There is a cold wind blowing outside, and the temperatures have dropped below freezing. The sidewalks and roads are covered by slush or ice, and the sky is a gloomy shade of grey. It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to get outside and exercise when the weather is sunny and warm, so how are you supposed to maintain your goal of healthy living when Winter makes outdoor activities so unappealing?
→ Getting the Right Amount of Nightly Sleep
So you regularly get 8 hours of sleep every night but you still feel tired during the day. What’s the deal? For starters, the 8 hour sleep guideline is just that—a guideline.
Yes, the 8 hours of sleep standard has been routinely researched to be the number of hours of sleep that most people need. However, it doesn’t always work for everybody, and you may need to adjust it a little to get it right for you.
→ Fine-tune your body’s clock
Too much sleep can be just as bad as too little sleep. It’s important to dial in your personal body clock so that you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day, everyday.
To do this, figure out what time you need to get up in the morning.
Count back 7.5 hours as a good time to start getting to bed.
7.5 hours is a good benchmark because the average person goes through five 90 minute sleep cycles alternating between sleep (non-REM) and deep sleep (REM).
It’s best to wake in-between deep sleep cycles rather than in the middle of one. Waking in the middle of REM can lead you to feeling groggy during the day. If you wake during non-REM you’re more likely to feel alert and attentive as the day progresses.
Try this 7.5 hours sleep duration for 3 days. If you find yourself waking about 10 minutes before your alarm goes off, you’ve found your perfect bedtime. If however you’re still relying on your alarm clock to wake you up, try moving your bedtime back 15 minutes every 3 days until you find yourself waking just a few minutes before your alarm goes off.
Once you find your body’s perfect internal sleep-clock, stay consistent with it. The less you vary from the norm, the more alert you will be during the day and the better you will function.
→ Practice better sleep habits
If you find yourself having difficulty getting to bed on time every night, there are a few things you can do to help you get to bed quicker:
- Ditch your electronics. This may be the simplest yet hardest habit to break. The artificial light emitting from your cellphone, tablet, laptop, television set, e-reader, portable game console, etc, tricks your brain into believing it needs to stay awake because it associates light with daytime. This deception can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which in turn leads to poorer sleep at night and feeling rundown during the day.
- Keep your room dark and quiet. Ditching those electronics may not be enough to create the ideal sleeping quarters. If possible, turn off all lights. If this is not possible, leave one dim light on or use a nightlight.
- Try using “white noise.” Listening to music to help you get to bed may work for you, but it’s also likely to disrupt your sleep, causing more problems than it solves. If you must listen to music, try setting it on a timer that will shut it off shortly after you fall asleep. A better option is to listen to white noise while you sleep. White noise from a fan or a sound-machine creates a consistent rhythmic sound that can be both relaxing and help drown out other sudden noises that may cause you to wake at night.
- Avoid caffeine before bed. This one should be a no-brainer, but many people have a hard time resisting caffeinated beverages before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and will increase alertness at that crucial time when your body wants to wind down. If you are a habitual caffeine user, try avoiding using caffeine three hours before bedtime to help get you to sleep on time.
→ A Healthier Lifestyle Leads to Healthier Sleep
Diet and exercise can go a long way towards getting better rest at night and being more alert during the day. Balancing healthy eating choices with routine exercise can dramatically affect the way you perform throughout the day.
Foods to Avoid to Improve Sleep
- Foods high in sugar and caffeine can have a temporary energy-boosting effect on the mind and body’s alertness, but is often followed by a crashing feeling that can last much longer than the short energy-surge you were after.
- Fatty foods and processed carbs have also been associated with daytime sleepiness. These foods may fill you up but they’re not loaded with the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to produce ample amounts of energy.
- Spicy foods close to bedtime. Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. Heartburn can be made worse while lying down as it allows the acids to creep up into the esophagus and burn the sensitive lining.
→ Increase Quality Sleep with Healthy Choices
- Eat more healthy foods. Eating more foods that naturally boost your daily energy levels can go a long way in helping you feel more alert everyday. Eat more natural, unprocessed carbs. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, proteins and high in vitamins. A short list of high energy foods would be: leafy greens, whole grains, tree nuts, lean meats, eggs, fruits (especially apples, bananas, and blueberries), and bell peppers just to name a few.
