Thriving Magazine, September 2022, Issue 15

do this Invest in your long-term success. Partner with a health or fitness coach who can set you up with a plan, help you overcome obstacles and stay accountable to your goals.

the myth: social media can inspire your diet and exercise routine Unfortunately, most of what is found on social media is anecdotal evidence and personal experience that doesn’t hold much weight when compared to research. Like a fad diet, it sounds too good to be true because it is. This creates irrational expectations, and then you get let down once you fail. Often, what’s on social media is quick fixes, and not the more mindful practice of sustainable lifestyle behavior changes.

the myth: if you’re having trouble falling asleep, you should just lie there with your eyes closed If you’re lying in bed having difficulty falling asleep you may be unconsciously training your brain to associate lying in bed with not sleeping. Your bed is for sleep, and you want to do everything in your power to train your brain and body that when you’re in bed, it’s sleeptime.

do this If after 20 minutes of lying in bed you still haven’t fallen asleep, you should get out of bed and do a relaxing activity. This does not mean drinking or eating a snack, watching TV, or scrolling on your phone. Instead, think of reading a book or meditating. Also, make sure to keep the lights dim and minimize noise.

do this Limit use of any screens for at least one hour prior to bedtime. Leave your phone in a different room and use a regular, old- fashioned alarm clock. If you must use your phone for an alarm clock, set your alarm and leave your phone across the room. This will also help with limiting use of the snooze button.

the myth: : taking your phone to bed is no big deal Most of us are guilty of lying in bed scrolling through our phones, and before you know it, we’ve lost an hour of sleep. It’s not just going to sleep later that is impacting your sleep quality, but also the exposure to your phone's blue light. Research has shown that flooding your brain with blue light close to bedtime disrupts production of melatonin—a hormone that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. This can lead to lighter, more restless sleep, leaving you feeling groggy and fatigued.

the myth: I’m too old; making changes now won’t help The human body is amazingly capable of making changes even in advanced age. We cannot stop aging or death, however, the lifestyle choices that we make each day have a dramatic impact on how quickly or slowly we age.

do this If you’re eating a healthy diet, moving your body regularly, getting adequate sleep, avoiding the use of substances, managing stress constructively, have a positive mindset, and have good social connections, you’re much more likely to lead a long, healthy, productive life.

the myth: your genes determine your health more than your lifestyle Many of us believe our health is fated, either positively or negatively, due to genes we’ve inherited from our parents. However, the field of epigenetics, which is the study of how lifestyle choices can turn on or turn off genes, has shown us that our habits and behaviors are much more impactful on our health than our genes.

do this If you have a known risk for any disease because it runs in your family, it’s even more important to make healthy lifestyle choices to avoid the same fate as other family members.

SEPTEMBER 2022 • ISSUE 15 ° ° (757) 829.7174 | 5

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