Stretch to Sleep
It is estimated that over 50% of the adult American population experiences mild to moderate insomnia. Stress, diet, juggling family and work life, all combine to sabotage our sleep. We are also a nation of prescription pill users. These medications often treat the symptoms, not the cause. Stretching, around long before sedatives, has a relaxing and even tranquilizing effect on the human body. Performing a series of static stretches combined with deep breathing, and "mindfullness" helps the body and mind wind down and prepare for sleep. It is not an instant "fix" like the pills we are used to taking but, with practice, it becomes a truly holistic way to normalize your sleeping patterns. This is an important step in creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle in an increasingly stressful world.
Resistance is resistance is resistance . . .
Your body does not know the difference between free weights, body weight or expensive strength training equipment. There are a variety of ways to get the benefits of strength training. The method that works best is the one which you will follow through with, or in other words is most convenient. If you have access to a variety of high-end strength training equipment, great! However if you use rubberized tubing, or ankle weights, you can get the same benefits.
Yoga in a minute
Its no accident that with our 24/7 society we have the highest level of stress related disease in our planet’s history. While exercise like Yoga will not "take away" these stresses, it can dramatically increase your resilience and ability to cope. Yoga is shown to lower blood pressure, reduce headaches, increase circulation, even enhance self-esteem. You don’t need to join an ashram and meditate for hours on end to receive the benefits. Taking a 15 minute break to do some stretching and yoga poses on a daily basis can have far reaching effects. Like other lifestyle programs, the first step starts with making a commitment to yourself and scheduling it. From there you must protect your appointment with yourself like any other appointment.
Hydrate . . . or die
70% of us are mildly or moderately dehydrated. That means that in any given group that you are in, 7 out of the 10 individuals have less water in their systems than they need for simple maintenance. Symptoms of dehydration include: headaches, energy peaks and valleys, dry skin, frequent hunger, immune system problems, and lethargy. Hydrating properly is one of the easiest and most actionable tips to better health. The average adult needs between 60-80 ounces of water per day. More if you are regularly exercising. With water, out of site is out of mind. Try this. Keep at least 24 ounces of water with you at all times-in your car, at your desk, in your travel bag. Sip frequently throughout the day. Make it a habit. Try to drink at least 10 ounces 10 minutes before eating. It will help curb your hunger and be helpful with weight management.
Written by Gregory Florez, president of First Fitness, Inc., a personal fitness and education company providing fitness, business strategy and sales training to the fitness industry, as well as professional certification and business development services.