Tips for Better Sleep

Years ago, I read an article entitled, Tips to a Better Sleep, which offered common sense sleep tips that, unfortunately for many people, are not common knowledge.

Here are some sleep tips that the article offered, along with some updates for today’s world –

1.  Consistency – Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.

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“I’m Already Thin… Why Should I Work Out?”

“I’m already thin… Why should I work out?”

This is one of those lines we don’t hear as much in the fitness industry as some others, but it is a question that deserves some attention.

Working out, including resistance training, cardiovascular training, and flexibility, is not just for people who wish to lose weight. Fitness training is for your health, not just your looks. Thin does not necessarily mean healthy. Research has shown that someone who is thin and unfit is actually less healthy than someone who has a few extra pounds and is fit. People who are thin and unfit can have heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. just like people who are overweight and unfit. A sound exercise program can also make your body look and feel even better.

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Why Skipping Meals is Not the Way to Lose Body Fat

People often ask me about skipping meals as a way to lose weight and, more specifically, to lose body fat.  Many people feel that they can skip a meal without even missing it.  Skipping meals is a big “no-no” and here’s why:

Skipping meals actually does just the opposite of your goal and makes it harder to lose weight. Skipping meals lowers your resting metabolic rate (how fast you burn calories at rest), lowers your energy level (no fuel to burn), and makes your body think it is in a state of starvation (therefore “rationing” the fat on your body). Skipping meals also creates cravings, throws off your hormone levels, and alters the chemicals in your brain. Rather than skipping meals to lose weight, use healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, to fill in the time between meals to boost your energy levels and your body’s metabolism.

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Why You Should Drink More Water: The Real Facts

Most people know they should drink at least eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water each day. We keep hearing “Drink more water,” but here are some “cold, hard facts” from the American Institute For Cancer Research about why increasing your water intake is important.

1. Water helps your body get moving by helping to relieve dry mouth and by refreshing the rest of your body.

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Seven Tips for Avoiding Processed Foods

Most of us eat way to much processed food. We eat much more processed food today even than just 10 – 15 years ago.  The MSN article, 7 Tips for Avoiding Processed Foods, makes some good suggestions on how to avoid processed foods.  It is based on suggestions from the book, Unprocessed, which details a 26-year old grad student’s year of eating nothing but unprocessed foods and even doing it on a salary of just $16,780 per year.  (She did spend about 27% of her income on food…)

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Scientific Links Between Processed Foods and Depression Keep Getting Stronger

I just came across an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola about the link between certain foods and depression. The article is interesting and certainly makes you think about what you put into your body. The old, “You are what you eat,” seems to certainly apply here.

Foods and additives that are linked to promoting depression include sugar, genetically engineered ingredients, glyphosate, artificial food additives, and gluten.

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Exercise: Sleep’s Best Friend

Want to sleep better? Who doesn’t? It’s funny how our ancestors never had trouble sleeping.  People used to walk places, work in the fields, do manual labor… Now we have machines to do all that and save us time, yet many people still say they don’t have time to exercise.

Research shows that even small increases in exercise, like a daily half-hour walk, can improve your sleep and your health.  The one caveat to this is that you should not exercise close to your bed time.  That will actually make it difficult to wind down and to fall asleep.

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What’s a Healthy Height Off the Floor For Your Mattress?

There’s a few schools of thought on this question. But what we’ve found is that by being able to sit on the side of your bed, and having your feet being able to reach the floor (heel and toes), keeps your body in a good posture, both getting in and out of bed. This tends to make it easier on your back and knees. If your existing bed isn’t this height off the floor, a good way to figure what is a good height is to measure by sitting on a chair that just gets your feet to hit the floor (heel and toes), and measuring that chair height (then adding two or three inches to compensate for your mattress compressing a bit as you’d sit on it). Then you can measure your frame height off the floor, then your foundation, then your mattress. If your mattress height off the floor is too high, then you can look into a lower profile foundation or a bed frame that’s lower. If your mattress height off the floor is too low, then you can look into a higher profile foundation or a bed frame that’s higher.

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Stay Healthy Naturally – Five Tips

The article Holistic Holiday Wellness:  Five Tips to Stay Healthy Naturally  (written in 2009, but still topical today) offers  readers five helpful tips to stay healthy during the holiday season.  To read the article in its entirety, click on the link above, but in a nutshell, here are the five tips the article offers:

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Your Workout Appointment: How to Never Miss Your Workout Again

So many people want to work out or get some exercise, but always find a reason not to because something else always comes up – I have a meeting, the kids’ soccer practices, work responsibilities, etc. Everyone is busy… So how do some people make it work? In my many years in the fitness industry I have found a way that works for everyone.  Here’s how –

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