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N.E.S.S.

safety logoYour health and well being affect your ability to work
Being alert and present is essential safety
Nutrition, Exercise, Stress and Sleep each play a part

 

I know all this already. Why can't you just leave me alone to do my work?

Really?

Unfit? Overweight? Not sleeping well? Stressed out? These are risk factors for cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes making you more at risk for depression, more likely to make mistakes in your work, more likely to be in an accident at work, home, car, etc. Is it worth it? Really? Especially when . . .

It's not that hard to change! Just follow N.E.S.S.

N.E.S.S. w/ image of sea serpent

Nutrition:

portions of food on a plate, half veg, quarter protein, quarter carbsYou need three things: fruits/vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates.

Ratios:   2 plants : 1 protein : 1 carb  

That's it. It's that simple. The rest is commentary.

 

Okay, the Commentary:

Does this mean you can NEVER have your favorite food any more, for the rest of time?  NO!

Hey, I am a chocoholic. I can eat 100% baker's chocolate and like it. If I LIMIT my intake to no more than one square (one ounce) a day it is actually good for me! Whoopie. Seven squares a day, not so good. Sigh . . .

1) No one will stay on a diet they hate.
2) Change takes time. Neither your thinking nor your gut are going to do this in one day. Salt is a good example. Go salt free and everything tastes like cardboard, but slowly reduce your salt and you adjust. You can even begin to TASTE foods again.
3) Moderation is key. Limit the bad and pile on the good.

~Yeah, you need some fats, vitamins, etc. but these come about more or less naturally in preparing the above.

What about juices? Not so good. You get all the sugar and water and not a lot of the fibers, vitamins, etc. Whole food is better. In fact whole food is better than vitamin supplements.
I want to be good to the planet? Eat more plant protein and local sourced food. If you have to have meat, look for free range. These animals are not eating grains that could have gone to people.
Are some foods bad for you? Sure, nitrated meats, chared anything, alcohols/sugars.
Does this mean I can never have them? No, just in smaller quantites and with awareness.
What about vitamins? Debate whether a multi is good or just money down the toilet. Check with your doctor about your specific needs. Growing concern in our skin cancer adverse time of not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D can be measured in your blood and supplements do work. Check with your doctor. Best way to get vitamins is from the food we eat. There are lots of other essentials in the same food that help us too (anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, etc.).
Salt/Fat/Sugar? Good to limit. Essential for survivial, but definitely a case where more is NOT better.
Eating Out? see salt, fat and sugar. It is possible, just difficult. Fast food in particular is nearly impossible to eat healthy.
Processed Food? see above. The less processing done by others the better. Same as safety, know what you are working with.
Smoking? Really, you actually need to be told about this? Vaping/hooka is just as bad. Stop it!

Exercise:

footprints   You don't have to join a gym (boring!) or play organized sports (I'm no good). At no cost, simply walking every day before work or at lunch goes a long way. All it takes is 180 minutes a week of some physical activity: walking, biking, swimming, gardening, etc. 3 out of 112 hours of wakefullness a week.

One half hour for each of six days and you are done! Not so bad! Oh, and doing this with someone else is HUGE in terms of succeeding. There is accountability and someone to talk to. The time goes by really quick. You actually feel better afterwards. BTW, it is half hour walk to Lover's Point and back from Hopkins. Hmmmm....

>>> Being overweight and fit is way better than being underweight and a couch potato.

Don't beat yourself up, just get out there!

Stress:

stress (vice)The Good - There is actually good stress. Excited? Joyfull? Really looking forward to digging in? That is good stress. Good stress makes you feel better and gives you energy, physically, emotionally and mentally. Working to develop a positive, thankful attitude goes a long way to making stress good.

The Bad - this is what we usually think of as stress. Fear, Anger, Resentment. Believe it of not, this is temporary. It will pass. Meditation is a great way to learn how to live with and deal with this type of stress.

The Ugly - the worst of the worst: panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, abandonment, dispair. See a doctor NOW! There is help! There are stragegies, medications, counciling, that really do help, but you need expert advice to begin to learn how.

Believe it or not, we are the creators of our stress, stress does not come from outside ourselves like it feels like. It is how we react to challenges that determines the kind of stress we feel. See a challege as an opportunity and the stress is good. See it as a threat and the stress is bad. Oh, and of course, eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep all help reduce bad stress.

Sleep:

pillowGetting enough QUALITY sleep is essential. No one works well, or lives well, exhausted.

~~~ Being sleep deprived is equivalent to being drunk. ~~~

I hope you would not drive drunk, but I also hope you would not handle dangerous chemicals or equipment drunk (or sleep deprived) either.

Seek expert help if you are having trouble. 7-9 hours is normal. More or less than that and you should seek advice from your doctor.

Conclusion

These four work together too. If you are tired, you are likely to make poor food choises and not exercise. If you don't eat right, you will be more tired. If you don't exercise, your mind will not be alert and your sleep will suffer. And being stressed out (bad or ugly) ruins everything.

There is a reason this page is under Safety | Protection. Being healthy helps protect you. Really!
Lots of tie-ins to ergonomics, lifting, office, etc. It is all interrelated and works together.