rid your muscles and joints of pain, and evenly distribute your body heat is necessary for a proper night’s sleep. As mentioned, your quality of sleep directly affects your nutrition. Hence, investing in bedding that will guarantee you aren’t suffering from sleepless nights is just as important as stocking up on fruits and vegetables.
Although March presents a time to reflect on and better our health habits, don’t let it stop once the month is over! Allow what you’ve learned to carry on with you so that you can be confident about your health at any point in the year.