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Zone Living

Breaking down the latest research on Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition
Written By: Dr. Barry Sears, Ph. D | Creator of the Zone Diet

Written by Lisa Zeigel
on February 21, 2024

In the working world, to achieve high levels of productivity we must spend time being “busy.” Post-pandemic, we are back to commuting to and from work and dealing with everyday duties, small tasks, and major hassles. The things we could do to fight the resulting stress, such as getting enough sleep, nutrition, and exercise, are edged out because there isn’t enough time to include these in a busy life.  

That is the perception until we become ill, diagnosed with hypertension, low bone density, pre-diabetes, or suffer low back pain.  In other words, you get a “wake-up call” to action.   

It could come down to an individual’s perception of the value of maintaining their “successful” work lives. After all, deadlines still demand attention, and there are still never-ending big and small things that eat away at one’s time.  

So how can one find the time for self-care without sacrificing time for work and all the demands in your daily life?  Here are 2 steps that can help: 

  1. Start with identifying the things that are the most important to you.  
    Of course, your children are important but what if something happened to you and you can’t care for them? Or maybe you are an artist, and painting means everything to you, but what if you could no longer physically do this? Write down the things that matter most to you and ask yourself “Why are these important to me”? Are these things worth taking the time to take care of yourself for?  Remember, you are not taking time away from something else, you are doing the work that is necessary to preserve these things. 
    Now that you understand that your health is important, and you can continue to take care of and do the things that are most important to you, you can probably think of things you could do to improve it.  Becoming more active, eating better, and getting more sleep, are all doable objectives. Pick one to start with, and then: 
  2. Make a plan on how you will do it.  
    Just knowing you should do it is not enough to make it happen. So you have decided to exercise? It can be overwhelming, so take a moment to set some “SMART” goals. You have heard of these before – S is for “specific” meaning you could specify that you will start to exercise with a certain activity, say walking. “M” is for “measurable” – you can set a specific distance or time goal and frequency (number of days per week) that you will walk and keep track of it. “A” is for “attainable” Maybe not start by running a 5k, but you know you can walk at least a 1 ⁄ 2 mile.  You can add more distance as you adapt. “R” is for “relevant” – remember the reason you are doing this?  You want to improve your fitness to improve your health because this is what you must do to preserve the things that are most important to you (ask why they are important to you). “T“ is for “time” goals, you can set a goal to take 8,000 steps 5 days per week for one month. When you have achieved this, acknowledge your accomplishment and set a new goal for the next month. 

Starting with physical activity can help with sleep, weight loss, hypertension, and much more. When you start to feel better, you will somehow find the time to add more.  Sit down with your calendar and carve out some time to get started – you will find that the busy life that you were so overwhelmed with becomes more centered, and the things that matter most to you will benefit just as much as you do! 

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