Regardless of ones age, a good nutritional state is a prerequisite for avoiding disease and regaining health. All individuals whether healthy, ill, young or old have the right to receive an adequate and individually adjusted nutritional supply in relation to the individual’s state of health. Disease and age related malnutrition does exist, in particular among older people with multiple diseases. Malnutrition has serious consequences, both for the progress of the disease and for public finances. Today, there is convincing proof that nutritional support in conjunction with medical treatment and care reduces complications and mortality.
Nutrition is more than just your diet, it also encompasses your physical activity, and sleep as well. People feel restored when they are effectively rested and are more willing to start exercising and treating their bodies right. Sleep deprivation may inhibit one’s ability to lose weight (even while exercising and eating well!) A 1999 study at the University of Chicago showed that restricting sleep to just 4 hours per night for a week brought healthy young adults to the point that some had the glucose and insulin characteristics of diabetics. Such sleep restriction may have been a bit extreme, but it is also not altogether uncommon in our society and is a pattern deemed the “royal route to obesity” by Eve Van Cauter, PhD, who conducted the Chicago study.
Though research shows that exercise is certainly good for one’s body and health, properly timing exercise is necessary to maximize the beneficial effects. For example, a good workout can make you more alert, speed up your metabolism and energize you for the day ahead, but exercise right before bedtime can lead to a poor night’s sleep. All the jumping jacks in the world won’t make up for a night of tossing and turning! Sleep experts recommend exercising at least three hours before bedtime, and the best time is usually late afternoon. Exercising at this time is beneficial because body temperature is related to sleep. Body temperatures rise during exercise and take as long as 6 hours to begin to drop. Because cooler body temperatures are associated with sleep onset, it’s important to allow the body time to cool off before sleep.