Is Sleep Really More Important Than Exercise?

We all love our sleep, and we also know how important it is to incorporate exercise into your life to keep yourself strong and healthy. Whether that exercise is a mix of things, or you just do certain types of exercises like strength training, bodyweight training, yoga, or even just a daily (or bi-daily) run.

why-sleep-is-important-for-weight-loss

So, what do you do when the sun is rising, and your alarm goes off and you find yourself too tired you cannot see straight. Which activity takes priority? Sleep, or get up for that workout. Read on to find out.

From the research of the National Institutes of Health, adults should be getting seven to eight hours of a deep sleep every night. Your sleep plays a larger role than you think when it comes to your emotional and physical health.

*Surprisingly, studies that have been done conclude that sleep loss is connected with an increased hunger and appetite. Overall, if you are not getting enough sleep you run an increased risk for obesity.

*If you are not up to par when you first wake up, due to whatever reasons, being sleepy is going to affect how much effort you are putting into your exercising routine. I’m sure we have all been there. You feel like each step or punch is weighted down because your body just feels like it doesn’t want to move.

This is going to lead to not exercising as efficiently. What’s the point in working out if you are not accomplishing much of anything, while at the same time you are losing out on quality sleeping time where you could be resting yourself to be more productive?

If it doesn’t make much sense to you, we are in the same boat because it doesn’t make much sense to me either. If you are feeling tired, don’t wear yourself out more. Just take the extra time to rest those eyes (and your body).  We all need a break, and if this is you needing one, take it. You’ll be better off in the long run.

Morning exercise benefits

Though some of us may love the workouts and have no problem cramming them into our day; Some dread when the time comes to workout, especially after a long day of work and running errands. So, common sense says, before you begin your day, take some time first thing in the morning to sweat it out a little bit.

*Exercising in the morning has plenty of other benefits, like releasing Endorphins. Endorphins are a chemical within your body that makes you feel good and helps you destress. In other words, if you get a morning workout in, you’re more than likely to have a better day off than if you have chosen to skip out on the morning moves. When you compare working out to a cup of caffeinated coffee in the A.M., studies show you are more alert and focused with working out than with that cup of coffee that we all crave to keep us going through the day.

*You want to keep yourself burning extra calories during the day while doing not much of anything at all? When you work out you are increasing your metabolism rate. When you eat after your workout, you are going to replenish your body, making you feel not only more energized also making for a better day all around. Research shows that after a morning workout you can burn up to 190 calories fourteen hours after the workout, compared to if you didn’t work out at all.

*We all know that getting yourself on a schedule can be rather difficult. Working out later in the day can lead to excuses as to why not to do it. Any part of life may get in the way. When you choose to work out in the morning it ensures that you won’t slack on getting the job done. This can lead to having a better routine for the rest of your day. It’s kind of like a “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am”, type of thing.

* Do you want to sleep better? A study that was done had participants exercise at different times of the day, some of those being at 7am, the rest at 1pm or 7pm for three out of seven days of the week. This study showed that those who worked out in the A.M. were discovered to have the longest and deepest sleep.

There are many different reasons why getting up and working out in the morning is good for you. Sometimes, though you are going to not always be ready to get up at the crack of dawn and move your body. Take this into consideration. When you are tired, sleep. Sleep will be better for you than trying to get through a workout while sluggish.

When you wake up squeeze a workout in before you begin your day. Even if it’s not as long as you would like it to be, it will do you some good. It’s going to give you energy, help your mind and body focus, and you will feel better about yourself. There is nothing better than having that feeling of accomplishing all that you wanted. It’s better to be proud, then have regret.

Wake up, stretch, and sweat out those calories to have a better day all around, but only when your body is ready to. And be sure to get plenty of rest to keep yourself ready for the next day.

Six Fitness Myths You Should Stop Believing Now

There are many misconceptions around the globe concerning fitness. Has this reached to the point that you are confused on which fitness tips to follow? There are many myths that people believe and they perceive them as truth.

fitness myths busted

These fitness myths are capable of putting somebody’s life in danger by simple practicing and following something which is not true at all. All myths are wrong are whatever information they provide is not true.

How can differentiate between a myth and a real fitness tip? Which fitness tips are commonly known that people tend to perceive as real fitness tips? Well, let’s find them out.