- Exercise more. Routine exercise can go a long way in curing your daytime fatigue. Exercise breeds energy. It is recommended that you exercise at least 40 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Aside from the energy boost you’ll experience, exercise also releases endorphins which will leave you simply “feeling good” about yourself.
→ Poor sleep could be a sign of a sleep disorder
If you practice the above guidelines of a healthier lifestyle and better sleeping habits but still find yourself suffering from daytime drowsiness, it may be a sign of a more severe medical condition such as: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA),anemia, thyroid problems, narcolepsy, depression, restless leg syndrome, undiagnosed heart disease, or deficiencies in key nutrients. If you think that you may be suffering from one of these medical conditions you should contact your physician or local sleep clinic immediately.
Originally posted at http://www.alaskasleep.com/
Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly and helps you stick to your healthy eating plan.
Organize your food shopping list and fill your grocery cart with the healthiest foods that won’t bust your budget or diet.
Maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:
Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)
Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)
Different names for sugar: Sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dehydrated cane juice, fructose, glucose, dextrose, syrup, cane sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup,
Other sugars fall into the same category often labeled healthy like: agave, honey, organic cane sugar and coconut sugar
50-100 Grams Per Day – This range is great if you want to lose weight effortlessly while allowing for a bit of carbs in the diet. It is also a great maintenance range for people who are carb sensitive.
20-50 Grams Per Day – This is where the metabolic benefits really start to kick in. This is the perfect range for people who need to lose weight fast, or are metabolically deranged and have obesity or diabetes.
When eating less than 50 grams per day, your body will get into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to kill your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.
30 to 38 grams a day – Men
25 grams a day – Women between 18 and 50 years old
21 grams a day – If a woman is 51 and older.
Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet.
56 grams per day – for the average sedentary man
46 grams per day – for the average sedentary woman
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound.
- Chicken Breast Skinless
- Turkey Breast
- Lean Ground Turkey
- Top Round Turkey
- Eye of Round Steak
- 90% Ground Beef
- Egg Whites
- Egg Substitutes
- Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
- Lean Ham
- Sweet Potato
- Brown Rice
- Wild Rice
- Rice cakes
- High-Fiber Cereal
- Popcorn (no butter)
- Tortillas (whole wheat or corn)
- Whole Grain Bread (no high fructose corn syrup)
- Fat-Free Yogurt
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Green Beans
- Green Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
FATS TO EAT
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Cold Water Fish
- Low-Fat Cheese
- Low-Fat Salad Dressings
- Low Sodium Nuts
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Water with Lemon & Mint
- Detox or Spa Waters
- OWC Vanilla Slim Shake Gluten Free
- OWC Chocolate Slim Shake Gluten Free
- Mint Tea
- Almond Milk/Soy Milk/1% Reduced Fat Milk
- Perrier, Sparkling Water Plain
- Shaken Tazo Iced Passion Tea (Unsweetened)
- Caffe Americano
- Green Smoothie
FOODS TO AVOID
- Fried Foods
- Whole-Fat Dairy
- Sugar-Based Beverages
- Sweet Desserts and Sweet Candies
What Causes Knee Soreness after Working Out?
by RACHEL NALL
You rely on your knees to support your movements during a workout. When you experience pain after exercising, you may be concerned that an underlying condition exists. Understanding why you experience knee pain after you exercise can be a matter of evaluating the types of exercises you are performing and the location of your pain. Learning when you can continue exercising with knee pain — and when you cannot — is important to your continued good health.
If you experience knee pain after exercising, take immediate steps to reduce inflammation. This includes icing your knee within 10 to 20 minutes after your workout. You also may wish to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. Evaluate your footwear as well: lack of support, particularly arch support, often contributes to knee pain. Your physician or a shoe specialist can evaluate your shoes to ensure they are in good enough shape to continue exercising. If your knees continue to swell or the pain gets worse instead of better, you may need to take a few days from exercising and seek medical attention.
Your knees are the major shock absorbers of your body, absorbing the impact each time you take a step. If you participate in high-impact activities like running, volleyball or basketball, you are at increased risk for experiencing knee pain after exercising. If you experience pain in both knees after high-impact exercise, this may be a sign you need to alternate high- and low-impact activities. These include activities like exercising on an elliptical machine or swimming, which puts less strain on your knees. Incorporating these activities into your workout routine may help to take the pressure off your knees.
