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Healthy Habits for World Health Day
As we prepare to celebrate World Health Day on Friday, April 7th, it is important to reflect on new healthy habits that can be adopted into our daily routines to help us lead a healthier and happier life. In this blog post, we will focus on three easy daily routines that can have a significant impact on our overall well-being: optimizing our circadian rhythm with exposure to sunlight, eating leafy greens to get a daily dose of dietary nitrates to support nitric oxide, and meditation for focus and stress management.
Optimizing your circadian rhythm with exposure to sunlight:
Our circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle and other important bodily functions. It is essential for maintaining good health and well-being. Exposure to sunlight is a powerful tool to help optimize our circadian rhythm.
The Humberman lab has shown that exposure to natural light, especially in the morning, can help reset our body clock and improve our sleep quality. Sunlight also helps regulate our mood, boosts our energy levels, and supports our immune system.
To optimize your circadian rhythm, try to spend between five to ten minutesoutside in the morning, preferably within the first hour after waking up. You can take a walk, do some yoga, or simply sit outside and enjoy your breakfast. During the day, make sure to get plenty of natural light, either by spending time outside or by sitting near a window. Enjoy the benefits of a naturally-synced circadian rhythm!
Eating leafy greens to get a daily dose of dietary nitrates to support Nitric Oxide:
Nitric oxide is a molecule that plays a vital role in regulating our blood pressure, improving blood flow, and supporting cardiovascular health (amongst many other things). One way to support healthy nitric oxide production is to eat foods that are rich in dietary nitrates.
Leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and kale are excellent sources of dietary nitrates. These nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in our bodies, helping to improve our cardiovascular health and boost our athletic performance.
If you are not a fan of leafy greens, you can also supplement with a quality dietary nitrate. Dietary nitrate supplements are a great way to get a precise dose of nitrates that otherwise need to be consumed through regular consumption of leafy greens and beetroot. Berkeley Life’s dietary nitrate product is an easy two-capsule daily dose for a full day of sustained nitric oxide support. Ask your practitioner about adding a nitric oxide supplement to your daily regimen.
Meditation for focus and stress management:
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help us manage stress, improve our focus, and promote mental clarity. It involves focusing our attention on a specific object, thought, or activity and cultivating a state of calm and relaxation.
Research has shown that regular meditation can help reduce anxiety, improve our mood, and boost our immune system. It can also help us sleep better and reduce symptoms of depression.
To get started with meditation, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, counting each inhale and exhale. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Start with just a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the duration over time.
In conclusion, optimizing our circadian rhythm with exposure to sunlight, eating leafy greens to get a daily dose of dietary nitrates to support nitric oxide, and meditation for focus and stress management are all important daily routines that can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. By incorporating these habits into our daily lives, we can improve our physical, mental, and emotional health and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Which new healthy habit are you incorporating for World Health Day?
Humberman lab’s research on circadian rhythm and sunlight exposure:
Humberman, J.C., Mrosovsky, N., & Mistlberger, R.E. (1996). Phase-response curve to single light pulses in Syrian hamsters bearing the tau mutation at three different circadian phases. Journal of Biological Rhythms, 11(2), 142-152.
Eastman, C.I., & Burgess, H.J. (2009). How to travel the world without jet lag. Sleep Medicine Clinics, 4(2), 241-255.
Dietary nitrates and nitric oxide:
Jones, A.M. (2014). Dietary nitrate supplementation and exercise performance. Sports Medicine, 44(Suppl 1), S35-S45.
Lidder, S., & Webb, A.J. (2013). Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(3), 677-696.
Meditation and stress management:
Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E.M., Gould, N.F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., et al. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(3), 357-368.
Black, D.S., & Slavich, G.M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), 13-24.