Author: ucheblogger

Wellness

You should sleep more


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Many people think that we should aim for 8 hours of elusive sleep each night but most people do not really understand the importance sleep plays in our physical health. Like helping to repair and healing blood vessels. Sleep also helps with high blood pressure. Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and kidney diseases are all linked to lack of proper sleep. Sleeping also plays a restorative role on the brain. Memory consolidation occurs during slow wave and as such, different pieces of what we learn during the day are pieced together and carefully stored as knowledge to be accessed later.

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Extra sleep has also proven to improve athletic performance. In 2008, a study of five swimmers showed that when they extended their sleep to 10 hours a day for six to seven weeks, the athletes could swim faster and react more quickly.  Similarly researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that during sleep is when emotional components of memory are strengthened. As a result, sleep aids in creativity. 

Sleep also helps with weight loss.  Or at least helps with curbing appetite. Hunger is controlled by  two hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the amount of calories you burn (your metabolism) and increasing the amount fat you store. In other words, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinoloy and Metabolism found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.

 

Wellness

Holiday Guide to Healthy Living


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Even if you’ve been staying on track with your healthy eating goals all year, it’s a slippery slope after the Thanksgiving dinner, Halloween candy,  and eventually the December holiday parties.  It is of course no surprise that people tend to gain weight over the holidays.

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One way to start your day on a healthy note is by eating breakfast. Not just any breakfast but a large nutritious breakfast. It may sound counter intuitive since you’re planning on having a big meal later, but filling up on something healthy will prevent you from overindulging later on.

Your schedule might be filled up with parties and quality time with family but the best way to stay on top your fitness this holidays, is to make sure you reserve quality time for your work out during the holidays. Try to put in 20 mins of workout in the morning, that will help combat the feeling of sluggishness but instead energize you.

Additionally, do not show up hungry to a holiday party or dinner. The reason being, leaving your stomach empty till the dinner forces you to overindulge in unnecessary calories. Many people think they need to save their body for the party calories but this isn’t very helpful. In the same vein, consider pitching in for dinner parties to ensure a healthy option for you and other guests.  If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to provide healthy alternatives. If you are attending another party, ask the host if they would like additional dishes and create a healthy version of a holiday dish.

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Most importantly this holidays, know your triggers. During the holidays, there are plenty triggers that can easily lead you to a path of unhealthy decisions. If for example, alcohol is your trigger to bad decisions, be careful of the wine consumption. If sugar, or desserts are your triggers, maintain a one serve size. In summary, do everything in moderation to avoid a slippery slope of bad decisions.

Fitness, Wellness

Lets Talk Fitness Fears


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It’s no secret that the benefits of a healthy lifestyle extend far beyond mere physical fitness. You’ve probably red countless articles online on the benefits of exercise and fitness. But for some people knowing in your head that fitness is good and actually getting involved with it are two very different things.

Here are some common fitness fears and how you can overcome them.

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Lack of time

The number one reason people state for not living healthy and exercising, is lack of time. It is usually an excuse of being occupied with work or kids. However this excuse is not sufficient.

For starters, there are various ways in which stay at home parents could stay on top of their fitness routine. Fitness never has to be a major time commitment that most people imagine it to be. There are various opportunities to stay on top of your fitness – whether it’s going for a walk during your lunch break or twenty minutes in the gym instead of waiting in the train station.

Self Consciousness

A big and valid hurdle for some people to tackle before fitness is self consciousness or fear of looking stupid. If you struggle with low self esteem, social anxiety or body image issues then heading down to the gym or even just going for a run round your neighborhood can be an intimidating prospect. Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and everyone was new to fitness at some point. Do not worry about what other people think an instead focus on having a great time exercising.

Lack of patience

If you’re just starting out on a weight loss or fitness program it can easily seem like you have a real mountain to climb. You might feel like you are surrounded by people with ideal bodies and unable to see any way you can ever reach that level. However remember that no real change comes overnight, especially not a lasting change. There are no shortcuts in fitness, therefore must view your journey as a gradual process.

Fear of Failure

A similar fear to not thinking you can change is not thinking you can change enough or at all. You might have set yourself fitness goals and now find yourself reluctant to try and hit them for fear that you’ll fall short. Remember that goals and targets are motivation tools not measure of success or failure. The key is celebrating every success, however small.

Fear of Change

Most importantly, people sometimes aren’t fully committed to change. You might think that fitness is a good idea, but find yourself dreading the effort involved. However this is perfectly natural. But remember that starting out in your own little ways, will gradually bring changes that will make a big difference while paving the way for bigger improvements when you’re ready.

Having someone to help guide you along the way could be the difference between procrastination and progress!

Wellness

3 Cheap Ways to Workout


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Walking Workouts

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We all generally walk during our day and increasing the number of steps you take per day and the efficiency of your walk may be more simple than you realize. Walking is one of the best exercises on the planet as it costs nothing and is readily available to most people. Simply walking for just 10-15 minutes increases cardiovascular function, aids muscle strength in the hips, legs and core and may help to reduce stress. Simply add in a few walking lunges or a short jog every 10 steps.

Body resistance training

Body resistance exercises require no equipment whatsoever and can be just as challenging as hitting the gym. Working out at home has never been easier. Perform floor exercises such as push-ups, bridge exercises and leg lifts to strengthen and tone your tummy, thighs, glutes and core. Standing routines to exercise your heart and lungs with a home-based cardiovascular workout and overhead activities such as shoulder presses and arm raises, to strengthen and tone the upper arms, back and shoulders.

Skipping

Skipping is an extremely popular exercise among athletes and trainers. In fact, it may well be one of the most efficient and convenient exercises for fat burning. Studies show that skipping for 30 minutes can burn over 300 calories, compared to cycling and swimming which came in under 150 calories. The best part is, even if you don’t have a rope, moving your arms in a skipping fashion can still be effective. If you are just starting out with skipping, begin at a level that you are comfortable with and slowly increase your time and endurance over time.

 

Fitness

3 Exercising Tips For Busy Mums


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Most mummies find it difficult to even use the bathroom, without an audience, yet alone stick to an exercise routine. However we have few tips for busy mothers to exercise, and stay on top their health routine

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Planning Early start

The key to balancing a healthy life is scheduling. Like most things in our lives, the best way to ensure exercise is to schedule it in each week. Put it in your calendar at the beginning of each week and choose your workout of choice.The best time to squeeze in a workout, is before the day begins. With kids who rise early, it is best to do your exercise before you get busy.

Get your children involved

If you can’t get away from the kids to work out in peace, then consider including them. Babies can be used as the perfect weight to squat with. You can explore your local parks in the process. Strap your baby to your back and climb the stairs, when at home. Run with your toddler in the pram. If you enjoy swimming, have your toddler hold on to your shoulders while you breast stroke through laps.

Kid friendly gyms

Using a local gym, or a personal trainer who can accommodate your needs, and maybe include the kids in your program, makes a huge difference in your exercise routine. Some gyms now offer indoor creche for kids.