Inflammation continues to rise to the top of the list for causing diseases. When in balance, inflammation is an essential immune response within the human body. Its role is to limit physical damage from illness or injury by responding to invaders like viruses, bacterial infections, toxins, and something as simple as a splinter. Unfortunately, our immune systems can betray us and begin attacking elements it shouldn’t…enter auto immune disorders, allergies, and the like.
When our body lives in a constant state of inflammation, it demands much of our body, sucking vital energy and wreaking havoc on us. We begin to feel ill as our health deteriorates from the inside out.
The good news is we have tools to combat inflammation. Believe it or not, physical exercise can boost the production of healthy immune cells and reduces inflammation markers. You have probably heard or read about the anti-inflammatory diet, yes? The bottom line is to avoid foods that trigger a response in your body. If you have an allergy to a certain food or group of foods, eliminate them. Your immune response may not seem severe, but a whole lot more is happening inside of you. Some additional diet suggestions to reduce inflammation:
- Eat fiber-rich food such as fruits and vegetables
- Consume Omega 3’s or fatty acids found in fish, flax meal, and walnuts
- Limit your saturated fats and cut out trans fats aka avoid processed junk food!
- Cook with these spices known to reduce inflammation: curcumin, turmeric, chili peppers, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, sage and thyme
- Pay attention to gluten, dairy and alcohol – if they bother you, remove them from your diet
As a personal trainer and fitness professional, one question I have been asked repeatedly is: when is the best time to work out? My answer is complicated and goes like this: If you want to burn fat, then getting your cardio in fist thing in the morning is best. If, however, you want to let go some stress and steam, then the end of the day is better. Most importantly, though, is WHEN can you get it in? THAT is the absolute best time to work out!
When it comes to eating, when is more defined. Research is finding that eating earlier in the morning sets your metabolism for the day and that eating after 7 pm increases weight and the likelihood of getting diabetes. Apparently, when we stay up later, we consume more caffeine, sugar, fat, alcohol, and fatty foods. Well, duh? We’re out having a good time! Once in a while will not harm you, but if this is your normal routine, you are setting yourself up for a heart attack!
A great rule of thumb is to only eat when the sun is out. I know this is more difficult in the winter, but you get the picture. Try eating more of your calories earlier in the day and save easily-digested foods for dinner (fruits and veggies). Since it is summer, this is a great time to get in the habit. You are when you eat.
Burnout is real folks! I’ve been an advocate for stress and life management for over 20 years, and research is finally catching up with me. Employees are checking out of their jobs due to burn out, and this is costing businesses $550 BILLION annually in lost productivity. Workplace stress is costing employers another $300 billion a year, and 95 percent of all HR leaders say burnout is hurting retention. (Gallup/Kronos)
What we have done in the past isn’t working! Our associate’s health and personal lives must matter because they bring their stress, burnout, and illness to work. We must also equip employees to succeed at work, otherwise, their lack of engagement will cause them to walk. As leaders, budget money for workshops, training, and coaching to help your teams find work/life balance. Struggle to get these funds approved? Shared these statistics and remind them that spending a few dollars now can save you hundreds of thousands later. Turnover is expensive and damages morale.
Not sure where to start? I have an online workplace stress assessment that identifies what needs to change for employees to feel more engaged, productive, and reduce stress. Give me a call, and I will get you set up! Don’t forget I have all sorts of work/life balance, wellness, and health programs designed to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.
Summer-time travel can get you off track with your health goals. Purchase my Traveler’s Guide to Staying FIT! and you will get practical programs to take on the road. My ideas are easy, fast, yet effective.