When we are stuck at work for 9-12 hours every day, we often lose motivation to stay healthy mentally and physically. These are the times where we should make more effort to look after both our mind and our body. Indeed, I’m a big believer in holistic wellness, which means good mental health affects the physical body (and vice versa)…So what are my 3 simple yet very effective habits that we can start incorporating into our lives for better overall health?
1. This means that Sleeping 7-8 hours from 10pm-6am is very different to going to bed at 2am-10am, and here is why: It is said in traditional Chinese medicine that different parts of our body repair at different times of the day/night. This means that you should avoid adding more strain to particular body parts (e.g. exercise or eating) during times when that body part is naturally rejuvenating.
So what time should we sleep? My recommendation is to be in bed with your eyes closed by 11pm! This ensures that you are resting during the 11pm-3am period when your gallbladder and liver are replenishing themselves as shown in the timing list below.
A quick biology lesson: your gallbladder produces bile which helps digest fat, and your liver helps to detoxify chemicals and metabolize drugs - which means if you don’t allow these two organs to recover on a daily basis, you have the risk of storing fat and not being able to get rid of toxins from your body. This 11pm-3am period can therefore literally be considered your 'Beauty Sleep'!
Here is the full timing list so you can be aware of what your body is focusing on throughout the day:
1am-3am – Liver
3am-5am – Lungs
5am-7am– Large intestines
7am-9am – Stomach
9am-11am – Spleen & pancreas
11am-1pm – Heart & mind
1pm-3pm – Small intestine
3pm-5pm – Bladder
5pm-7 pm – Kidneys
7pm-9pm – Pericardium
9pm-11pm – Triple heater (related to metabolism)
11pm-1am – Gallbladder
2. Stay Hydrated with Water from the Minute you Wake Up
I have made it a habit to down a big glass of room temperature or warm water every morning. We all know we should and it’s ‘good’ - but why is that?
Whilst asleep, all we are actively doing is breathing and when we are only inhaling and exhaling oxygen we actually lose a lot of water content from our bodies (especially when the weather is dry or when we have the air-con on). Knowing that most of our body mass is made from water, it is really important to keep ourselves hydrated with pure water (not juice, not coffee, not soft drinks). Set your alarm every 2 hours at work to remind yourself to grab a glass of water :)
3. Keep Moving
Keeping active may feel impossible if working long hours behind a desk and if you have other competing priorities outside of the office. However I encourage everyone to dedicate 4% of your day (1hour) to doing your favorite fitness or yoga routine which can turn out to be a total luxury… I said luxury! Movement is a luxury because we always feel great and never regret a workout!
I am committed to practicing yoga as my movement routine, though there are days that I go for the occasional High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class. I also choose to do all my exercises in the morning before I head to the office as a good way to start my day and not roll out of bed and straight to work.
Always remember: A strong body = strong mind
I would love to share more about my routine and hear from you what you do and how you live… so, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or things you would like to discuss on the topic this week.
Love, Cam xo