Common myths that you should not believe in

The following myths are commonly believed by people to the point that some people use this tips when doing exercises in search of fitness. Here are some of the common myths:

  • Crunches and sit ups will get you a six pack-Ever heard about this common myth? If it were that easy, everybody who does sit ups and crunches would have six packs by now. Sit ups will only help with your abdominals.

Six packs can only be achieved if a person has low but enough body fat percentage to show it off. So the myth that crunches and sit ups will help you get six packs within no time is nothing but a pure lie. Many people have done crunches and sit ups hoping that they have six packs but most are disappointed.

  • You don’t have to suffer through your work outs-It ridiculous to even believe this myth. How many times have you heard that somebody got injured while working out? Doctors have seen patients coming to hospital with shoulder issues, back pain and knee injuries simply because their work out was so intense for their current level fitness and ability.

If your kind of work out leaves you feeling awful, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. It is therefore very important to find the type of work out that challenges and motivates you towards a certain goal. Work out should be enjoyable so that you may reap the fruits after a long term work out.

  • Lifting weights will make a person bulky especially ladies-This myth usually stops a lot of people from lifting weights because they don’t want to be bulky.

The truth about lifting weights is that it helps reduce excess fats in the body and replaces them with muscles. Secondly, lifting weights improves your metabolism.

A very important detail to note is that weight lifting is usually used by women who desire to have a nice body that they desire.Therefore,this myth that lifting weights will make women bulky is false because most women do not have testosterone to make them bulky.

  • You cannot work out without a gym membership-This one always makes me laugh. Who said that people must only wok out in a gym? Whether a person works out at the gym or at home, the results will always be the same. Working at home is way cheaper when compared to working out at the gym.

If a person is not able to afford a gym membership, he/she must know that there are so many types of work outs that can be done at home and you will be fit just as a person going to the gym.

  • It is not a must to do a ton of cardio to lose weight-A journal that was published in the year 2012 about applied physiology stated that a person will lose weight faster by combining aerobics and strength training not just a ton of cardio. Those who combine aerobics and strength training lose more weight compared to those who just engage in just a single activity.

Kindly let us ignore this myth as it confuses people to the extent of following this myth while performing workouts.

  • Working out is the only thing that you need in order to lose weight-Do not pay attention to this myth. Diet plays a vital role when it comes to losing weight. Exercise works hand in hand with diet. Different kinds of food will determine the rate at which you lose weight.

Working out does not necessarily mean that you will lose weight. It is very important to eat a healthy diet so that we can lose weight through working out.

Healthy lifestyle should be something that you enjoy doing and should not be taken as punishment.

Conclusion

There are many more myths which we have not had the time to discuss. It is therefore very important to differentiate between a myth and a fact so that it does not affect our expectations when working out.

We should find a way to be able to differentiate between a myth and a fact that talks about fitness.

The Facts About The Paleo Diet

Even if you don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, chances are you’ve heard of it. Lots of people talk about it. Paleo Diet books are everywhere, including the one that started it all: The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Often you’ll hear different, even contradictory versions of this diet. Is the Paleo Diet beneficial? Does it really promote good health? People who are well informed about the Paleo Diet can answer those questions for you. But often, people pick up pieces of information and create their own diet.

To help you learn about the Paleo Diet, let’s look at the facts. We’ll start with the basic idea behind the Paleo Diet. Then we’ll consider which foods are in, which foods are out, and why. Then we can look at ways the Paleo Diet seeks to focus on health.

Once you know the facts, you can take a closer look, learn more, and decide if you want to incorporate a Paleo approach into your eating plan.

Think natural and wild

What is the Paleo Diet? Think natural and wild: the way our earliest ancestors ate. Hunting meat from wild animals and catching wild fish. Foraging for fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds growing in the wild, in their natural state.

The idea is that our earliest ancestors took food straight from nature into their bodies. Their bodies easily digested and absorbed the nutrients from this food.

The problem with food technology

Then came modern farming techniques and advances in food technology. We changed our types of food. We raised meat animals differently, began to consume dairy products, and started planting and harvesting grain. Everything about our food changed. But our bodies never changed.

