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Tips to Better Sleep: The Importance of Sleep

Tips to Better Sleep: The Importance of Sleep

While many consider fitness and nutrition to be the two-headed dragon when it comes to peak health and performance, we tend to forget about the third - sleep.

 

A quality sleeping regimen is of the utmost important, if not more important than consistent exercise and proper nutrition. Without a good night’s rest, you immediately increase the risks of experiencing negative side-effects like poor-performance, slower cognition, mood swings, hormone fluctuation, weight gain, depression, and more!

An improved sleeping regimen can provide immediate benefits! In today's digital age, workaholics and the “grind-life” are often put on a pedestal. However, this attitude can lead to poor sleep cycles, lack of rest and recovery, and, ultimately - burnout. Instead, we need to flip the switch on what is truly important so that we can tackle life with a new vengeance.

Benefits of Quality Sleep

Some of the benefits of a proper sleeping regimen are:

  • Reduced stress;
  • Improved mood;
  • Improved performance;
  • Weight maintenance ;
  • Improved brain function;
  • Improved mood;
  • Lower health/blood markers;
  • And more!

 

As you can tell, this list could be quite lengthy. Above are just a few of the more prominent benefits that we’ve come to understand.

So, how can one improve their sleep? Great question! Below, we’ll offer some helpful tips that you can implement into your daily/nightly routines immediately! Let’s get into it.

Tips to Better Sleep

While we won’t go into detail on every tip, below is a list of tips that you can begin to consider and, hopefully, implement:

  • Reduce light exposure before bedtime (especially blue light, emitted by digital devices!);
  • Avoid overconsumption of caffeine during the day (and avoid it all together closer to bedtime!);
  • Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day (consistency is key!);
  • Set your bedroom temperature to an optimal 70 degrees;
  • Consider natural melatonin supplements, if needed;
  • If you’re a workaholic, schedule your day to END in the early evening (downtime and unwinding are key to a restful sleep!);
  • Optimize your lifestyle (i.e. exercise regularly, eat healthy, etc);
  • If you struggle with sleep, avoid alcohol, sugar, screen-time, etc.

Summary

The importance of sleep is undeniable by looking at the key role it plays in an optimal, healthy lifestyle. Study after study continues to pop-up to further verify this fact.
If you haven’t yet considered it to be a crucial aspect of health, hopefully this article has enlightened you. If nothing else, don’t become overwhelmed or concerned. Simply choose two or three tips from the list above and give it a try.

You’ll thank yourself later!

Benefits of Cardio Workouts

Benefits of Cardio Workouts

 

Cardio! Is it your pain or your passion? It doesn’t matter how you define it; the reality is that cardio exercise is an important component in every fitness plan. The health benefits of cardiovascular exercises are endless. The good news is that you do not need expensive workout equipment or a health club membership to get a good cardio workout since simple activities such as running up the stairs or going for long brisk walks are effective and won’t cost you a dime. Below are some of the advantages of cardio workouts:

1. It Boosts Respiratory Health

If you are just starting, doing cardio may leave you out of breath. This can be uncomfortable because no one likes to feel as if their lungs are burning, but it is beneficial in the long run. When exercising, your body tissues use oxygen faster than when you are sitting. As a result, your lungs have to work harder to meet the demand for oxygen in your body, which enables them to be more efficient. The lungs will not become bigger, but they will be more effective in drawing oxygen from the air that you breathe in and eliminating carbon dioxide from the body as you breathe out.

After a short while, you will notice that you will not be running out of breath like you previously did. You will also notice that enduring strenuous exercises and activities such as playing with your kids, lifting heavy objects, or running up the stairs will be progressively less difficult.

2. It Helps In Weight Loss

This is one of the major reasons why people engage in aerobic exercises. This doesn’t come as a surprise since having regular cardio sessions can help a person in burning fat and shedding off extra pounds. When doing cardio, your body accesses fat stores and burns it up to produce enough energy to power your muscles, therefore resulting in weight loss.

If you want to burn more fat through cardio, you should go for intense aerobics that can challenge your lungs and heart and push you to your limits. Keep in mind that having a very high heart rate indicates that you are pushing your body too hard, and you should relax a little and give your body time to recover.

