The importance of routine

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The time change has really affected me this week. Have you felt it too? It seems like it has thrown off my whole routine and getting up has been extra difficult. All this got me thinking about the importance of routine and rhythm in the body. This was highlighted in a NPR article this week as well. The article explains that our internal clock is sensitive to disruptions and after repeated insults can get wonky and set the stage for chronic disease. I've seen this reflected in my own health as well as in the health of people with whom I work. So, let's get back to basics here and connect to our body's rhythm by:

  • Going to sleep and waking at the sometime everyday. Figure out how many hours of sleep you need and adjust accordingly. It's often said that hours prior to midnight count double, so shoot to be in bed around 10 PM. 
  • Eating at regular times. The interesting point from the article is that we have a body clock, but each organ has an internal clock as well. For healthiest pancreas function, we want predictable mealtimes to reduce stress on the body. 
  • Exercising at the same time daily. Again, it's all about creating a rhythm aligned with our internal clock. I like to schedule exercise in the morning when cortisol is highest and leave the afternoon/evening for winding down. 

I know that some resistance can come up to sticking to a routine. It may sound boring and disciplined, but give it a try. You might just find that respecting your body's clock leaves you feeling more energized and creative as you spend less energy trying to reinvent each day's plan. Of course, life can be messy and not always go according to plan, but creating a foundation to come back to can help when things are chaotic or busy and do wonders for your longterm health. 

Does having a routine help you feel well? Let me know below in the comments!

All the best, 

Antonella