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Health & Fitness

10 Steps to Help You Get a Great Night’s Sleep



How did you sleep last night? I had a great night’s sleep, but when I woke up I thought what a powerful effect a great night’s sleep has on your metabolism, and I wanted to share with you some ideas about how to get a better night’s sleep.

Now my idea of a great night’s sleep is one in which you sleep soundly and wake fully refreshed and full of energy. During a great night’s sleep you rarely, if ever, think about your troubles, you never think about the news, and you usually fall asleep within 10 minutes of your head hitting the pillow (with positive thoughts in your mind).

Also: Arianny Celeste: Ring Gurl Fit / Abdominals

Also, a key factor in determining if you had a great night’s sleep is if you dream ‘positive’ or ‘fun’ dreams. Because if your night full of ‘bad’ or ‘stressful’ dreams then you’re most certainly tossing and turning throughout the night and NOT getting a “restful” sleep.

Why is it so important to get quality sleep each and every night? Your body and your mind break down and get worn out from stress during the day.

The only time that your body and your mind repair themselves and rejuvenate is when you’re sleeping. But it’s important to note here that “restful” sleep is the key. Tossing and turning all night or waking up every few hours is not considered restful sleep. I recently read an article that made it to my research center that stated the facts about how snoring affects your sleep and your health. People who snore tend to disrupt their sleep, on average, 300 times each night – now that’s not a restful night’s sleep! Now think about it this way for a moment – if you’ve been under stress lately, or if you’re mattress sucks, or if you just plain haven’t been able to sleep well for the past few weeks (or months), then you haven’t given your brain or your body the time it needs to repair itself.

So you actually start each and every day a little bit less focused and less metabolically healthy than the previous day.

Don’t try to catch up on your sleep. People tell me all the time that they know that they don’t get enough sleep during the week – but they “catch up” on the weekends. Let me put an end to that myth right now. That does not work!!! Your body and your mind need a regular sleeping pattern to repair and rejuvenate – without it, you’re actually deteriorating yourself rather than re-energizing yourself.

So what’s considered enough sleep?

Generally speaking, everyone should strive to get 8 hours of restful sleep. Now if you eat a very healthy diet and exercise properly, and give yourself a few mental breaks during the day, and if you sleep like a baby and awaken fully refreshed every day, then you might be the type of person who can get away with less sleep – maybe 6 hours each night.

On the other hand, if you experience extraordinary amounts of stress each day (mental or physical), then you’ll need more than 8 hours. A marathon runner, for example, tends to put his/her body through a lot of stress each day – that person needs more than just 8 hours because their body needs more repair time than normal. The same holds true for the person going through massive mental stress as well.

So what can you do to help facilitate a better night’s sleep for yourself and those around you?

10 Steps To Help You Get A Great Night’s Sleep:

1. Make a list of what you need to do the next day, write it all down and keep that paper and pen near your bedside in case you think of anything else you need to do. When you write things down you’re giving your brain the signal that it no longer needs to think about those tasks.

2. Don’t watch television or listen to the radio (especially the news) before retiring for the night – and certainly do not fall asleep with the TV or radio on.

3. Read some inspirational or self-growth material for at least 30 minutes prior to bed. Your goal is to fill your mind with inspirational thoughts before falling asleep so that the last thoughts you have before drifting off are uplifting thoughts – as opposed to the stressful thoughts that most people fall asleep thinking about.

4. Make sure the room that you’re sleeping in is as dark a room as possible – the body is made to sleep when it’s dark out – the darker the room the more potential for a deep sleep.

5. Make the room as silent as possible – turn off all electric devices and ask others in the house to be as quiet as they can be.

6. Don’t eat for at least 3 hours before going to bed. When there’s undigested food in the stomach, your body is forced to focus on digesting that food rather than being focused on repairing your body and mind – which is what sleep is all about! The body was designed to digest food best while moving – not while laying down.

7. Try to go to bed at approximately 10:00 pm and awake at approximately 6:00 am. In Ayurvedic medicine, it’s believed that there are cycles that are the most conducive for certain activities. Going to bed at 10:00 pm and arising at 6:00 am appears to allow the body to rest the deepest, rejuvenate the most, and give the person the most energy throughout the day.

8. Don’t take drugs or vitamins/herbs that are supposed to help you sleep (unless required by your physician). Most of these artificial sleeping aids do nothing more than deadening your senses – the goal of ‘sleep’ is to give your body the time and means to repair itself and prepare for the coming day. When you drug yourself to sleep, every system in your body is slowed down, including all those systems that are responsible for repairing you.