3. It Boosts Your Mood

Are you constantly stressed out by your work? Perhaps something unexpected happened, and now you are feeling down? Cardiovascular exercises can help lift your mood. This is because during a workout your brain experiences better neural growth and less inflammation, thus developing activity patterns that promote calmness. Your body also releases feel-good hormones such as endorphins and serotonin, which can regulate your mood. This explains why you develop a positive mindset and feel more relaxed and calmer after a workout session. Besides, if you decide to exercise outdoors, you will expose yourself to fresh air and a change of scenery, which can help you forget your stress. If your friends join you during aerobics, your mood will not only be lifted because of the release of the feel-good hormones but also because you will be enjoying and having fun with others.

4. It Improves Your Sleeping Pattern

Regular exercise can help if you are suffering from chronic insomnia. Exercise can reduce the time you take to fall asleep and increase the length of your sleep. If you are not suffering from insomnia, cardio can help you fall asleep much faster and reduce daytime sleepiness. It can also prevent leg cramps when you are asleep - a problem that keeps a lot of people awake at night.

If you are using this method to improve your sleeping patterns, it is recommended to schedule the aerobics in the morning as some studies show that exercising in the evening or the afternoon can make it challenging for some individuals to fall asleep. If you must work out in the evening, go for moderate-intensity cardio exercises rather than the high-intensity ones.

How to Stay Hydrated During the Day and Why It’s Important

How to Stay Hydrated During the Day and Why It’s Important

You probably already know that staying hydrated plays an integral role in our health and overall existence as human beings. As it turns out, water makes up about 60% of the adult human body and is necessary to complete most of our body’s vital functions including those of your heart, brain, and muscles. Unfortunately, even though most of us are well aware that hydration affects every aspect of our health, still a significant amount of people fail to consume the daily recommended amount of water each day. So what exactly are the benefits of staying well hydrated? Read on for all the details!


Benefits of Staying Hydrated


The benefits of drinking enough water stretch to virtually every system within your body. Water protects and hydrates our organs, carries and transports nutrients to our cells, and keeps muscles and joints working properly by balancing sodium and potassium levels. Water helps to flush the body of toxins, maintain its core temperature, and even balance blood sugar.

Beyond bodily functions, drinking enough water can even help you lose weight if that is a goal of yours. Drinking water before meals can help you feel full and lead to fewer calories eaten at each meal. Water also plays a role in helping us stay mentally focused and energized. It can boost our mood, memory, and overall brain performance. 

Finally, adequate hydration can help your skin look and feel better. Drinking enough water contributes to skin elasticity - meaning fewer wrinkles and fine lines, as well as decreasing puffiness and swelling due to dehydration. And since water helps remove toxins from the body, as mentioned above, drinking enough can also help clear and brighten your overall complexion.


So How Can You Stay Well-Hydrated Throughout the Day?


There are a variety of guidelines on how much water you should aim to drink per day, but a good one that works for most of us is to try to drink approximately half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, a 140lb person should shoot for 70 ounces of water daily. When you have a go-to reusable water bottle, you can go ahead and calculate your daily needs and divide it by how many ounces are in your bottle to find out how many times you should be refilling your bottle daily.


Keep in mind that you might need to increase this amount if you participate in intense or prolonged exercise! You’ll need to hydrate before, during and after your workout. Think an additional 8-10 ounces per 30 minutes of exercise.


Tips for Drinking More Water


  • Carry your reusable water bottle with you at all times! Standing in line at the bank? Have some water. Waiting for the bus? Have some water. If the bottle is already in your hand, you’ll easily find more occasions to drink it.

  • Keep things interesting and add a little flavor to your water! You can try fresh cucumber, berries like strawberries and raspberries or lemon and other citrus fruits. Bonus: The vitamin C content in lemons can boost immunity as well as promote skin and joint health thanks to its ability to aid in collagen synthesis - double win! Find something that your tastebuds will love!

  • If you find yourself forgetting to drink water during the day, you’re not alone. Try putting yourself on a water-drinking schedule to make it more effortless. This could look like a glass of water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bed, or it could be some water at a certain time each hour. Figure out what works best for you and stick to it!

  •  we confuse thirst to drink water when you’re hungry. Many times hunger cues. The next time you’re feeling hunger pangs between meals, reach for a glass of water instead!

  • Eat your water! Some foods are a tasty and easy way of upping your water intake without reaching for your bottle: apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges, chicken noodle soup, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, etc!

Water is necessary for the functions of every system in your body, and staying hydrated is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Drinking more water is arguably the easiest healthy habit you can start right now, to help your body function optimally, support its natural processes and reap the benefits!