Eat, Move, Sleep

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

Three things to do to acquire a healthy body.  If this were the only book you read not just to be health conscious but healthy and sick free as well, this would be that ultimate book.  This best-selling book by Tom Rath, “Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes” is filled with wise advice on achieving that wellness and even live up to the age of 90 regardless of one’s hereditary condition. I highly recommend reading the entire book.  Tom is not a doctor but a cancer survivor.  This book is a fruit of his research into beating that recurring cancer he had.  Here are four of my favorite ideas from the book.

(1) Sleep

The author says having a healthy body starts with having enough sleep.  If you don’t get enough sleep your metabolism slows down, makes your brain function less, and disposes you to eat unhealthy food to make up for that lack of sleep.  He recommends tackling the three main health activities at the same time of eating well, moving or exercising, and sleeping enough hours rather than just focusing on one area which many people do such as exercising regularly but don’t watch over the food that they eat.  A good night of sleep drives the whole show—you’ll be more likely to exercise, eat better, get more done at work and treat your family better.

Another remarkable finding based on research shows that lack of sleep is the main culprit of catching a common cold.  If you don’t have enough sleep, you are three times more likely to catch a cold.

(2) Avoid Sugar

The author calls sugar as “candy for cancer cells.”  Too much sugar disposes us to acquire cancer not to mention other diseases such as diabetes, and heart problems.  A person that does not watch over his or her sugar intake consumes at least 150 pounds of sugar each year.  The problem with sugar is it is insidious or hidden that it is almost in all processed food and drinks that we consume.  It is in fruit juices, soft drinks, catsups, sandwich spreads, etc.  The author advises to read the nutrition labels on these products and don’t buy or consume a product that has more than 9 grams of sugar per serving.

I applied this “war against sugar” resolution myself and stopped putting sugar in my coffee and it translated into a healthy and lower triglyceride based on my latest medical examination.

(3) Measure What You Want to Improve

If we keep a scorecard of how many kilometers we cover every time we run as an exercise for example, or keep track of the number of steps we make every day (5,000 steps is the standard), we are more likely to become more regular in exercising.  Based on a scientific study measurement creates improvement.  If we keep track of a score there is some pull or encouragement to increase that score.  It generates awareness and the thrill of being challenged to get to where we want to be, versus where we used to be.

(4) Buy Willpower at the Store

Your healthy food choices live or die at the grocery store.  If you avoid going to the unhealthy aisle of the grocery store where junk food is available you will have a much greater chance of not buying them.  Go straight instead into the fruits and vegetables section and make it your only available choices.

The author has another great Idea in the book he calls “Home Product Placement.” Research

shows that the placement of certain products influences an individual’s buying pattern. So, to

change your consumption pattern at home, put the healthiest stuff at eye level and hide or get rid of the other stuff that are not healthy and you will most likely eat only the healthy stuff.