The Fitness Lab

Wednesday04 March 2015

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Why Sleep is Important

how much sleep do you needHow many hours of sleep do you get every night? How many hours of sleep do you think you should get every night? While the exact number can vary between individuals and can change with age, the CDC recommends that adults get between 7-8 hours a night. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep each night can have a large impact on both your cognitive and physical health.

While you are asleep your brain doesn’t just ‘turn off’, it’s actually hard at work. As your body is resting, your brain is making connections to help you learn and remember new information. If you are sleep deprived, you may feel more emotional, have a tougher time thinking critically, have issues with decision-making, and have a tougher time paying attention. All of these can have a negative impact on your daily life.

Read more: Why Sleep is Important

Eat Healthy on the Go

strawberriesIn our hectic day-to-day lives it can be a struggle to make healthy food choices when we are always on the go. I’ve looked up some general guidelines on how to decide what to eat for each meal (and snacks) and I also have a few suggestions for meal options when you are short on time or can’t make it home to cook.

Breakfast options

I’m sure you’ve already heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it provides you with the fuel and energy to go about your daily routine. Yet, oftentimes, people skip this meal. They claim they don’t have time or that they aren’t hungry yet. A good breakfast should be a carbohydrate with some protein. Aim for 500 calories and try to get those nutrients from three different types of food.

  • Whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a glass of low-fat milk
  • Healthy cereal with milk and added fruit -Instant oatmeal
  • Eggs with fruit salad, or omelet with vegetables
  • Yogurt with added granola or fruit
  • Banana with peanut butter and a glass of low-fat milk
  • Dried fruit and nuts or trail mix

Read more: Eat Healthy on the Go

Paleo Didn’t Work for Me

paleo bacon diet2 summers ago, I was at my lowest weight, my healthiest, and my strongest. This was in no small part because of the hard work I put in at The Fitness Lab and the support for the balanced approach to health and fitness I received from Dillon, The Fitness Lab’s owner and head trainer. After a starting weight of 195 (after the birth of my 4th baby) I was down to 165 pounds, and I was feeling amazing. Yet, after a while it wasn’t good enough for me anymore. I started to believe messages that I needed to be just that much thinner and I started looking for anything that would get me where I believed at the time was ‘all the way there.’

At the same time, I started to have a few nagging issues. Constant rashes, muscle aches, general fatigue (but mind you, I have 4 kids) and what diehard Paleo folks call ‘brain fog.’ Instead of taking an honest look at how much rest I was getting, how much water I was drinking, or how much recovery time I was giving myself (I’m also a high mileage runner). I started to think maybe diet was to blame.

And that’s when I introduced Paleo to my diet. And it worked, at first. I was losing weight, and quickly. Sometimes more than 5 pounds in a week. The problem was, it was never more than 1 week at a time, because over the long haul it just wasn’t sustainable.

Read more: Paleo Didn’t Work for Me

Winding Down the Year with a Bang!

frog ornamentDecember, the holidays and the end of the year are upon us. Are you starting to feel like you don't have enough time? Everyday seems to get busier and your list keeps growing with things to do. A few things start to slip here and a few things there. Next thing you know, you are skipping your workouts, feeling more stressed and a little softer than you would like. Sure, the holidays can be a tough time to get those workouts in but you have to make time to keep your sanity. Taking 30 minutes or an hour for yourself will do wonders for your soul. 

 I've got 3 ideas to keep your cool from now until the end of the year. 

  1. Get organized. You've got lists but have you prioritized them? Start with doing the one big thing you really need to get done. You know which one it is, the albatross hanging around your neck, that one thing you are really dreading having to do. Eat that frog and be done. It will take pressure off of you and you will feel a great sense of relief once it is completed. 

    Read more: Winding Down the Year with a Bang!

Adam's Top 5 Reasons to Exercise

 

fitness motivationThere are countless benefits to exercise and we all have our own reasons for getting a sweat on. Over the years, these are the five that I’ve found to benefit me the most:

  1. It helps me sleep like a rock. I love sleeping. It’s truly one of my favorite activities. I’m a grumpy pants if I don’t get enough sleep. However, at night if I’m not physically drained, my brain will race for hours before I can catch a little shuteye. I’ll think about everything from my future dreams to what bills I have to pay. Being physically tired helps me skip that step and not produce any unwanted anxiety by thinking about that kind of stuff before bed. Not to mention a good night sleep helps me wake up energized and excited for the day to come.
  2. It helps me push myself in every facet of life. Being physically active is more challenging than being intellectually active. We are constantly thinking but we are not constantly moving. Overcoming challenges in terms of my fitness has always pushed me to do more outside of the fitness realm. If I can be mentally tough enough to push myself physically – I can be mentally tough enough to push myself in any form.

    Read more: Adam's Top 5 Reasons to Exercise

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