MOVE MORE= SLEEP BETTER

GUEST BLOG: By Morgan Paris, Certified Personal Trainer

For the last post of this series, we are going to be talking about something that a large number of American’s (about 70 million) want: better sleep. You may have heard some of these simple and effective ways to improve your sleep from The National Sleep Foundation:

-        Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends

-        Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as taking a bath or listening to music

-        Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool

-        Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows

-        Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex

-        Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime

-        Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime

-        Don’t smoke — not only is it a major health risk it can lead to poor sleep

-        Avoid alcohol close to bedtime; it can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night

But today, we’re focusing on one very important thing you can do to improve your sleep:

-        Exercise regularly, at any time of the day

The National Sleep Foundation recently published a study showing the importance of exercise on getting a good night’s sleep. This study found that  “Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%).”

While vigorous exercisers report having the best sleep, it is important to note that ANY amount of exercise or movement will help you sleep. If exercise is not a part of your routine, the best thing you can do to start experiencing improved sleep is to simply make sure that you don’t sit all day long. According to the study, “Those who sit for less than eight hours per day sitting are significantly more likely to say they have “very good” sleep quality than those who sit for eight hours or more (22%-25% compared to 12%-15%).”

How can you start to make a few changes in your daily routine to accommodate more movement and therefore better sleep?

  1. Get up from your desk at least every hour and take a walk around your office
  2. Go for a walk first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, right after work, or as the sun sets. This simple act will benefit you greatly. Even adding a 10 minute walk every day can give you what you need to sleep better at night.

Here’s to you and better sleep!

Morgan

Find out more about adding exercise into your routine and schedule your complimentary in-home training session at www.morganparisfitness.com.

 

 

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT, BUT IT’S NOT NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT

GUEST BLOG: By Morgan Paris, Certified Personal Trainer

Wake up, take a shower, think about your body, tug at the extra skin around your waist, get dressed, turn to the mirror to stare at your back side, think about dropping a jean size, feel hungry, think about breakfast, think about skipping breakfast, eat like you won’t be getting lunch, think about your body and how it should be different. Repeat. All while taking care of everyone else in your household.

Sound familiar? How many times a day do we think about our bodies and how we want them to be different? We want to lose weight, drop a jean size or two, and feel sexy in our skimps, right? We think, “once I am thin and lean, I will be able to feel confident/find a new job/have more fun/ fill in the blank “. We have devised hundreds of stories to convince ourselves that our bodies need to change in order for us to have what we want.

Consider this: It’s not about the weight.

 

It really isn’t. It’s about falling in love with ourselves just as we are. As Geneen Roth says in her book, Women Food and God, “Fixing ourselves is not the same as being ourselves”. By constantly feeling the need to fix ourselves, we are avoiding what could actually end our suffering: getting back in touch with deepest part of our being – our true essence! The weight is just a distraction. It distracts us from accepting that there is something going on, and that it’s a lot deeper than our adipose tissue. Think of the times you have felt bored, lonely, or empty. Did you turn to food for relief? We turn to food when we are hungry for something we cannot name. Once we are able to be with our suffering and look at our deeper needs, whether it is for connection, fulfillment, comfort, peace, etc., we can start to learn how to give ourselves what we actually need when we feel ‘hungry’. As a result, we stop eating when we are bored, sad, scared and hurt – and our weight pervades our thoughts less and less.

 

But, it’s not NOT about the weight, either.

When your physical body hinders your ability to enjoy the fullness of life, instead of being the magnificent vehicle through which you experience it, it’s time to address the issue of your health. When you are too tired, out of breath, or in pain, how can you be fully present to the beauty of your existence? Life becomes centered around your limitations, what you can and cannot do. That’s not really living. When you don’t address your health, you start missing out on the joys of being a mother and being with your friends and family because you have no energy left for them.

Getting adequate exercise (that YOU enjoy), eating clean, getting enough sleep and reducing stress in your life are crucial for your health. For the next four weeks, I’ll be touching on each of these topics to give you the tools you need to start making changes in your life so that you can be Healthy, Happy and 100% YOU.

 

It’s time to clear away the distractions, and experience all of the joy, love, pain and suffering that is life. Let’s lay down the bat we use to beat ourselves up and learn more about who we really are so that this life is not just something that we ‘get through’ – it becomes the whole reason for living.

Big Love to You,

Morgan

Learn more about in-home personal training at www.morganparisfitness.com

 

Heart Rate Zones & Pregnancy

By Joy Holdmeier, CPT

Is there a heart rate zone we should stay within while pregnant? Have you heard you should keep your heart rate below 140?

This used to be the rule…..back in 1985! The guidelines have since changed. Would you think a marathon runner and a sedentary person should workout at the same heart rate? It’s crazy to suggest that all pregnant women work out at the same intensity. We all have different resting heart rates, therefore we all have different target heart rate zones.

New guidelines do not suggest measuring intensity by heart rate at all. Our heart rate and blood volume changes throughout pregnancy, so it’s hard to determine where you should be. Instead the American Council on Exercise suggests using the Rate of Perceived Exertion scale.

How do you use Rate of Perceived Exertion?

This is a scale of 1-10 with 1 being no effort at all (sitting) and 10 being all out effort (barely able breath)! It is suggested to work between 5 and 8. You can also use the talk test. You should be able to carry on a conversation while working out. If you are unable to talk, you are working too hard.

Remember, the rating of your exertion should be completely independent of the pace you think you are walking; it is dependent solely on the feelings caused by the exertion. Increase the pace to a run and add a hill and you could work your way up to a 10 on the scale.[1]

Of course always follow your physician’s guidelines, especially if you are high risk and do what feels good to you. You know your body best!

[1] http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=2579