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

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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

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Health & Fitness

5 Moves to Target the Lower Abs

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It’s no secret that not all exercises that target the lower abs are created equal; some are more effective than others. For anyone that’s wanting to target the lower abs, it can be very frustrating, to say the least. However, targeting and strengthening the lower abs is possible. The trick is finding the best moves for you to build muscle and flatten or chisel the stomach the way you desire.

Also: Why the Glute Bridge Is Great for After an Abs Workout

Move 1: Rolling Plank
The plank in itself is a great move for the stomach area as a whole. However, this rolling plank works the entire core including the lower abdominal. It will also build strength in the lower back.

Here’s how to do it. Start in a plank position with the body making a straight line from feet to shoulders. Rotate the body to a right side plank and hold for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then repeat on the left side. 10 reps are recommended, 5 on each side.

Move 2: Hanging Leg Raise
Deep muscles are worked during this move as well as the lower back and abdominal area. The only equipment necessary is a chin-up bar. Simply hang from the bar with the feet together and knees bent slightly. Bend the knees and raise the hips at the same time and lift the thighs up to the chest. Pause then lower back to the start position. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each.

Move 3: Roll Up
The classic roll-up still can’t be beaten when it comes to the best move to build muscle in the lower tummy. Lay flat on your back, arms stretched straight above the head. Slowly bring them straight up, and raise off the floor to touch the toes. Slowly lower back down. Do 3 sets, 10 reps each.

Move 4: Leg Drop
Lift both legs to the ceiling. Make the abdominals tight then lower the legs slowly until they are a few inches above the floor. When the lower back starts lifting you’ve gone too far. Then raise them back up, and repeat. Do 10 reps and 3 sets.

Move 5: Scissors
Lift both legs straight to the ceiling. Lower the right leg until it’s just a bit off the floor, then switch legs. Do the move quickly with no breaks. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps each. For added benefits lift the head and shoulders off the floor.

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The importance of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water

Alkaline for the Body

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I am sure that many of you have been told of the importance of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water. What is not as often mentioned is just how alkaline foods and water work to ensure optimal health.

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To begin with, the consumption of an alkaline diet regulates the body’s PH factor. The body’s PH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. When the body’s PH is kept at just above 7.0 a variety of bodily functions work more efficiently. The resulting health benefits are both numerous and of great importance.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water is an excellent buffer against cardiovascular disease. Alkaline diets are great for reducing inflammation, the result of this is often the lowering of both cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water lowers the chronic pain effects for a variety of ailments. Another benefit of an alkaline diet’s inflammation lowering qualities is a great reduction in chronic pain symptoms. Alkaline foods and water can provide significant relief for chronic sufferers of chronic back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, and joint pain.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water provides protection of bone density. Alkaline diets provide excellent mineral balance which facilitates bone growth and health. In addition, alkaline diets promote the production of growth hormone and the absorption of Vitamin D which provides further protection for bones.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water reduces the risk of cancer. Alkaline diets provide an abundance of antioxidant protection against cancer. Also, alkaline environments are not conducive to the growth of cancer cells.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water prevents the development of diabetes. The pancreas is a bodily organ provided with the task of regulating the body’s blood sugar. The pancreas is dependent on an alkaline environment to function properly. One study, focusing on the effects of alkaline water on blood sugar, showed that just a month of drinking alkaline water can bring the blood sugar of diabetics to a normal level.

The health benefits of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water cannot be understated. I am sure that after reading just a few of these benefits you will agree that making a conscious effort to incorporate alkaline foods and water into your diet is well worth the effort.

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Prevent Muscle Loss During Fasted Cardio with BCAA Supplements

BCAAs to Start Your Day

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Photo by Nicole De Khors

One of the most popular forms of extreme fat loss is fasted cardio. Usually done in the morning, this exercise method consists of working out the body anaerobically on an empty stomach, as opposed to full of calories from prior meals. The benefit of fasted cardio all lies in the specific targeting of fat reserves. More specifically, after eating a large meal, insulin levels are raised within the body. As cortisol levels are very high in the morning, they will target muscle cells with the increase in insulin. However, during a fasted state, those high cortisol levels in the morning can be utilized to target fat reserves as opposed to the muscle as the insulin levels will be greatly diminished during that fasting time. As explained by Men’s Fitness, “if you are fasted, insulin is low and cortisol will then go after body fat reserves”.

Also: Increasing Longevity Through Better Nutrition

For those looking to optimize their fat loss while still maintaining all of their hard-earned muscle, fasted exercise is not the only part of the equation. A healthy amount of Branch Chain Amino Acid’s to start your day will help to maintain all of that muscle that has taken so many dedicated hours in the gym to pack on. BCAA are essentially the very building blocks of muscles themselves. According to Layne Norton, experienced bodybuilder, and Ph.D., “BCAAs not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis”. So not only can this aminos help to you to maintain your muscles, it can also provide your muscles with a greater capacity for growth by targeting the actual muscle cells. But within a fasted state in the morning, we are primarily concerned with the rate of protein breakdown that may occur. Lucky for us, BCAA supplements can answer for this too. BCAA’s are also very capable of decreasing the rate at which protein breaks down. As explained again by Dr. Layne Norton, this can be explained by the aminos “decreasing the activity of the components of the protein breakdown pathway”.

In short, starting your days with a BCAA supplement is a great way to ensure that your muscle gains are not lost during fasted exercise. BCAA’s are one of the most well-researched supplements on the market and therefore finding a wealth of knowledge on them is not difficult. A simple search engine will guide you through a host of well documented and researched information. Additionally, these supplements are easy to find at any local supplement store or more simply online.

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