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January 22, 2020 • 26:46 min

About this Episode

Nutrition and diet are foundational components of the wholistic approach to health, but sleep, stress, and physical activity are also important. In episode 2, we talked with nutrition scientist Weston Bussler, PhD, about the importance of wholistic health and how it encompasses approaches to health focusing on supporting the whole body. Sleep, stress management, and physical activity do just that. In episode 4, nutrition scientist Kristine Polley, PhD, joins host Meghan Hamrock, MS, MPH, to discuss important components of the wholistic approach to health: sleep, stress management, and physical activity.

Sleep is important for many aspects of health. Being well-rested improves decision making, attention span, creativity, memory, and productivity (01:59). Many factors can affect sleep quality (04:19):

  • Sleep disorders (sleep apnea, teeth grinding, restless leg syndrome)
  • Medication side effects
  • Travel stress
  • Circadian rhythm (05:42)
  • Nutrition (06:40)
    • Alcohol consumption
    • Caffeine consumption
    • Large evening meals (followed by sedentary activity)

Tips for healthy sleeping (05:05):

  • Keeping a consistent sleeping routine
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy diet
  • Limit screen time
    • What to do when you’re in bed but can’t sleep (07:23)

There is “good” and “bad” stress (09:25). You’ve likely felt the effects stress, including (09:48):

  • Headache
  • Muscle fatigue and tension
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Overwhelmed sensation
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor diet

Tips to reduce stress (10:32):

  • Humor
  • Hobbies
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Exercise

The relationship between physical activity, food, and the body varies for different types of athletes (12:14). Plus, the body needs the activity of different energy systems depending on what type of physical activity you’re engaging in, such as an all-out sprint or a 10-mile run (12:54). Nutritional support is important for physical activity (because it supports energy systems being utilized and restores vitamin and mineral levels 14:44). Whole, nutrient-dense foods will provide the nutrients you need during physical activity (15:22).

What’s happening in the body during endurance-based physical activity (16:23)?

  • Aerobic energy system
  • Aerobic glycolysis and lipolysis

What’s happening in the body during resistance-based physical activity (19:50)?

  • Anaerobic energy system
  • Anaerobic glycolysis

Other topics discussed:

  • Creatine and resistance-based activity (20:54)
  • Protein for recovery from resistance-based activity (21:36)
  • Nutritional support for mental performance (22:09)
    • Reaction times
    • Stress
    • Mood

References

2018 Sleep article: almost one-third of Americans sleep less than six hours per night (03:26)

National Sleep Foundation: adults aged 18-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep (03:36)

Cleveland Clinic: defining stress as “the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response” (09:16)

The 2017 Stress in American survey: three out of four Americans report experiencing one stress symptom within the last month (08:50)

Other resources

Related: “Exercise and the “DASH” Diet for Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment” (article)

Changing the Way You Think About Medicine with Dr. Dana Cohen” (podcast, S1)

Hydration is Key for Both Exercise Performance and General Well-being” (podcast, S1)

Stress is Necessary: The Forgotten Flight of Hormesis” (article)

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