Why Food, Sleep and Exercise Are Critical to Success

October 11, 2017

If you want to be a successful person, there are a lot of habits that you are going to have to adopt. A successful person is strong-willed, doesn’t give up when things become difficult, and has the devotion to carry a challenge out to the very end, no matter how tedious or unpleasant it may be. And these are all things that you’ve probably already heard when it comes to being successful. I’m not here to talk about that stuff, though; I’m here to talk about an equally important aspect of success – your health.

You see, if you don’t have your health, it doesn’t really matter how successful you are, and as your health deteriorates, you won’t be able to do any of the things that have made you successful thus far. And when it comes to maintaining good health, there are three aspects that are generally considered the cornerstones of health – food, sleep, and exercise. Today, I want to talk about how adopting a proper diet, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can benefit both your body and your mind, and set you on your way to true success.

Food

A proper diet is the cornerstone of a healthy body, as well as a healthy mind. The food that we eat can literally affect the chemistry in our brain, and enable us to achieve higher levels of mental focus, as well as physical endurance. Junk food is a big problem for a lot of people nowadays because it offers us a quick, easy and cheap source of energy wherever and whenever we feel like it.

The problem is that while this food is caloric, and will provide you with the energy you need, the boost is short-lived and it can turn into an addiction, which can be really bad for your health. What you need is a healthy, consistent source of nutrition that will give you long-lasting energy, so you don’t have to snack every two or three hours when you start craving that greasy, salty junk food again. Foods high in protein and complex carbohydrates are a great choice for this, as they take longer for your body to digest and will thus keep you full for longer periods of time.

Eating right is also the only way to keep your immune system healthy, which is your body’s first line of protection against illnesses and diseases of all kinds. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are essential for this, and these are mostly found in plant-based foods.

Sleep

According to recent research, 1 in 3 Americans are constantly sleep deprived, and this is having a wide array of negative effects on our bodies. Not sleeping enough can lead to weight gain, because of poor insulin regulation. Insulin is a hormone that controls how our bodies process and digest fats, the amount of sodium in our bloodstream, and it even serves a purpose in regulating our appetite. By not sleeping enough, your organism’s insulin tolerance can be completely thrown out of balance, and this affects your metabolism as a whole with one heck of a domino effect.

It’s extremely important to get at least 8 hours of sleep every day, but some people might need even more. This is especially essential for newborns, children and teenagers whose bodies and minds are rapidly developing, as this process can be very tiring on their bodies and they can end up needing a lot of rest.

Exercise

If you feel like you lack the energy to be as productive as you need to be during the day, then exercise is most likely the answer. You see, the pace at which we live these days and at which we expend our energy is incredibly slow compared to how people used to live before the industrial revolution, and during our hunter-gatherer days before that. Most of us get up in the morning, and we either drive a car or take a train to work and back, spending the rest of the day comfortably seated in an office chair or in front of a television set. I admit that this is a bit of a generalization, but you can’t deny that we don’t really get as much exercise as our great-grandparents used to get.

My point is that we as humans were built to move and expend energy, and the more we expend it the higher our energy reserves are going to be. Simply going for a thirty minute run each morning can do wonders for your energy levels – you’ll need less sleep, you won’t need to depend on caffeine as much, and you’ll generally feel a lot better and (certain studies have shown) even happier than before (exercise increases the secretion of the feel-good hormone dopamine).

Well, that’s about all the advice I can give you today. I hope my personal view on health and wellness gets you thinking about your own well-being, as that will definitely translate into success in your professional life. Good luck!

Vanessa Davis is a former personal trainer, mother of two and blog writer at www.diet.st. When she isn’t writing she usually spends her free time playing with her children and her dogs.

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