Fitness Update #5….
We are now finished with week 4 of our “Fitness Challenge” and headed into week 5! This week I missed my arm workout due to scheduling, but I was finally able to get two outdoor cardio workouts in! It has been freezing cold here, then over the weekend it began to warm up! Yesterday it was 64! I took these quick photos with my phone while out on our walk yesterday….
This week it looks like we will have warm days, so I of course will be heading outdoors to run. I am looking forward to it.
I am also looking forward to part two of this fitness challenge! I like what we have planned.
Living by the “Body Clock”…What is it? And how do I do it?
Recently my family has started to live in accordance with the Chinese “body clock.” What is the body clock you ask? It is a method of planning your activity, and meals around the time when it is most optimal for your organs and body functions. This greatly helps improve your health and stamina. You will assimilate your food better, and have more energy.
In his book “Healing With Whole Foods” Paul Pitchford states; “The Chinese clock is an ancient observation that the body’s internal organs have peak activity during two-hour intervals. This theory also suggests that an organ’s minimum activity is twelve hours away from its peak interval. For example, the peak activity of the stomach is from seven to nine a.m., and its minimum activity is twelve hours later from seven to nine p.m. The further away from peak liver activity the meal is taken, the more completely the liver can perform its several hundred functions.”
If you have ever tipped back a few too many cocktails, you will notice you may wake up in the middle of the night, around 2 to 3am. This is because from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. are the peak hours for your liver! You are usually asleep during this time, which helps greatly for the liver to detox and heal the body. If you can’t sleep, this disrupts your liver from functioning properly.
On this website, they sum up the body clock beautifully by stating; “In Chinese medicine, energy or qi, moves through the body’s meridians and organs in a 24 hour cycle. Every two hours the qi (or energy) is strongest within a particular organ and its functions within the body. And that’s not all – the body, mind and emotions are inseparable in Chinese medicine – meaning that if you have disharmony in your physical body, it is tied to your emotional state. So if you wake up at 3 AM, when Liver energy peaks, you may be suffering from Liver Qi stagnation, which could be related to an unhealthy diet, excess alcohol consumption, unresolved anger or high levels of stress. If you consistently wake at 4 AM – it could be due to an imbalance in your Lungs, which is related to grief and sadness, fatigue, or reduced immune function.” Check our the rest of the article on the Turning Pointe website. It’s very informative! If you have trouble sleeping, this will help you to understand what could be happening in your body.
Chinese “Body Clock” hours…
Here are the hours for peak function for our body listed for you. There are many charts and webpages dedicated to the body clock, which you can find some of HERE in my Pinterest board.
1pm–3pm small intestine
9pm–11pm triple heater
Not complicated, and very practical….
Upon further reading on the subject of the Chinese body clock, you will find it makes total and complete sense. You eat your first meal (which is the largest) when the stomach is at its most potent and able to break down nutrients most efficiently. From there you will decrease the size of your meals. For optimal liver function you would not want to eat after 7pm if you can. This will help with healing, recovery, and sleep quality. You also want to go to bed before 10:30pm! Why do you ask? Here is the reason…
“A bedtime of 10:30pm (at the latest) is advised so that you are asleep by 11pm when the Liver and Gallbladder start to regulate qi, process emotions, balance hormones and detoxify the body. According to Chinese medicine, the window from 11 PM – 3 AM, which correlates to the Liver and Gallbladder, is most important in terms of maintaining health, especially as we age. Many of us have heard the old adage: “Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after midnight.” This idea is backed by modern sleep science – we experience the deepest part of sleep during the first third of the night. This deep sleep, or Slow Wave Sleep (SWS), is the most restorative part of our sleep. During these hours the stress hormone cortisol is reduced and parasympathetic nervous system activity increases, which allows us to fully rest and move away from the fight or flight responses that dominate during waking hours. SWS is associated with memory and learning. A lack of this type of sleep can lead to reduced daytime functioning and alertness as well as waking feeling unrefreshed. Further, human growth hormone, which is essential to repairing our bodies from daily injury and maintaining health, is released from 9pm-7am, making each hour of sleep during this time critical. “-Turning Pointe, Feb 19, 2017 (to read further click here)
So there you have it! If you want to stay young and vibrant, repair muscle tissue after you train, then you must get your rest!
After reading this small bit of info about the Chinese body clock, you can see why we are following this lifestyle. With a busy schedule, and training it is very important that we stay healthy and happy! I highly recommend checking out the Healing With Whole Foods book by Paul Pitchford, as well as the links provided in my Pinterest board (Here) on this subject. It may help you to get better sleep, as well as improve your health. It’s worth a try!
Do you find the body clock interesting? Would you ever give it a try? Comment and share below!
Until Next Post,
Stay healthy and happy!