Monthly Archives: February 2013

Did you just wake up……

or are you still sleeping?  if you are, I say GOOD FOR YOU!   We don’t get enough sleep typically.  Do you have any idea how important sleep is to us?  Especially for managing the tons of stress in our lives.

Rest is what we do to let stress subside. Rest at the end of a day, and at the end of a week, helps us to calm down.  Doing fun things that we enjoy in our leisure time compensates us for the stress we experience at work, bringing some balance back into life. This is particularly important if we routinely experience unpleasant levels of stress.

On average, people need around eight hours sleep a night (although this can vary between three hours and eleven hours, depending on the person and his or her age).  If we are regularly short of sleep, then our concentration and our effectiveness suffer and our energy levels decline. We have all seen and experienced this.

Make sure you get enough sleep. If you have become used to being tired all the time, you will be amazed by how sharp and energetic you will feel once you start sleeping normally.

 

Tip:
When we are stressed and anxious, we can often find it difficult to get to sleep as thoughts keep on whizzing through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep.

 

If you find this is the case:

  • Make sure that you stop doing mentally demanding work several hours before coming to bed – give your brain time to calm down before you try to sleep.
  • Try reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes, again to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that are worrying you.
  • Write persistent thoughts and worries down in a notebook and then put them out of your mind. Review the notebook in the morning and take action if appropriate.  Have you tried a Buddha Board?
  • Keep the same bedtime. Let your body and mind get used to a predictable routine.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Some people find that they sleep badly if they drink coffee or cola after 4pm. Others find that if they drink alcohol to excess, they wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep.

So….just go to bed early and see how much you can tackle the next day after a proper night’s rest.

Stretching…….

I thought it was only for when I wake up, or before or after I run?  No?   Why should I stretch all day?

If you have an exceptionally tight area in your body, like your hamstrings or shoulders, I give you an A-plus for stretching after your cardio or strength training. Unfortunately a few minutes of stretching once a day is not enough time to really loosen those chronically inflexible areas. It is important to take the time to stretch and lengthen those troubled tight zones at least a few times a day.

Try to incorporate stretches into your daily routine at least three times. Why not take a stretch break along with your coffee breaks?

Don’t overdo it and if you feel pain stop the stretch immediately.  For this or any other exercise routing please consult your physician or expert for advice on proper form and safety.

How’s your YOGA?

yo·ga

noun /ˈyōgə/

A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

There are many reported health benefits from yoga.  Long-term yoga practitioners in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.  Regular yoga practice increases brain activity levels and has been shown to improve mood and  lower anxiety more than some other metabolically matched exercises, such as walking.

Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.

The top benefits one can expect from practicing yoga are:

1. flexibility

2. strength

3. muscle tone

4. pain prevention

5. better breathing

6. mental calmness

7. stress reduction

8. body awareness

Try it soon and see what benefits you enjoy from a relaxing yoga session!