9. Make sure that there’s a fresh air supply in the room. The air indoors is said to be some of the most toxic air around. When you sleep, you’re only able to breathe in the air that surrounds you in your enclosed bedroom. Try opening a window (if it’s cold outside then just open the window a crack). The fresh air that comes in while you sleep will help your body repair itself because you’ll have access to cleaner, more oxygenated air.

10. During the day, do 60 minutes of mild exercise. If you don’t have time to do 60 minutes in a row, then break it up into 2 – 30-minute sessions, or 3 – 20-minute session, or 6 – 10-minute sessions — just get a full 60 minutes in. The best exercise when talking about general health and preparing your body for a great night’s sleep is walking.

I wish you the best night’s sleep tonight and every


Food & Nutrition

The Importances of Great Supplements



Supplementation has become a big topic in the health and fitness world as more people are turning to natural answers for optimal health.

Why do we need supplements if we are already exercising and eating well? Supplementation provides the foundation within our bodies to perform at the highest level. Even if we are working out regularly and eating an all-organic diet, there are still going to be gaps in our nutrition. Uncontrollable influences such as chemicals in everyday products, genetic predisposition, and injuries can cause lack within our bodies that require extra help; help that can come in the form of supplements.

Also check out: Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts put a strain on their bodies regularly in order to reach new goals or performance levels. Supplements such as Vitamin C or D3 can help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation speeds up the healing process within our bodies and enables us to reach our goals faster with less pain and damage.

Other supplemental vitamins and minerals like calcium and magnesium improve bone health and oxygenate our blood; two vital needs for those of us building and maintaining muscle. Omegas 3’s are essential for heart health, and we don’t always have access to fresh fish and organic nuts where Omega 3’s are usually found.

Another great aspect of taking supplements is the convenience of it. We cannot always be at the gym, and maintaining a strict diet 24/7 is difficult. Supplements can be taken on the go and will enable our bodies to maintain the health we have worked so hard to achieve. A strict diet can also be difficult to maintain if we do not have access to certain foods at all times. Supplements can be easily ordered online regardless of location.

Supplementation is not an an-either-or option with a good diet. Rather, excellent supplementation compliments and enhances the positive benefits of a great diet and exercise.

Get more information on WrkEthicSupps:


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Workout Wednesday

Jade Atkinson’s Lower Body Plyos



Jade Atkinson has one of the most beautiful and inspiring physiques in the fitness industry. She’s an IFBB Bikini Pro Competitor and Fitness Gurls Athlete and she shares her secrets on how to tone your lower body exercises this session.

Get Jade’s Last Article: Jade Atkinson’s Full Body & Core Workout

Plyometrics involve power jumping, repetitive bounding, and quick force production. They are a fast movement that happens over a short period of time.

Plyos help facilitates weight loss and is good for people who are looking to improve their muscular power, speed, strength, and endurance. They require a lot of energy, as they are high-intense. They help tighten, tone and define. Most importantly Plyos combine strength training and cardio exercises allowing you to burn more calories and improve muscle tone and definition.

Perform all 4 exercises without breaks.
Rest for 60 seconds.
Perform 4 Rounds

1 Circuit 1

Jump Squats x 15
Plyo Jump Lunges x 12/leg
Tuck Jumps x12
Plyo Step Ups x15/leg
Plyo Up and Overs x15/leg

2 Circuit 2

Box Jumps x15
Reverse Lunge with Knee Drive x12/leg
Long Jumps x10
Kneeing Jump Squat x10

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Health & Fitness

How To Create Your Own No-Guilt Travel Workout

I like looking at training problems from angles most people don’t think of



I like looking at training problems from angles most people don’t think of – until they come up, of course. Take your typical travel workout, for example. The usual articles focus on killer bodyweight workouts in idyllic settings. But how often do you have a perfect gym while you travel? How often are you actually motivated to do any exercise? And how often do any of those travel workouts resemble what you do at home? Hardly ever, in my experience. I find that there are two main roadblocks to travel workouts: equipment and motivation. Let’s talk about jumping over these hurdles, and then I’ll tell you how to create your own perfect travel workout.

Mastering Motivation
Most travel workouts feed fears that if you don’t train while you’re away, you’ll lose all your. But I prefer to look at it from a more positive spin: If I work out while I travel, it will be much easier to bounce back when I get home. I found this out firsthand when I took two back-to-back trips over the holidays.

