Sleep!!

How much sleep does the typical adult get?  A little under 7 hours.  Even further, about 1/3 get under 6 hours.  Well what exactly does that mean for your health?
Studies suggest that people who sleep fewer than six hours per night gain almost twice as much weight over a 6-year period as people who sleep 7-8 hours per night.  Why?

  • decrease in satiety hormones, increase in hunger hormones
  • altered glucose tolerance, insulin resistance & diabetes
  • inflammation
  • obesity
  • disruption of cortisol levels and rhythm
  • decrease in testosterone and increase in estrogen
  • loss of lean mass, including muscle, bone and organs
  • decrease in thyroid stimulating hormone
  • heart attack
  • stroke

Wow!!

So why don’t we get enough sleep?  Is it because we are so busy, or that our brains are still processing, or is is it more of just staying awake because you want to despite how tired you are.  Maybe you’re just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, or catching a TV show.  Solving that problem can help you lead to better and more sleep.

So now we all know that it’s important for our health, however, I think many underestimate how much sleep can affect everything in your body from brain activity to hormone levels or think that we can get away with little sleep.  It is just as important as exercise and nutrition.  Earlier in the week, we posted about setting a routine when you go to bed.
This includes set up your room so that you can get a quality nights rest. 
Here are a few good tips include:

  • Turning off the TV, phone. 
  • Making sure its dark enough 
  • Cutting out the caffeine
  • Stretching
  • Setting a Bedtime
  • Temperature( I know I like it where its not too hot or too cold)

Either way, creating a game plan will make a world of difference in the quality and quantity of your sleep.  Just like nutrition, you need to set up habits to be successful, and it is no different when it comes to sleep.

Take control of your sleep environment and behavior and see how successful you are.


Just Breathe!

It’s one of the simplest things we do, yet it has become one of the most complicated things as well.  Breathing!  
Breathing occurs in two different ways, when relaxed and when under duress.

Why is has it become complicated?   In one word, STRESS.
 
Our bodies response to stress, whether its from someone attacking us or from a deadline at work, is typically the same biologically speaking.  It results in an increase in cortisol and a difference in how we breathe.  

You may have heard me mention cortisol and how it can wreak havoc on fat storage.  This comes down to increases in stress.  The bodies normal response to immediate stress is a short increase in cortisol.  This gives us a quick burst of energy, sharpens our memory, increases our immunity, and decreases our sensitivity to pain.  These are all important and natural functions of cortisol and ensure that we are able to weather the curve balls that life throws at us.

However, and this is a big one, if the stress doesn’t let up, neither does the cortisol.  Unfortunately, what is healthy in small bursts becomes dangerous over the long term.  If you have persistent stress in your life, then you have cortisol levels that are out of balance:  your body makes so much cortisol that it detrimentally affects your health.  For example, increases in abdominal fat or our ability to breathe.

Ideally we want to just breathe using our diaphragms, however when we’re stressed or under duress, or even when we’re exercising, we use other muscles as well.  For example, we use our chest and neck muscles as well.  What this ends up leading to is tightness in your neck, shoulders, and/or back.  

What I want you to do now is lay on your back, take a deep breathe in, and notice 1 of 2 things.  Did you belly rise or did your chest rise?

If you’re like most people, you saw a big rise in your chest over your belly.  

What does that mean?  Probably that you are in a constant state of “panic breathing” or “compensatory breathing.”
Take a look at this!

In addition, try some of these tactics:
•    Reduce stress.  Easier said than done.  Learning how to cope with stress more effectively may be all it takes to balance your cortisol.
•    Be consistent with Sleep.  Going to bed at the same time each night will help to regulate your circadian rhythm. Practice this habit to ensure you get enough sleep.
•    Exercise.  This is a great way to reduce stress, however it doesn’t have to be all out, exhausting exercise.  It can be movement, like going for a walk.  


Strengths & Weaknesses

“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When we focus solely on our strengths, we only get better & stronger at what we’re good at.  Only by taking a look at our weaknesses, assessing what they are, can we solve them and turn them into strengths.  

