Tom Rath is an expert on employees’ engagement, wellbeing, and strengths, and the author of New York bestselling book Eat Move Sleep, which is a detailed and holistic account of how we can use these three activities to optimize our health. One of his motivations for writing this book is a rare illness he has, which can’t be cured, and which deteriorates his health on a cellular level – making it all the more important that he makes good choices himself.
Today we are going to look at some of the key ideas from his book, and what he recommends we do to stay healthy, vibrant, and alive.
Eat: Moment-to-moment choices
Eating is one of the most fundamental activities we need to perform on a daily basis in order to survive. It is obvious, then, that what we eat matters just as much as that we eat. Tom does not recommend an overly strict regime or diet to solve what might be called fueling problems, but rather, to stay mindful of the moment-to-moment choices we make in terms of what food and drink we put into our bodies. It’s not like anyone forces these things into our bellies (hopefully).
For every sip of coke you take, it’s all a new choice you make. The same goes for water, is it goes for burgers and pizzas and fruits and vegetables.
Move: Cavemen, energy, and the viewpoint of a chiropractor in Norway
The next thing Tom highlights is movement. Humans are made to move; for hundreds of thousands of years, cavemen had to walk between eight to 16 kilometers per day, just to have enough food to survive until the next day – where it would all start again. Sitting still all day at our desk, perhaps moving a kilometer or two if we’re really active, is therefore not very natural to the way we have evolved.
Contrary to popular belief, walking, running, or exercising does not diminish our energy; it increases it, and if we could only move past those first initial weeks or months that it takes to form a new habit of exercise – however big or small – a whole swath of people would rediscover the strength and the vigor that our predecessors felt in daily life.
Furthermore, it is not just an increased amount of energy that can be gained from exercising regularly; our body’s structure needs it to be healthy. Daniel Dyrstad forms part of the staff of a multidisciplinary health center, Norklinikken, that is situated in the southwest of Norway. He operates the department for chiropractors, Kiropraktor i Sandnes, and in one of his biannual online seminars for chiropractors, he actually referenced Tom Rath, backing him up in his arguments for good overall health. He said that “if the bones and the muscles are supposed to function properly – for athletes as well as for the elderly – then we must get enough rest, and eat food that is good for our bodies.”
Sleep: 97.5% of us need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep
Towards the end of the book, Tom shares some significant findings from an experiment that was done on sleep. Some researchers wanted to find out whether people have a set amount of hours that they sleep, and a set time for when they sleep, if they are robbed of sunlight and time.
Putting a bunch of volunteers into cellars without windows over an extended period of time, the researchers discovered that 97.5% of the volunteers slept naturally for 7.5 to 9 hours each night (after initially getting used to not having any sunlight or time to tell the clock). Any less, and they would start feeling lethargic, and cognitive processes would weaken; any more, and they would feel groggy and heavy.
And the remaining 2.5%? Well, these seemed to thrive quite well on either less than 7.5 hours or more than 9 hours. But the point Tom makes, is that most people – despite being among the 97.5% who need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night – actually sleep only 6 to 7 hours. And it’s not very likely that all the people who say they are among the 2.5% are.
For now: What’s one idea that stood out to you the most? And what can you do to start living by it just a little bit more?
If the ideas in this article resonated with you, we recommend that you check out more of Tom Rath and his work.
Crowds of people have already started enjoying the much looked-for sun after a long winter. The combination between a strong sun and white skin poses a great risk for damaging the skin if we don’t protect it.
Whether we’re on the mountain, by the sea, or in town, we need to be prepared for hot and sunny weather. This way, we can enjoy the sun without causing unnecessary damage to our skin.
To find out how to take care of our skin in the summer heat, we went out and interviewed the Norwegian skin clinic Follo Beauty Clinic. The reason we chose this clinic, is that they have a lot of experience with sunburned Norwegians. These mountain trolls are especially prone to getting problems when the sun comes out after the harsh Nordic winters.
After our lengthy interview with Nariman Omar, the clinic’s skin- and body therapist, he sent us an email where he summarized some of the things we can do to protect our skin from the sun. We will share what he wrote in his mail to introduce the summary in Norwegian, because we wanted to have it word for word.
In Norwegian: “Vi får inn mange kunder som leter etter hudpleie Oppegård og har skadet huden fordi de ikke beskyttet seg godt nok mot solen. Her er noen av våre beste tips (som ikke koster en drøss med penger).”
In English: “We receive a lot of customers at our skin clinic in Oppegård, who have damaged their skin because they didn’t protect themselves properly against the sun. Here are some of our best tips (that don’t cost a whole lot of money).”
Choose the Right Type of Sunscreen
There are lots of things to think about when choosing sunscreen:
- If your skin quickly gets dirty, you shouldn’t use sunscreen which is designed for your face; there are specific types for that.
