Today’s post features a few key takeaways from a recent Wellness Your Way podcast interview. Find the full episode here and be sure to subscribe to Wellness Your Way so you don’t miss future episodes!
Guest Bio: Dr. Erik Korem
Dr. Erik Korem is a sports scientist with a passion for solving the data-to-action gap that exists in the wearable tech and mHealth space. Dr. Korem holds a doctoral degree from the University of Kentucky in exercise science with a research emphasis on how sleep impacts the brain’s ability to adapt to stress. Prior to founding AIM7, Dr. Korem spent over 15 years working as a sports scientist and a High-Performance director in collegiate and professional football.
Top Insights from Dr. Erik Korem’s Interview
- People that excel at the highest level have the capacity to adapt to a tremendous amount of physical and psychological stress. This is known as adaptive capacity.
- Stress isn’t the enemy. It’s actually the gateway to growth. If you want to improve at anything, you have to take on stress.
- Problems arise when you exceed your capacity to adapt to acute stress. This can cause mental health problems, sickness, and injuries.
- Everyone has the ability to increase their adaptive capacity. This can be done through 5 pillars: 1) Sleep 2) Exercise 3) Mental fitness 4) Nutrition, and 5) Fostering healthy relationships or living in community. These 5 pillars help us become more resilient so we can adapt to stress and improve longevity and quality of life.
- Sleep is the body’s time to recover. While you sleep, growth hormone is released, which helps with tissue repair, Testosterone is released during REM sleep, which helps with mood and decision making, learning and memory consolidation, muscle tissue restoration, and so much more.
- The brain detoxifies itself and flushes out toxins through the glymphatic system. This only happens during sleep. A specific amyloid linked to Alzheimer’s is flushed out during this time.
- Morning sunlight and getting rid of stimulation in the evening are 2 important things recommended for better sleep. Consistent exposure to sunlight throughout the day is even more helpful. Avoiding stimulation in the evening helps to calm the brain and body down.
- Weekends are the biggest enemy of nutrition. Research shows that at the end of the week, you are sleep deprived and tired. This leads to fewer nutritious choices and the consumption of more calories.
- People who exercise more are more resilient to psychological stress. When you experience psychological stress, a light switch is clicked on so your brain and body can address the situation. When you undergo physical stress, the same systems are deliberately turned on so your body becomes better at dealing with stress.
- Your perception of your wellness is directly related to how your body adapts to stress. How you feel is the leading indicator of where you are currently and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Want to hear the full episode, including why stress isn’t our enemy, why the glymphatic system is so important, how to increase your adaptive capacity, why sleep is so important for the body, Dr. Korem’s exercise recommendations, how AIM7 helps with mind, body, and recovery and so much more?
Head over here to catch the full episode with Dr. Erik Korem!
Now it’s your turn! What is one thing you learned from this interview?