While cultivated food may seem natural because it comes from an animal or a plant, Paleo Diet advocates remind us that farming is a process we created. Our bodies are not genetically or chemically adapted to eating this way.

A return to natural eating

The Paleo Diet recommends we return to the way humans used to eat: wild-caught meat and wild-growing fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The Paleo Diet hopes to alleviate the stress on our bodies, by avoiding unnatural foods created by human technology.

Which foods are in?

paleo diet foodsFoods included in the Paleo Diet are foods that come straight from nature:

  • Wild-caught fish or game
  • Free-range, grass-fed beef
  • Free-range poultry and eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy fats from natural foods

Think “hunter-gatherer”

If you have trouble remembering this list, just think “hunter-gatherer” and the way food sources live and grow in the wild.

These more natural foods are considered easier to digest. A healthy digestive system leads to healthy metabolism and a body whose organs and systems are in balance and good health.

Which foods are out?

Foods avoided or minimized on the Paleo Diet include foods introduced or altered by human technology:

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Starches
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Processed food

Think “human-produced”

To remember this list, think cultivated, human-produced, factory-farmed, or processed foods.

These foods are avoided on the Paleo Diet because they are thought to cause digestive issues and metabolic stress. When metabolism is off balance, the body does not function efficiently, and health becomes compromised.

Health focus of the Paleo Diet

Proponents of the Paleo Diet recommend this natural way of eating to promote good health. Their concern is this: When we consume food we can’t digest easily, every system in our body reacts.

Cascade of problems

When our body gets out of balance, a cascade of problems begins, pushing us toward chronic illness:

  • Toxins build up that our liver and kidneys can’t process.
  • Undigested food becomes stored in fat cells.
  • We become starved for nutrients.
  • Our cells don’t function properly.
  • Hormones flood our body systems.
  • Organs wear out.
  • Our immune system grows weaker.
  • Inflammation takes over.
  • Our cardiovascular system becomes strained and clogged.
  • Our brains get foggy.
  • We become chronically ill.

The benefit of nutrients

Individuals who follow the Paleo Diet hope to help their bodies recalibrate, as they begin to consume foods more easily digested. They look for foods that contain more nutrients in their natural state, without chemicals and processing. A greater concentration of pure nutrients can detoxify the body and reduce inflammation. The health benefit is two-fold:

Health promotion

Foods more naturally digested lead to greater nutrition and overall health. They bring lots of micronutrients to the cells of the body. These nutrients help organs and systems function smoothly.

Health restoration

Nutrients more easily absorbed from their natural state deliver healing properties to bodies that are stressed. As the body is cleared of toxins, as inflammation is reduced, and as cells are nourished, the body can be restored to good health.

Those are the facts

Those are the facts of the Paleo Diet. People that follow this diet desire to return to eating in a more natural way. Their hope is that more natural foods will bring more nutrients to the cells of their bodies, for optimal health.

16 Motivators When You Don’t Want to Work Out

It happens. You have a great workout streak and then … you wake up one day with no motivation. The last place you want to be is the gym. Or walking. Or anything to do with fitness.

But you know you need to work out.

How do you get past the motivation blahs? Here are some helpful steps. All you need is one – whatever works for you today.

1. Start small

fitness motivation

Long workouts seem daunting when you’re not motivated. Start with 10 minutes. Once you get going, you’ll be surprised you don’t want to stop.

2. Enjoy some music

Put on your favorite tunes and watch how much energy you have. For extra motivation, make a playlist of songs you use only for workouts. You will exercise just to enjoy them.

3. Change your routine

Repeating the same workout is boring. Change it up. If you usually walk, try swimming. If you work out with free weights, try body weight moves.

4. Dance

Nothing gets you revved up like dancing to your favorite music. Give it a try! Dancing can be your workout, or a warmup for another routine.

5. Look at inspirational pictures

What’s the reason you’re working out? What health or lifestyle goal do you hope to achieve? Find inspirational pictures that represent your goal. Or pictures of a place you’d love to be. Keep these near your workout clothes. Remember why you’re doing this.

6. Change your location

Tired of jogging the same path or watching the same workout video? Sick of the gym? Find a new location. This creates interest and it’s a great motivator.