We often only do what we’re good at because it is comfortable and we know we’ll be successful at it.  There is a lot of fear in taking a look at our weaknesses because we fear that they will lead to failure. 

We all have them.  They keep us from accomplishing what we want because of that fear.  

Make your weaknesses your strengths.  Attack them, change them.  

Recently I’ve switched up my training program so that my areas of weakness can become my strength.  I got so comfortable doing things that I’m good at, that my strength was stagnating.  
Now it’s time to assess my weaknesses, do things I’m not so comfortable doing, do things that I’m probably not good at, and make what were my weaknesses, my strengths.  

So….
What do you think your weaknesses are? 
&
How can you make them your strengths?

Examine your weaknesses.
Figure out your strengths.
Figure out how to make your weaknesses into your strengths.


Passion

“Let your passion be the reason for your existence and your successes the result of your persistence”


Where does your passion lie?  
What are you passionate about?  

Our passion lies with making sure we give you our very best. That starts with our dedication to your success and that means a passion for education, your education.
That’s why we take the time to instruct, coach, and correct everything we do.  That’s why there is a section full of articles that have the potential to help you, to give you tips on how to be better.

There is an enormous amount of useless misinformation out there that is full of pseudoscience and mumbo-jumbo.  It’s an overload of misleading, awful information that the public just eats up, because health, fitness, and losing weight is emotional.  It has such an emotional factor to it, that anything that promises weight loss, or increased health, no matter how irrational or fraudulent it may be, sells.  In reality, most of it has no basis in the real training world.
“Get your flat abs doing these 3 moves.”  Really?!?  No, your abs will not get flat doing those 3 moves.  Yes, your abs will work, but flat abs come from proper diet and exercise intensity. 

Take this pill, or powder, or whatever and boom, you’ll lose weight.
Try this cleanse!!
Too much info dilutes really good info.

With each and every training session, we try to teach our clients a little more.  It could be something small like a new way to stretch, if you should stretch at all, or maybe its learning how to foam roll, or about proper nutrition, but the key is, its something.
Something you can take away from your training session and apply to your every day life.
Nothing makes us prouder than seeing a client incorporate our advice and see success.
We are always available to answer any questions you have or and advice you may seek.  We don’t keep anything a secret, we don’t keep our methods to ourselves.
We believe that an educated client makes the best client because an educated client will take ownership over their progress and their success.

Lastly, our greatest joys come in the little things, like seeing a client hit a PR on a lift, or all of sudden being able to move pain free, or having that a-ha moment where they get it, even if its just an a-ha on one particular exercise.  They still get it.  


That is what we are passionate about.  I ask “What are you passionate about?”

Movement & Life

“Movement is life. Life is a process.  Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.”
-Moshe Feldenkrais


Take a look at the quote above.  How do you interpret that?

Movement, much like life, is a process. Each day you wake up is an opportunity to move, to improve your ability to move, to find new ways to move that you may not have thought of. When was the last time you crawled around on the ground? Or rolled around?  Go crawl your face off!

We have such a structure to our lives, where we are told to sit still, to not move, and this structure is basically killing us. Stillness leads to inactivity which leads to our muscles getting weak & tight. How often do you find yourself in a state of stillness?  Sitting, standing, laying, etc?

Still, we wonder why most of us have some sort of chronic pain. Like our knee aches, or our elbow, or our neck, or most especially our backs.  Do you have back pain?  My guess you have some sort of nagging ache that comes and goes, however it goes away once you start moving.  

Well duh!  

Movement is one of the best forms of therapy for chronic pain. The research is out there.
No drugs or surgery!  Just movement.  

Want to feel better physically and mentally, MOVE!
It won’t change everything, because its not a miracle drug, but I guarantee that if you move more, you will feel a whole lot better.  

The moment you stop moving is the moment you stop living.

Don’t stop living!
Go out and improve the quality in which you move, improve how often you move.  You’ll be amazed how much your life improves, how some of those aches and pains go away,(I’m not talking soreness) how much happier you’ll be.