Good Stress and Bad Stress, Part II

The previous post laid out the history of stress, explained how stress imposes a reaction, and the difference between good stress and bad stress.

In all activities, there is always a ceiling. It can be genetical and limit maximum strength, speed, coordination in physical performance. It can be environmental or geographical. Where we live and study determines for example the quality and scope of work. It can be a time ceiling, giving us limited time to accomplish required tasks.

This maximum can be attainable after a long and hard journey and is illustrated by the red line in the graph below.

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Managing Your Physical Condition with Heart Rate Variability

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In a previous post, resting heart rate was shown to reflect physical and mental condition. A low resting heart rate correlates with good health compared to a high resting heart rate.

It becomes complex when you consider age. Older people have lower resting heart rate. And individuals with the same age, nutrition and overall fitness level can have vastly different heart rates. For instance, my maximum heart rate when running is around 172bpm while a friend has 200bpm, with the same heart rate sensor. It does not mean however that I am more or less fit than others.

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The Science of Sleep and Creativity

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Digital painting by Cyril Rolando

Studies link poor sleep with poor health : higher risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cancer and poor immune system. It’s also associated with poor mental health: sleep deprivation disturbs emotional regulation and increases anxiety. It also leads to unhealthy weight gain, poor food intake and increased risk for metabolic diseases.

Good health simply means good sleep. Read more on this.

There is still research however on how sleep is linked to creativity. How can sleep helps us think of new ideas, perceive the world in new ways, or generate solutions to new problems?

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Plan 90mn of physical activity every week

Regular physical activity increases life expectancy.

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As much as recovery or sleep are important, regular physical activity is required.

It improves blood circulation, weight, fights stress, depression and mood changes, as well as other vital metrics such as blood pressure and blood glucose. More intense exercise like running also release endorphins, which makes us feel generally better.

In short, exercise improves life quality.

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Making sleep a priority

When improving wellness, better sleep should a priority vs nutrition, fitness programs or prescription

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Too often, the focus is on being more active, look into new diets or exotic holidays.

These would bring energy, improve strength or cure depression.

The cornerstone of a sustainable and healthy body is quality sleep.

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Get a day (or two) of rest

Do not skip rest in sustained work or training . Your performance and stamina will increase.

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It’s not an accident that most philosophes and religions incorporate rest.

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work

God is not lazy and has more to do. It’s the same for most workers, mums, or serious athletes. We always have more emails to read. There are always interesting side-projects. Or another personal record to reach out to. It makes sense that working hard another day will get you there faster. Social pressure will encourage those who give it all. They are the heroes of modern times. Yet, is it beneficial?

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