- A sun stick is good to have in your bag at all times. You can use it for your lips or other small and exposed areas.
- If you’re going up into the mountains, it might be best to bring a thicker sunscreen than if you’re staying in town, given the lack of shade.
Remember to Protect the Children Properly
As children don’t have as thick skin as grownups, they need more protection in order to not get sunburnt. It’s especially important to secure good sunscreen for them, as sunburn at an early age is a big predictor of skin cancer later on.
Don’t Go Under Sun Protection Factor 30
During springtime and summer, the sun rises high in the sky and its rays are intense. Because of this, choosing a strong enough sun protection factor is important. According to Follo Beauty Clinic, a lot of the skin treatments they give would have been unnecessary, if only their clients had used a factor of 30 in their sunscreen. A general rule of thumb is this: the brighter the skin, the higher factor is needed, but nobody should go under 30.
One of the countless ways in which our lives have been affected by the coronavirus is dental hygiene. In Norway, people are struggling a lot with their teeth as a result of lockdowns. Many more are reporting icing, pain, and discomforts than in the past, and health clinics are starting to have problems treating all the patients in need of help.
In this article, we will share two possible reasons why Norway’s dental hygiene is suffering as a result of lockdowns.
School, restaurants, events, and parties have for a long time presented special occasions for “looking good.” People – especially women – spend many minutes or even hours in front of the mirror, perfecting the way their hair looks, how their skin glistens, and how their teeth shine white.
When lockdowns came in, however, the efforts people made to look better decreased. Since they no longer meet dozens or hundreds of people each day, they don’t feel the same pressure or motivation to spend so much time on their appearance.
In one way, this is a great thing; for thousands of years, an excessive focus on how one looks has been associated with self-centeredness, shallowness, and even unhappiness.
On the other hand, however, there is one area which is suffering greatly because of this tendency: our teeth. Not having the same reminders every day of how important it is to have white and shiny teeth, many people have slowly but surely begun to brush them a little more poorly over the weeks and months.
In turn, caring less about toothbrushing has led to an increased number of dental clients reporting icing and pain in their teeth. Majorstuen Tannlegesenter, the most popular Tannlege Majorstuen in Oslo, Norway, is having more business than they can handle. They are drilling, filling, and fixing teeth at a breakneck pace, and they still can’t handle the demand of Oslo’s citizens. They are now in the process of hiring more people to handle all the demand.
Long waiting lists
The record number of people in need of dental treatment has increased the waiting time drastically in Norwegian dental clinics. As a result of the lockdowns, clinics are struggling to keep their most loyal customers. On the one hand, they want to be able to treat everyone in need of their help, but at the same time, they simply don’t have the capacity to do so.
Many clinics are now nervous about whether their lifelong customers will seek other clinics in the local area because they have a few days or weeks less waiting time. This means that people who have received help in treating their teeth at their clinic for many years, perhaps even decades, will now possibly become lifelong customers somewhere else.
A lot of individuals do take their health for granted, just because they think they are young. Because they are young, they think they can digest anything. They feel their metabolism and takes care of burning whatever they eat. But, I would like to interject and say that this is not entirely true. You always need to take care of your health. You should eat healthily, and you should exercise every single day. There are a lot of ways by which you can invest yourself into being healthy. There are two significant ways you can do it.
- Firstly, you can invest at least one hour in a day to exercise. You need to get up and get moving. It can be high-intensity exercises, or it can be exercises like yoga.
- Secondly, you can commit to eating healthy food. Eating healthy food means that you will have to stop eating those fatty meats, carbohydrates and other unhealthy junk that is really bad for you.
If you commit to eating healthier and getting healthier, the best thing would be to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. You need to eat food that is really good for your stomach. In this article, I will list out a couple of interesting facts that you can make use of on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.
- You need to make sure that you start eating less sugary foods.
- You should hydrate a lot. Make sure you drink 2 to 3 L of water every single day. Staying hydrated will make sure that your body retains the right amount of water.
- Vegetables and greens must take up half of your plate. This is very important because it will make you cut out carbohydrates and fats in a natural manner. Your body will also start processing these fruits and vegetables in a much better manner, and it will also make sure that your body stops retaining fatty foods.
- If you incorporate fruits into your diet on a regular basis, like eating fruits for breakfast or for a healthy snack, your body will definitely thank you.
- There is something known as good fats. Just because some fats are good, you should not overeat them. Cottage cheese is something that contains proteins and fats. But, you need to eat it in moderation even though it is really tasty.
- Consuming a good quantity of vegetables, cooked in your own recipes will actually make sure you receive all of the nutrients required for a well-balanced diet.
Exercising regularly and eating right will definitely show you a clear path towards being as healthy as possible. Follow these two rules in life, and you will be much healthier than your peers.