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Food, Exercise, Sleep Connection



What you eat, how well you sleep, and how often you work out, is all connected to your overall health.

Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, an internal medicine physician with Lee Health, says connecting the dots between food, exercise, and sleep can make a big difference for your health. “If you can exercise and you can have a healthy nutrition program, often times that’s just as effective as taking medication for high blood pressure, for high cholesterol, for diabetes, for weight control, there are so many benefits to lifestyle therapies.”

Julie Cole, a dietitian with Lee Health, says exercise and eating the right foods strengthens the immune system. “You want to avoid those donuts and go for an oatmeal that has whole grains with fiber that’s going to last you through the morning. Adding blueberries is a great way to add antioxidants and it’s great brain food because it will keep your brain boosted for up to five hours.”

Doctors suggest if you eat meat make sure it’s grass fed, antibiotic free, and hormone free. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough fiber and vegetables into your diet. “At least six servings of vegetables a day, two or three servings of fruit, making sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet,” said Dr. Lacagnina.

Having a healthy diet also means having a healthy sleep schedule. “Sleep is really an important part to being healthy. When you sleep you make growth hormone. Growth hormone is necessary to building healthy skeletal muscle. So you can see how everything is connected. If you’re not building healthy skeletal muscle you can’t metabolize and burn your calories,” said Dr. Lacagnina.

Doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night to keep your weight healthy and improve your overall health.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

Visit LeeHealth.org

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