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LIFESTYLE

Simplify Your Life and
Live with Intention


When we find a sense of meaning in our daily life, we become more resilient, motivated and better able to tackle obstacles. Couple that with a lifestyle that prioritizes health and well-being and you have yourself a winning recipe for happiness and longevity. Case in point, a study1 revealed that when we live with purpose, we not only experience more fulfillment, but we also live longer and with less risk for disease. Another research study2 that tracked the physical activity of 14,000 Americans over a period of four years proved that purposeful living increases motivation to exercise, offering a myriad of potential benefits including lower risk of heart attack and stroke, diminished rates of Alzheimer's, and reduced inflammation.

So what are some ways to live a purposeful life?

Your purpose is an articulation of what drives you and what connects you to your values as well as to a greater, collective path. Investing in your physical, emotional and mental well-being is a good place to start if you want to live a more purposeful life. This shouldn’t be too much of a challenge since the two are linked through a virtuous cycle: when you're living more purposefully, it's easier to make healthier choices and when you're making healthier choices, you can feel more purposeful. Exercise, healthy eating, balance between work and play, mindfulness, and time in nature are all ingredients championed by experts to help us live healthier and fulfilled lives.

Take cycling for instance. Our well-being is significantly impacted by the mental and emotional benefits of getting on our bikes. One study found that levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, decreased in depressed subjects after just 15 mins of cycling. There’s also evidence that exercising in nature in particular might increase happiness and motivation. When compared to indoor exercise, exercising outdoors is linked to increased sensations of renewal and vigor as well as lower feelings of tension, anger and depression.3

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Nourishing our bodies with whole, nutritious foods is another way to further our well-being. Meal prepping can be a great tool for reducing the stress associated with trying to decide what to make and can also promote healthier, home-cooked eating. For some, meal prep means choosing a day to prepare 3-5 meals at a time and portion them out for the entire week. For others, it means just prepping different components (chopping up fruits and veggies, cooking a few protein choices) to mix and match during the week.4

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If you want to take better care of yourself, we can’t skip over the importance of making sleep a priority. More and more, research shows that sleep is essential to good health and performance. Adults should generally aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Depending on which study you read, between 50% of Americans and two-thirds of adults globally do not get enough sleep.5 In fact, only 5% of the population has the genetic mutation to function on less than 6 hours of sleep.6 Even though we don't remember much from our sleep, our bodies are actively healing and our brains are working. Getting enough restorative sleep is imperative for the stability of our immunological, hormonal and autonomic nervous systems.

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Lastly, as the lines between work and home life continue to blur, it’s only natural that we want to get more out of our jobs beyond a paycheck. Finding purpose in our careers will ensure our overall well-being doesn’t take a toll. This means having a job that aligns with our passions, allows us to draw on our natural talents and gives us the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in some way.

When you wed purpose to mindful and healthy living, you will experience more fulfillment and ease in your everyday.

Sources

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224996/

2 http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33891209/

3 https://www.duvine.com/blog/brain-biking-the-neurology-of-cycling/

4 Meal Prep by Leigh-Anne Wooten MS, RDN/LDN, FAND, LSS BB

5 https://news.gallup.com/poll/166553/less-recommended-amount-sleep.aspx

6 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/genetic-mutation-sleep-less/

Excerpts taken from:

Secret to a Long, Happy Life? Live with Purpose by Laura Roe Stevens

Biking for Your Brain: The Neurology of Cycling by Lindsey Hunt

Why Sleep Matters by Oura Team

Meal Prep by Leigh-Anne Wooten MS, RDN/LDN, FAND, LSS BB

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CRC 4916778 08/22

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