STAY FIT, SLEEP WELL

Updated: May 21

STAY FIT, SLEEP WELL

By

Angelina Kali Journalist, TV Reporter, International fashion model, and Social Media Influencer instagram.com/angelina_kali

There is understandably so much negativity right now. Worst of all is that negativity tends to generate more negativity. Let’s try to be more positive even in times of adversity. Whilst in lockdown, we now have a lot more time on our hands. So let’s focus on how we can be more constructive with the extra time that we now have.

The one thing that we can all do that is greatly overlooked is to get more sleep. Most scientific studies show that we need at least 8-9 hours of sleep per day. There is an obvious reason why we all need sleep which is that sleep allows the brain and body to recover from the damage done whilst we are active. The more active we are, the more free radicals are in our systems that can cause damage to proteins and even to our DNA. We need to slow down the oxidation process to allow our body to naturally heal which we do through sleep. And if you are not convinced, think why larger animals live much longer than smaller animals. The reason is that the heart of mammals has an inherently built clock which limits it to roughly 1 billion heart beats during its lifetime. Larger animals have much slower heart beats than smaller animals and thus generally live much longer. So if you want to live longer, live life at a slower pace whilst eating healthily, not smoke and exercise moderately. There are plenty of benefits from sleep which include reduction of stress, reduces inflammation, improves memory and attention, as well as assists better mental health.

Another way of slowing down the oxidation process in your body is to practice yoga. Yoga has been proven to enable the practitioners to better control their breathing and slow down their heart beats. There are so many other benefits from practicing yoga. Even just an hour a week of yoga will help you to increase your flexibility, increase muscle strength and tone, improved respiration as well as enhanced cardio and circulatory health. So being in lockdown is a perfect time to start practicing yoga if you have never tried it before. It doesn’t need a lot of room and there are plenty of excellent online yoga courses.

You may now be confused that if a faster heartbeat means that you will live shorter lives and may wonder why you should then exercise. Like most things in life, everything in moderation. Exercise will help to keep your heart healthy as it is a muscle. If not looked after, it will start to deteriorate which is just bad. Body builders who stop pumping iron will quite quickly turn their muscles into sagging fat. By exercising moderately, it reduces the chance of heart attacks by limiting the build up of fat in your arteries. It also improves your oxygen intake by enabling the lungs to process more oxygen from each breath. And the brain needs a lot of oxygen to work effectively.

Good sleep and keeping fit will keep your brain healthier and thus make it more likely to enable you to look after your mental health. Before this pandemic, few people were concerned with mental health. But being confined to a small space for most of the day, either alone or without friends and family, has made mental health a major concern for many. And rightly so. So ensure that you sleep well and exercise moderately. It will give you a fighting chance to come out of this pandemic stronger mentally and better positioned to live a more fulfilling life once this pandemic is over.

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