Monday, March 14, 2011
Physical Fitness: the Three Legged Stool
Physical fitness is the foundation for a healthy and happy lifestyle. There are several reasons to become more physically fit. Exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition are all effective in fighting depression. Some research even shows that exercise can be just as effective as medication in cases of clinical depression. People who are physically fit usually look better and feel more confident than people who are not fit. Physical fitness is also positively linked to academic performance. Last but not least, fit people have more fun!!
Think of fitness as a stool with three legs - nutrition, exercise, and sleep. If one of these legs is weak, it could cause the whole stool to crash to the ground... with you on it!!! For example, a lack of sleep can cause you to be more hungry by playing games with your hormones, specifically leptin and ghrelin. Sleep is also the time when your body heals itself after exercise. That's why athletes like professional cyclists get as much sleep as possible.
So what's the most important? Nutrition, exercise, or sleep? Well, according to the three legged stool principal, it depends! It depends because they are all relative to one another. The trick is knowing your weaknesses. Working on your weaknesses will help you with your strengths.
In this blog, I'd like to help people to recognize their strengths and weaknesses in order to become more physically fit. In next week's post, I'll give a brief 101 on how to lose (or gain) weight the right way.
WebMD: Exercise and Depression
Healingwell.com: Depression and Nutrition
Sleepfoundation.org: Depression and Sleep
WebMD: How Sleep Affects Your Weight
Does Physical Activity Influence Academic Performance?