If a physician has evaluated your knee and determined you have not experienced a serious injury, you may wish to engage in some knee-strengthening exercises to reduce pain and restore stability to your knee. Examples of exercises include sitting with your legs extended and slowly lifting your leg about 6 to 8 inches off the ground. Repeat five to 10 times on each leg. From a seated position with your legs extended, you also can cross one leg over the other to stretch the outer portion of the knee. Hold for five seconds, then release the stretch and repeat on the opposite side. Your physician also may recommend alternate stretches to relieve tension in your knee.
There are a number of bones, tendons and muscles related to the knee, providing ample opportunity for injury. You may experience conditions like runner’s knee, which causes pain behind the kneecap, and iliotibial band syndrome, which causes pain outside the knee. Both injury and overuse can cause you to experience knee pain. If your knee pain does not subside with rest, see your physician, who can evaluate your knee for potential injury. Knee pain does not always mean surgery — your physician can recommend several conservative approaches to treat pain.
Article Source: http://www.livestrong.com/
Try these basic yoga poses to get stronger and more flexible.
- Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides.
- Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.
What is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder characterized by three key features:
- Frequent episodes of uncontrollable binge eating
- Feeling extremely distressed or upset during or after bingeing
- Unlikebulimia, there are no regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising
It typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. During a binge, you may eat even when you’re not hungry and continue eating long after you’re full. You may also binge so fast you barely register what you’re eating or tasting.
1. Pick up a pen
Mindlessly munching on a bag of chips could result in easily polishing off the whole thing; write down how much you’ve eaten and you’re more likely to practice portion control and lose weight fast. Keeping a food log helps control extra calories in two ways: the combination of plain old reality check (I just ate 30 minutes ago!) and awareness that what you’re putting in your mouth will soon be recorded for posterity. In a recent study, people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When they combined it with a moderate diet and exercise plan, they lost an average of 13 pounds in 6 months. Journaling also gives you insight on your eating habits, says Dr. Lutes. Do you skip meals? Eat the same during the week as on the weekend? Binge when you’re feeling stressed? “Knowing your routine helps you figure out what changes are right for you,” she adds.
When you’re on vacation, it’s all too easy to abandon everything you know about eating healthfully — and then return home unable to button your pants. But, experts say, it is possible to indulge in your favorite foods and beverages while on vacation without the resulting weight gain.
It’s true that vacations are no time to try to lose weight — but they don’t have to put an extra notch on your belt, either.
“Maintaining your weight is a realistic goal during your vacation getaway,” says Dawn Jackson-Blatner, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
So before you order that extra pina colada at the swim-up bar, consider these five simple strategies to avoid vacation weight gain:
When eating out at a restaurant, navigate the danger zones, eat what you love, and stay at a healthy weight with this menu guide and calorie chart from FITNESS.
Going out to dinner tonight? You’ve got plenty of company. Almost 75 percent of us eat at a restaurant at least once a week, and 25 percent dine out every two or three days, according to a study by the USDA. And hey, why not? Letting someone else cook is relaxing — the perfect treat after a busy day. Trouble is, a recent study at the University of Texas found that female dieters consume an extra 253 calories and 16 fat grams on the days that they eat at restaurants. Portion sizes have ballooned in recent years — and most of us tend to polish off every bite. Research by FITNESS advisory board member Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab in Ithaca, New York, and author of Mindless Eating, shows that we keep nibbling until our plates are empty rather than waiting for our bodies to signal that we’re full, no matter how big the serving size.
WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT
Protein is the major structural and functional component of all cells in your body. Proteins literally play a necessary role in many of the biological processes that allow you to live and function. Not to mention, about 25 percent of your muscle mass is made up of protein—and the rest is made up of water and glycogen (your body’s stored form of carbohydrates). So it’s no wonder why so many diets place a heavy emphasis on protein. But the reason you need to eat so much is simple: Unlike other nutrients, your body can not assemble protein by combining other nutrients, so enough must be consumed in your daily meals in order to achieve your desired health and appearance.