AAC Take good care of your body so your body will take good care of you

maintain a state of good general physical health. According to Veronique Hoebeke, an author for the


wellness website, the five aspects of physical wellness are sleep, eating well, physical activity, hygiene, and relaxation. Take care of these five areas, and your body will be better prepared to respond when a health crisis arises. Conventional wisdom tells us that most people require eight hours of sleep per night to stay healthy and alert. Lack of sleep can make us feel sluggish and fatigued. And sleep deprivation can cause a host of problems — memory issues, weight gain, and even a compromised immune system. When you sleep your brain takes information stored in your short-term memory and moves it to long- term memory. If you are not getting adequate sleep, that process is hindered. Many studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger and decreased levels of feeling full. Tis leads to overeating and weight gain. Studies also show that an insufficient amount of sleep can affect your immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight off infection and prevent illness. Furthermore, it can make it harder for your body to recover if you do become ill.

Te next aspect of good general health is eating well.

Tere are so many different schools of thought on what eating well means. I will not outline any particular program nor “weigh in” with an opinion on them. However, eating well is important. According to Hoebeke, “Much like sleep, your body likes consistency when it comes to what and when you eat. Regularly eating healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean meats and whole grains will give you the nutrients that not only support your body’s vital functions but can balance your mental well-being as well.” I feel strongly about limiting refined sugar and highly

processed foods. A mountain of research explores how harmful both are. I am not saying you can never eat another doughnut, piece of cake, or bowl of ice cream. However, it would be better to limit them to rare rather than daily occasions. Become a label reader when you buy packaged foods. My rule of thumb is if there are more than five ingredients, and they are giant words that I cannot pronounce nor have a clue as to what they are, I put the item back on the shelf. Hoebeke also said, “Eating too much when you aren’t


y most recent articles for County Lines have been focused on Covid-related issues, for obvious reasons. I want to shift gears this time and discuss the need to

hungry or making yourself skip meals can have metabolic consequences that can upset your physical and mental health.” Our busy lives make it difficult not to eat on the run. However, I have found that eating meals at regular, fairly consistent times has made a difference in my ability to maintain a healthy weight. Next in the facets of physical wellness is physical activity. Tis does not mean you have to body build like Arnold Schwarzenegger or run a marathon. Physical activity does not have to be a painful endeavor endured for the sake of good health. People ask me all the time what is the best exercise? My answer is always the same — the one you will do. If you choose activities that you do not like, you will not do them consistently, if at all. If you like to walk, walk. If you like to swim, swim. If you like to play pickleball, by all means play pickleball. Consistency is the key. Find something you like and do it consistently at least 150 minutes per week. Fitness experts suggest you choose activities that will build muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and balance. Also, do not be too hard on yourself if you are just starting out. Start where you are and work on improving a little bit every time. For example, if you want to walk for your exercise but all you can do right now is make it to the end of your driveway, then that is your starting point. Walk to the end of the driveway for two or three days. Ten add the additional steps to get to the mailbox. All you can do is all you can do. Celebrate the little victories in the journey. I know county folks have to sit and look at a computer

Becky Comet AAC Member Benefits Manager

screen for the majority of the day. All that sitting is not good for us, but what are we to do? I have a couple of suggestions. First, devise a plan that will allow you to stand up or do a few things at your desk for about two or so minutes every hour. I know that every situation is different and that may not work for everyone. If the only activity you can get is during a break time or at lunch time, then use your time wisely. Take the long way to the restroom, including stairs if you can. Walk, stretch, and move in some way whenever possible. If you need to set an alarm on your phone or fitness device to remind you to move every hour, then do so. Whatever it takes. I found a great article that has some terrific ideas for exercises you can do right at or near your desk. It is

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