By Jerry Laird
Feb. 23, 2015
Eating dark chocolate can help manage diabetes and 15 minutes of walking a day can reduce your risk of cancer, says physiologist Greg Wells.
Small changes in your lifestyle such as regular physical activity, proper sleep and diet will not only reduce your risk of disease it will increase your productivity, said Wells, when he addressed students at Holland College on Feb. 11.
Wells said you should get seven and a half hours of sleep every night.
He asked students to turn all electronics off 45 minutes before they go to bed. That gives your brain enough time to wind down he said, adding you don’t sleep soundly when electronics such as a TV are on.
The eye keeps working when the room is not dark, even an alarm clock light prevents a sound sleep, said Wells.
“When there is light in the room your eye thinks it’s morning and is telling your brain to wake up.“
Wells said to time your caffeine intake and it will improve your performance. He said have a coffee during class rather than before, will prevent a crash during class.
“Have your energy drink between periods or at half time instead of before the game,” Wells said.
Dark chocolate has many healthy properties and super charges your brain. Afternoon break is a good time to have chocolate ,Wells said.
Wells said dark chocolate helps manage diabetes.
Studies show 20 grams of dark chocolate per day increase the sensitivity to insulin helping keep blood sugar levels down.
“It has to be dark chocolate and just a square, ” said Wells.
Fifteen minutes of walking per day increases your ability to learn.
“When you move your brain lights up,” said Wells.
Bob Marley’s band would play soccer before a show or going into the studio. Marley believed it increased their creativity.
Wells said a 15-minute walk a day decreases your chance of getting cancer by 50 per cent.
Even if you are not over weight it does not mean you are healthy, Dr. J Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said in his blog. He said when you sit at a desk for 8-10 hours a day your risk of cancer is increased.
Even engaging in vigorous physical activity after work does not lessen the adverse impact of sitting for hours every day, said Lichtenfeld.
“Get up and moving-even if it means walking around your place of work.”
Layton Aiken, a running back for Hurricanes, said he would be changing some of his habits after listening to Well’s presentation. Aiken said he would drink coffee any time and would crash during class. He said he plans to drink coffee during class and not so much in the morning.
“And I will definitely be getting more sleep,” said Aiken.
Tessa Fudge plays soccer and said she will be watching her diet and getting more sleep.
Greg Wells works with at the University of Toronto Human Physiology Research Unit and the Hospital for Sick Children.