“So let me get this right, to improve my health you want me to stop going to the gym?” “That’s right,” I replied looking him straight in the eye… I knew this was going to be a hard sell.
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I’d done no exercise for 3 years….In that time I’d lost weight and gained back my 6 pack, I hadn’t been ill the entire time, I had loads more energy and I was in a constant good mood.
At this time you must be wondering how you can keep yourself productive, engaged and healthy when working from home (and most likely watching way too much Netflix 😉 ) The sad fact is that for many people these latest developments will lead to a downturn in their health and an increase in waist size as they move less, eat more and lack stimulation and social contact. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For some people these next few weeks will be the opportunity they need to turn their life around. No where else could this be truer than the area of sleep. In the Western world we are chronically sleep deprived and it has a HUGE impact on our daily performance, our health and how much juice we get out of life. Now suddenly removed from the distractions of late nights at the office or later nights at the bar we finally have the chance to get our heads down and catch up on our full quota of sleep we’ve been missing for so long, BUT… Many people will emerge from this period actually sleeping worse… Will develop insomnia or some other awful sleep disorder, which may well impact their lives negatively for many years to come. Why? Our circadian rhythm, the natural cycle or internal clock within our bodies which tells us when to wake up and be energised and when to be tired and go to sleep is irrevocably linked to sunlight and the day night cycle. Being as we are now stuck indoors for most of the day with even less exposure to sunlight than usual the natural receptors which signal our bodies which hormones to release at what time to either wake up us or slow us down are going to struggle to realise when it is day and when it’s night. This will be compounded by the fact that most peoples natural daily rhythms will shift. A lot of us will lie in bed longer in the morning simply because we’re bored and have very little motivation to get up and get going. Wake up (and get up) time are huge signallers to our internal clock of what time it is and adjusting it further wrecks our circadian rhythm as another of the largest signallers governing our internal clock is thrown into chaos. So what can you do? 1) First thing in the morning open your door and just stand in the sunlight (preferably getting some on your skin) for 5 – 15 mins, with your eyes open, without sunglasses or sun cream. That will be enough to set the bodies internal clock and get the right hormones moving at the right time. 2) Make sure you get up at the same time every day. Wake up time is even more important that the time we go to bed. No matter what time you hit the hay, if you keep your wake up time consistent your internal clock will stick more tightly…