lifestyle

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

Making your New Year’s Resolutions


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For those of you who have been training, you will likely have started hearing in November about Reverse Resolutions where you are trying to accomplish a goal by New Years Day!    I encourage having continuous goals throughout the year.  However, stats show that the majority of Canadians will make at least one New Years Resolution.  The general outline goes as such:  55% are aiming to eat healthier, 50% resolved to exercise more, 38% wanted to lose weight.  On average less than 20% actually keep the resolutions.

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Choose an Obtainable Goal.  A model/celebrity/athlete is simply not realistic for the majority of people.  Resolving to include daily physical activity in our lives could be very realistic and obtainable.

Avoid Choosing a Repeat Fail.   A resolution that historically has not gone well for you should be analyzed and altered.  Often this will mean that you need to break it down into smaller shorter term goals- and take immediate action.

Create a Game Plan – Starting right now, write a comprehensive plan for the next week, each month.  You wouldn’t start a trip without knowing which direction to go, your personal plan will help you to succeed.  Write it down where you can see it regularly or set a reminder in your phone.

Reward yourself for your Accomplishments – Include a reward as  part of your plan.  A reward involving self-care is ideal.

Limit your Promises Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming and set one up for frustration and discouragement.

Ask for Help –  You may need to set limits to the “help” that you get from friends, family, but have someone to be accountable to.  If you can include those around you in your goals.  Including a coworker in your goals to take a short walk with at lunch could mean packing a more health conscious lunch and getting in activity.

Get more Help-  Sometimes friends, or family are not objective enough.  Research studies show that assistance from a fitn3ess professional will greatly improve one’s success rate.

 

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, Wellness

Basic Fitness Components


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MNCCFITNESS COMPONENTS

According to Wikipedia, “Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports, occupations and daily activities. Physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition,[1] moderate-vigorous physical exercise,[2] and sufficient rest.[3]”

Although the formal definition of fitness has remained constant, ones perception is variable.   Prior to the industrial revolution  a person was fit if they were able to carry out the day’s activities, and be able to do the same the following day.  With the development of machines, automation and less physical work necessary over the years – and thus more sitting, the definition is more specific.  Physical fitness now encompasses the elective performance and resistance of the body as well.

Body Composition  –BMI stands for “Body Mass Index,” a ratio between weight and height. It is useful as a general guideline. It is a mathematical formula that correlates with body fat.

Cardiovascular Component  – This is the body’s ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to the cells in order to create energy for activity. Any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.” It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest.

Muscular Ability –Muscular endurance is the ability to apply force from a muscle over a period of time, or the ability to repeat muscle contractions.  Muscular strength is the ability to generate force.

Balance – Balance is the ability to maintain a specific body position in either a stationary or dynamic(moving) activity.

Flexibility – This is the range of motion that each joint in the body is capable of performing.  Flexibility exercises help stretch muscles, protect against injuries and allow the maximum range of motion for joints.

Other components of fitness include:  Coordination, Agility,  Reaction Time,  Speed, Power, Mental Capability

A complete fitness program is individualized, to the persons current fitness level, daily physical activity, skills, age related needs, and  health factors as a base.   A holistic approach to fitness also includes the mental, social and emotional aspect of physical activity.

Fitness

Guide to an Organized Gym Bag


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A disorganized gym bag, can easily become an excuse to skip out on your workout routine. The thought of packing all you need for a gym session might be discouraging. So here is a guide to keep your gym bag free of clutter and easy to pack and unpack.

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We recommend the two bag approach – having two bags for the gym.

The first bag should contain established content that doesn’t change. Such as your toiletry bag, earphones and any other must need equipment you use like skipping rope. If you drive to the gym, keep this back in the trunk of your car, or if you go to the gym during lunch break, leave it at work. This way the bag is ready and prepared for when you need to go. In your toiletry bag, keep duplicates of products you use daily such as deodorant and moisturizer.

However, for make-up,stick to one set, without duplicating as makeup tends to have a shorter shelf life than toiletries.

The second, smaller, bag should contain everything that is for that one work out only. Items such as water bottle, sweat towel and shower towel,change of clothes and gym clothes. After workout, it is easy to take out clean clothes, have a well-deserved shower and put sweaty clothes back in the bag – ready to take home and get washed. The smaller bag could live in the larger bag if there is space.

To keep your bag clutter free – use the second bag to take home any empty items that you need to replace as a prompt to take a new one to the gym. For example, if your deodorant runs out, put the empty packaging in your second bag so when you get home you can grab a new one and replace it.

The beauty of this two bag approach is not lugging all your gym stuff around, and making unpacking at the end of the day unbearable. To help you shift your behavior, treat yourself to two bags that inspire you to hit the gym and work up a sweat.