Newsletter · September 25 2022 · 

Hello all,

Welcome to the latest edition of The Vitality Newsletter. As summer comes to a close and fall begins, I want to talk about balance in health and life. We hear it all the time, you need to have a balanced diet or balanced workout program or a work-life balance, but what does that really mean? We often think about balance as 50/50 or an equal distribution, but actually, balance can be more about finding the ideal proportions for your lifestyle. The right balance can look different depending on the context and the person. Unfortunately, we tend to compare ourselves to others and consume information that paints a picture of what balance should look like for everyone. In reality, not all areas of our life will be balanced, and that’s okay.

What’s more important is identifying your priorities, goals, and values so you can distribute your time, energy, and attention appropriately. True balance is about finding the optimal/ideal mix of doing what you need and doing what you want to do to live a healthy and happy life. Things will change, and it won’t always be perfect, but understanding what balance looks like for you personally can help you manage stress, build healthy relationships, and be more productive in your life! 

Movement 

Movement Minutes 

  • To boost overall activity, try tracking how many minutes a day you devote to movement 
  • Track each minute you do a dedicated bout of movement through the day
  • At the end of the week, assess your totals for each day and the total for the week
  • Set a daily and weekly movement minute goal 
  • Track and progress as you go and watch your overall activity rises!   

Nutrition

3 Simple (but powerful) Food Rules from Michael Pollan 

  • Eat Real Food
    • This seems straightforward, but with the amount of processed, genetically modified, and lab-created ingredients, it can be tough to know what’s real and what’s not. Stick to natural, local, fresh, organic, and whole foods. 
  • Not Too Much
    • Unless your goal is weight gain, you’d be wise to monitor your portion size and caloric intake to ensure it matches your goals. Americans tend to underestimate calorie consumption and overestimate activity levels.
  • Eat Mostly Plants
    • Plants and plant compounds offer a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote health and prevent disease. (Bonus Rule From Michael Pollan: If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.)

Recovery

Lights Out (Tips to improve your circadian rhythm and transition to sleep)

  • Dim or use minimal light during the evening hours after sunset
  • Avoid blue light or bright light from 10pm to 4am
  • Avoid excessive overhead light
  • Avoid caffeine and food close to bedtime
  • Avoid exercise close to bedtime (unless that is your only time to exercise)
  • Stay on schedule (keep bed and wake times consistent (+/- 45 minutes), even on weekends)

Lifestyle 

Ways to Limit Screen Time 

  • Keep track of your screen time 
  • Use app limits or screen limits on devices 
  • Take breaks from technology to get outside or to move
  • Stand more, sit less, and try not to stay in one place for too long
  • Try not to eat in front of a screen
  • Keep screens out of the bedroom
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