7. Reward yourself

There is nothing wrong with giving yourself a reward for working out. Just a small treat – and not food. Something to make you smile. Save your rewards for days when you really don’t feel motivated.

8. Get a buddy

A buddy is a great motivator. Whether you like working out with others, or prefer solo, have someone you can call to motivate you. Working out is hard enough. No reason to go through it alone.

9. Do some light cleaning

It’s amazing how much fun house cleaning is when you’re procrastinating on another chore! When your workout motivation is fading, give yourself a cleaning project: wipe off the kitchen counter, dust a piece of furniture, clean a mirror till it sparkles. Not only will you get some cleaning done. You’ll also get your muscles warmed up for your fitness workout. Or … make cleaning your workout for the day.

10. Write a note to yourself

Do you remember what a great workout feels like? Once you get started, it’s an amazing feeling. You might not even want to quit. Good! Take advantage of that feeling and write yourself a note. It doesn’t have to be a long note. Just tell yourself how amazing that workout felt. How you can’t wait for the next one. Then put that note where you can find it. The next time you don’t feel like working out, read your note, and remember the feeling.

11. Just start

motivate yourself to workoutOften the easiest way to motivate yourself for a workout is to start. Just get ready. Roll your eyes, grumble, frown. Express your displeasure. But get ready and do the workout. Within a few minutes, you will feel motivated again. Even on those rare bad days when the motivation doesn’t kick in, you’ll still be doing your workout, and you’ll be glad it’s done.

12-16. Watch This Video Below

Are you ready to work out now? Pick one of these motivators – or see if they inspire one of your own. Then go enjoy your workout.

Are These 5 Mistakes Slowing Your Weight Loss?

If you’ve been trying to lose weight, you know sometimes you lose more, and sometimes less. That’s a normal part of the process. Your body is wonderfully complex. It takes time to adjust to healthy new habits. But if your weight loss has stalled, with no signs of changing, there might be another reason. Take a look and see if you are making one of these five common mistakes.

1. Not enough water

water for weight lossDid you know one of the biggest global water shortages may be in our human bodies? Most of us don’t drink enough water. This limits weight loss.

Your body is more than 50% water, so water intake is vital. When you don’t drink enough water, your body thinks a drought has come. You’ll start to retain water, causing higher weight and bloating. When you learn to hydrate well, your body will let go of that excess water.

Water also helps your body’s cooling system and joint lubrication. This makes your workouts more efficient. Without adequate water, your body fights to protect itself during workouts, minimizing your results.

A good rule of thumb is 8-10 cups of water per day. Body weight, outside temperature, and workout intensity affect how much you need.

2. Missing a good night’s sleep

sleep to lose weight

If you aren’t getting quality sleep, you might have trouble losing weight. Good rest helps your body function well, leading to healthier choices.

When you are awake, your body thinks it’s time to eat. This leads to extra snacking at night. A bad night’s sleep leads to poor decisions the next day. A tired body and brain crave larger portions of comfort food. Your workouts will be less efficient too, and you will be more prone to injury.

Your body treats sleep deprivation as stress. Lack of sleep triggers stress hormones, which can slow weight loss.

3. Stressing yourself

If you feel constantly stressed, this can stop your weight loss. Stress has an unhealthy effect on your entire body. Stress releases excess cortisol, which leads to imbalance with blood sugar and fat storage. Stress also leads to overeating, undereating, and bad food choices. These imbalances trigger more stress, resulting in a vicious circle.

Find healthy ways to eliminate stress. Be aware of your reactions to everyday stressors. Choose to relax instead. Relaxing is good for your health and your weight loss.

4. Eating two meals in one

Nothing stalls weight loss like eating more than you need. Without portion control, it’s easy to eat two or three meals in one sitting. Healthy weight loss is not about deprivation. It’s about choosing nutritious foods that satisfy what your body needs.

Learn to recognize healthy portion sizes. Choose healthy whole foods that will stop your cravings. It may take time to adjust to smaller portions, but with the right foods, your body will respond with gratitude.

5. Unhealthy snacking

Often the best weight-loss efforts are derailed by unhealthy snacking. If your weight loss has slowed, take a close look at what you eat.

It starts like this: “I ate healthy today, so I’ll have one cookie.” Or, “This is a healthy meal, so a handful of potato chips won’t hurt.”

