Take conscious decisions

Take conscious decisions

Eat candy, drink alcohol, sleep less and let recovery be something that others do. Our body can cope with not always good ways of living. The essentials here is that you show self sympathy, take conscious decisions and be thoughtful in choices.

Per, Strength stairs

This post is a reminder that our body can handle more than you think in terms of less good choices. The important thing is to know what consequences candy, alcohol, reduced sleep and non-recovery can give and then take responsibility of it. Here is what research and broad experience tells us.

Candy can not hurt, right?

Yes, it does. If it is sweets where sugar is a major constituent (on the table of contents, then, if sugar comes early in the ingredient list and you look at the nutrition declaration, “Of which sugar” is a big part of the section Carbohydrates) then there are some risks such as

  • a low-grade inflammation can start in the body and make you more susceptible to disease (no clear support in research although some studies point to it)
  • Over time you can get diabetes
  • The function of the skin is impaired with the result that the skin can become wrinkled and softer. Excessive sugar intake can also affect collagen production and this makes wrinkles even more visible.

If you look at the diagram below, described in more detail in the post Nutrition and energetic, you see how much of the daily need for energy should come from different nutrients, where the recommended ceiling for sugar is 10% (which in itself can be high for certain conditions)

Is it possible to reduce the risks somewhat with physical activity?

Then the sugar is used in the metabolism and the storage drops instead of going up. So, eat sweets, move around and keep in mind that it takes about an hour’s walk or 30 minutes in the running tracks to burn 50 grams of candy (obviously depends on the type of candy and the intensity of the activity, so you can see it as a rule of thumb).

Notice that I write reduces the risks of physical activity.

Is there really nothing positive about sweets?

Well, in moderation, for example, chocolate of the darker kind can have a certain health effect with reduced risk of stroke and heart attack as there are both antioxidants (flavanols in this case are believed to be useful) and minerals (magnesium for example).

Moderate amount based on research is 2-3 squares per day and at least 70% cocoa, otherwise there will be lower health effect and a lot of sugar in chocolate. One needs to look at the whole. Of course, it should be as closely produced as possible and from organic farms for the best benefit in sustainable health.

If you need fast energy during or just after a workout, a smaller piece of candy can be good for filling energy stores, although a banana and a glass of milk is preferable.

A glass of wine or a whiskey is good for everything, or?

If you look at older people, over 70, there may be some health benefits with a glass (1.5-2 decilitres) of wine and if you are under 70 there are no major health effects.

The risks of alcohol are both mental and physical

  • Blood pressure and heart rate goes up
  • The liver may work more with detoxification than
  • Physical performance declines
  • Assessment, memory and responsiveness deteriorate

A little sleep no one has died of?

Yes, you can die from too little sleep although what I mean is that a little less sleep than you really need over a longer period of time to put it a little to health.

Examples of consequences are

  • You can get a bigger sweet tooth if you get too little sleep
  • You can worsen memory function
  • The risk of Alzheimer’s increases

Important to make sure you get proper sleep over time. Periodically, it is normal to have somewhat disturbed sleep.

How can I improve sleep?

In summary, you can say that sleep habits should be given priority, go to bed and get up at the same time, make sure to get daily physical activity and decrease screen time a few hours before bedtime. You can read more on our Sleep page.

Missing recovery works for me!

Yes, you may feel that way. Remember that sleep becomes extra important if your breaks and recoveries fail during the work or study day. The same applies if you choose to exclude recovery such as stretching, nerve inheritance of various kinds, mindfulness or meditation exercises.

The risks of missing out recovery are

  • The stress levels during the day escalate instead of periodically returning back to normal levels with breaks, which in turn can start to affect sleep for the worse.
  • Lactate and other residual products remain longer in the body after physical activity and prevent the body from functioning optimally.

Summary

Is this yet another post to scare people?

Nope, this is a post to emphasize and spread the the facts we have today, thanks to researchers and scientists. It is all up to you as an adult to take the decision that works for you.

One glass of wine a day is good for blood pressure, right?

Well, there are things in wine that are good for you and then there is alcohol which always is less good for your body and blood pressure so if you can find a wine free of alcohol then the answer is yes.

My doctor says it is good with a little whiskey every day for my blood vessels, who should I trust?

There are many answers to that question and mine is that you get to look at the facts that exist today and make a decision that makes you feel good. Whiskey causes the blood vessels to expand in some cases so it may feel a little better for a while, and the alcohol damages the body in that it is a lot of energy and the liver has to work with poison.

I am young and strong, so it can not hurt with too little sleep?

Periodically we can manage with less sleep, the important thing is that you get enough sleep over time so you get important recovery

Should I quit my candy intake entirely, is that what you are saying?

No, you should be conscious about the fact that the less you eat the better your body will feel. Candy on Saturdays is perhaps a good start?

I walk to and from exercise, that could be accounted for recovery?

Yes.

Sources

A choice of source where you can read more, some of them in Swedish though.

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Per Olsson

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