Training to Bounce Back
Normally, if I’m traveling for a week or less, I couldn’t care less about missing lifting sessions. I see it as a chance to let my body recover because I rarely miss a session at home. But two weeks is a long time to do nothing. Once you get into the 2-3 week range, it could take several weeks to bounce back. When you come back to lifting after a layoff, you have to back up a few steps. If you don’t lower the weight and decrease the volume upon returning, it’s very easy to find yourself with a pulled muscle or worse. This has happened to me on a number of occasions (see my tips for avoiding this below). I’ll add that sometimes you have to force yourself to train when you travel. You do it even though it feels like shit at first, and then it’s easier once you get started. Put on your clothes and shoes, pull out your resistance band or whatever meager equipment you have, and just do it. (Never was there a more apt marketing slogan.)

Equalizing Equipment
Recently, I stayed at a hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, that had a full gym and even a personal trainer. I was in pure nirvana.

But this isn’t going to happen every time you travel. In fact, it varies wildly from hotel to hotel.

The solution is to make equipment a secondary concern. Instead of focusing on what equipment you might have (it’s often unknown), focus on your goals. Do you want to maintain your strength or cardiovascular endurance? Make it easier to return to the gym when you get back? Stay regular? (A valid goal if there ever was one.) Once you know your exact goal, you’ve got everything you need.

Creating A Successful Travel Workout
Traveling isn’t the best time to start a whole new style of training. Improvise on what you normally do with quick workouts that deliver a nice burn. It also helps enormously to plan what you’ll do ahead of time. Write it down or put it in your phone before you leave (you’ll thank me). Just remember your goals.

Full Body Works Best
A full-body workout is perfect for traveling because you get a lot of bang for your buck. A 30-60 minute workout that trains your whole body might even feel more challenging to you than your usual training split. During the two weeks, I was Texas and Mexico, I did three full-body workouts. I was pleased with this and felt it helped me come back strong when I got home. (I didn’t train at all the first week and it didn’t affect my strength.)

I normally do upper/lower body workouts, so I enjoyed the noticeable challenge of full-body workouts. I ended up doing more volume than I’d do at home because I trained each muscle three times instead of twice.

How to Create Your Own Full-body Travel Workout
here are certain things that will give you more bang for your buck in a travel workout. You may not think of it once you get there, so plan ahead.

  • Supersets. Doing two exercises back-to-back lets you save time, burn more calories, and get stronger. To increase the calorie burn, rest as little as possible between exercises.
    • Hamstrings/glutes and quads (hamstring curl and reverse lunge)
    • Chest and back (chest press and bent-over row)
    • Anterior and posterior shoulders (overhead press and rear delt raise)
    • Chest and shoulders (push-ups and lateral raise)
    • Calves and abs (standing calf raise and plank)
    • Biceps and triceps (cross-body curl and overhead extension)

You can do any of these exercises with either a band or dumbbells. Or if you don’t have any equipment, do push-ups, pull-ups, planks, and bodyweight lunges, squats, and hip thrusts.

  • Low-risk exercises. You don’t want to strain your low back or pull a groin muscle on vacation. Risky exercises for your low back include deadlifts, good mornings, and even barbell squats. Bent-over rows can tweak your back too. If it feels iffy, don’t do it. If you feel strong and like your normal self, go for it. You might want to avoid upright rows, too, or any other shoulder exercise that might get wonky. Keep your form pristine and don’t rush.
  • Back-healthy exercises. Do face pulls, cobras, scapular retraction, and any other exercise to strengthen your upper back. Bunching up in planes and over pina coladas can tighten you up good.
  • Core activation exercises. Get more bang for your buck by doing exercises that engage your core big time. Unilateral, full-body, or standing exercises will do the trick. Think squat to presses, lunges, single-leg planks, or military presses.
  • Unilateral exercises. It’s always smart to do exercises one leg or arm at a time to improve your balance and stability. But unilateral exercises are especially useful if you don’t have access to heavier dumbbells. Do lunges, Bulgarian split squats, and single-arm presses and rows. 

Don’t forget to warm up thoroughly, either on a cardio machine or with dynamic warm-up exercises.

Two Ready-Made Workouts
Here are two workouts I created that can work while traveling:

I bet you hadn’t thought of some of these tips, had you? Now go enjoy yourself and come home feeling strong.

This article originally appeared on

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