We know you’re a busy girl with a lot of things to cross off that to-do list. When you’re crunched for time, what’s the first health factor that gets short-changed? Sleep. But Bob Greene, famously known as Oprah’s trainer, wants you to pause before deciding to skip out on those z’s. After all, they may be the key to your weight loss success. Greene chatted with us to explain why sleep is so important, then let us in on how Oprah’s slimming down these days.
What are the important concepts expressed in your book, 20 Years Younger?
The book is a strong exercise program geared toward anti-aging. I’ve never been a fan of “diets”—that’s perceived as a temporary way of eating. I’m about a lifestyle change. Here I explain that when you get a solid amount of exercise, be mindful of what you put in your body nutrition-wise, take care of your skin and get enough sleep, you’re going to be so much happier.
Out of those four things, what do you see sacrificed most?
Sleep is most ignored by people, but it’s tied to everything.
Sleep is so much more important than we ever give credit. When you’re not getting adequate sleep, and most people aren’t, it increases your risk of virtually every known ailment. It’s the easiest thing to fix, so you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to do that.
But what’s the big deal if you miss some beauty sleep?
If you’re not sleeping, the hormone that’s responsible for laying down belly fat spikes, so it’s intimately tied to weight gain. If you don’t want it to spike and protect your body from being more prone to multiple diseases, then you need sleep.
Keep reading to find out all about Greene’s experience training Oprah!
Bob Greene is best known for helping teach Oprah how to live her “Best Life.” Now he’s sharing what he learned then, and through extensive research since, to help the rest of us live younger, healthier lives. His new book, 20 Years Younger, claims that if you pinpoint four areas of your life, you can quickly and easily turn back your body clock. “It’s all about consistency,” Greene says. “If you make healthy choices day after day, they really add up.”
While Greene admits that he hasn’t always lived a perfectly healthy life (exhibit one: the UV skin damage he sustained as a young adult and discovered during a recent scan at the dermatologist), he revamped his routine after scouring medical research and interviewing experts. After doing so, he noticed almost immediate improvements in energy levels, immunity and youthful appearance.
We scored the inside scoop from Greene about how we too can look, feel and live years below our biological age!
- Snack on these surprising superfoods. You’ve heard a lot about the antioxidant powers of blueberries and dark chocolate. But don’t discount the lesser-known nutrient-packed counterparts like kale, eggs, pomegranate, grapefruit and quinoa. Greene also suggest limiting saturated fats and cutting out trans fats.
- Work up a real sweat. To maintain health, you can get by with less, but for the best weight-loss, fitness and immune-boosting results, “strive to work out a minimum of five times a week,” Greene says. “I ran into Jack LaLanne at the airport a few years ago, and in his 90s, he looked like he was 60. He had a great spirit and amazing energy—he is a walking testament to the power of being active!”
- Give your skin some TLC. Sunscreen is a daily must, as we know, but it’s not too late if you’ve already experienced some skin damage. Greene swears by a sea salt skin polish (we like one that’s a mix of equal parts fine sea salt and olive oil) and recommends visiting a dermatologist to ask about vitamin C or vitamin A treatments to nourish sun-aged skin.
- Get some shut-eye. “I close myself off from the world when it’s time to sleep,” Greene says, although sometimes that has caused him trouble! “Oprah was trying to reach me soon after we first became friends, and when she tried to call my phone, it was off. She said, ‘How do people reach you?’ I told her that if she had called my doorman and said she was Oprah, I think he would know who that was and pass the call along!” Greene, a Tempur-Pedic fan, thinks sleep is the “forgotten step-child” of the wellness world, and suggests seven to eight hours in a room without dogs, ambient light or electronics.
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