mental health

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.

 

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!

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.

Wellness

Exercise and Mental Health


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1bikementalThere are numerous studies showing that exercise has a positive impact on mental health.  Depression and anxiety symptoms can often improve with exercise. Exercise can also be a stress reducer to keep people from being as stressed or anxious about circumstances.  Exercise and feeling good physically can also help people to feel more in control of other situations in their lives – which helps with mood.  Exercise can be meditative in that you take your mind off your worries – giving yourself a mental break.    Exercise can help you to gain confidence by meeting goals, coping in a positive way, or sometimes just some social interaction. It is worth taking the time for yourself to do something active.

If  lowering stress, anxiety or reducing the symptoms of depressions is one of your goals, it is especially important to learn what frequency, intensity, type and time spent will be the most beneficial for you and your situation.

Exercise releases the feel – good endorphins, and other brain chemicals which enhance your sense of well-being.

Our bodies are made to reward us for moving!