Four Habits for Improving the Core 4 Health Metrics
This summer, Harbin Clinic is encouraging the Northwest Georgia community to get outside! We’re prescribing outside because of the many health benefits connected to the outdoors. Last summer, we shared some quick hacks for improving your Core 4 Health Metrics – blood pressure, blood sugar (or glucose), cholesterol and healthy weight. But did you know there are four lifestyle habits that have the greatest impact on your core 4 health metrics? Even better, getting outside can help you support these habits! Check out the 4 most important habits for managing your core 4 health metrics below.
It’s no surprise sleep is good for you, but do you know why? Insufficient sleep is associated with higher blood pressure. Sleep can also affect blood sugar regulation and the hormones that regulate hunger, ultimately affecting cholesterol and weight gain.
*PRESCRIBE OUTSIDE: Spending time outside can positively impact your sleep, thus changing your core 4 metrics. Exposing yourself to natural light helps your body regulate its internal clock. By spending more time outside, you will boost your daytime alertness and your sleep at night. Being in nature also helps relieve chronic stress that can negatively affect sleep patterns.
Being physically active has a huge impact on all core 4 metrics. From making the heart muscle stronger and blood vessels more flexible to building good cholesterol and lowering glucose levels, moving is important for keeping your body healthy.
*PRESCRIBE OUTSIDE: Did you know that you are more likely to get moving by just being outside? Even when planning a picnic, you are likely to take more steps in picking your picnic spot than walking from your fridge to a kitchen table. Go enjoy the sunset, and you might find yourself hiking up somewhere to get a better view.
Stress not only causes a person’s blood pressure levels to rise, but stress can also release hormones that change blood sugar levels and emotional eating, connecting stress issues to the core 4 metrics.
*PRESCRIBE OUTSIDE: Did you know there’s even a word for getting outside to relieve stress? Ecotherapy is the study of how being outside can lower stress whether through experiencing nature or exercising. Whether you are in a beautiful green space or on a nature walk, research suggests we can find stress relief outside.
It’s well-known that what you eat is directly connected to these core metrics; in fact, most of our hacks last summer were nutrition-based. Check them out here!
So, what’s keeping you from going outside this summer? Need some inspiration? Check out our event calendar and the Prescribe Outside website for more details. Or don’t know how your core 4 metrics measure up? Find a physician near you by visiting our “Find a Doctor” page.