The problem is – try stopping at just one. Most unhealthy snacks cause you to crave more. A bunch of “littles” adds up to a lot.

Instead of making exceptions that keep adding up, try this. If you want to eat that unhealthy snack, you can. But call it what it is: an unhealthy way to satisfy a craving. This puts you in control. Then find a healthier substitute to enjoy next time.

Weight loss is not just about losing weight. It’s a result of healthy new eating, fitness, and lifestyle changes. If you avoid these five mistakes, you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. The weight loss will follow.

 

3 Health Myths That May Be Keeping You From Healthy Food

Are you avoiding healthy foods because of unhealthy myths? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us have become alarmed about unhealthy fats, sugar, and environmental toxins.

The problem comes when we overreact. We go to the extreme, trying to eliminate fats, sugar, and natural food, like fish, that is vulnerable to pollution. Unfortunately, by overreacting, we lose many health benefits.

A better alternative is to know the health benefits of foods, discover the best sources, and choose wisely.

Let’s look at three health myths related to food, and find out why these myths don’t stand up to healthy choices.

Myth #1: Fatty food is unhealthy

Did you know?

Not all fats are created equal.

It’s true that …

healthy fatsUnhealthy fats are not good. If you eat French fries at every meal, you are challenging your body to absorb a once natural potato that has been stripped of the vitamins in its skin, chemically altered at a scorching temperature, and drenched in unhealthy fat.

But …

Your body needs natural sources of healthy fats to function. Healthy fats protect your cells, store energy, and help with nerve and hormone function, along with vitamin absorption. Even your brain is composed of necessary fat. Eliminating fat from your diet won’t work.

A myth-busting alternative

Know the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats. Choose the best, natural sources of good fats, including plants. Learn the kinds of healthy fats, how they work in your body, and how much you need. Be sensible.

Myth #2: Sugary food is unhealthy

Did you know?

Your brain needs glucose to function.

It’s true that …

Too much of the wrong kinds of sugar can throw your endocrine system off balance. Where blood sugar imbalances have already set in, care must be taken under a doctor’s guidance, even with eating fruit.

But …

For a healthy individual with no blood sugar concerns, your body needs some naturally occurring healthy sugars. Whole fruit can be a healthy and much needed source of brain fuel. Why whole fruit? Because the natural sugars in whole fruit are balanced with fiber. This helps with healthy sugar absorption. By eating whole fruit, you consume naturally occurring sugar the way nature intended.

A myth-busting alternative

Take time to understand how the sugar you consume is converted to glucose and used by your body. Learn the differences between healthy and unhealthy sugar intake. Eat healthy whole foods in balance, so natural sugar can be absorbed slowly, in the ways your body is designed to process it. Learn to identify glucose levels in different foods. If your blood sugar balance is normal, enjoy a sensible and healthy amount of good whole fruit.

Myth #3: Fresh-caught fish is unhealthy

salmon is healthy food

Did you know?

If you avoid all foods exposed to environmental toxins, you would starve?

It’s true that …

Our oceans are polluted. Fish can be exposed to toxic levels of mercury. Closer to home, even the best-protected fresh produce, grown in the best organic gardens cannot escape our polluted environment. And fish are higher up the food chain, which means they have already eaten smaller sea life that might have been exposed to pollutants in the water.

But …

Fish are an amazing source of healthy fatty acids and Vitamin D. Fish can be one of the heart-healthiest meat sources of protein. The sea life consumed by fish contains unique combinations of nutrients, adding healthy variety to a land-based diet. Variety and moderation in your diet are keys to a healthy body.

A myth-busting alternative

Rather than eliminate such a healthy food, arm yourself with knowledge. Know which fish are the healthiest. Fish that swim in cold, deep waters, protected with layers of fat have less exposure to toxins. Find a good source of wild-caught fish and ask questions. Learn exactly what takes place, from the time your fish is caught to the time it reaches your dinner table. Prepare fish in the healthiest ways.

The key to healthy eating is to know more about the foods you eat, where they come from, and how they affect your body. Ask questions. Learn. Use wisdom. Make healthy choices. And enjoy a variety of the wonderful foods nature provides.