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Food

Prebiotics and Probiotics

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Our body is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. Both play an important role on our health in general and they have different functions in our gut and digestive system.

Most of us do not pay attention to our gut health but if there´s something wrong it can lead to health issues that we never thought could be related. Some experts are talking about our gut as being our second brain and with so many new studies we can say that we need to focus on overall optimal health and that includes our gut.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our digestive system especially in our intestines and help with digestion therefore doctors and many people suggest them when we have digestive problems or after we take antibiotics which can kill the good bacteria. It´s important that we pay attention to the quality of supplements or products from where we´re getting probiotics because they are very fragile.

In some cases, like when we´ve been taking antibiotics taking probiotics supplements is helpful to repopulate the colon and they can also be helpful at preventing side effects of medications and they can help prevent issues on our digestive system.

Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and tempeh.

Prebiotics are fiber that feed the good bacteria living in our gut. They help our good bacteria to grow and they are also helpful at supporting our digestive system, control our weight and overall health.

Prebiotics are found in foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes.

Some people say that our gut is our “second brain” because of the communication between our brain and our digestive system, this two-way communication control our eating behavior, we can feel full, satisfied, hungry which has an impact on our weight and it also impacts the quality of sleep.

The gut has a big impact on our overall well-being how we feel, how we sleep, our energy level, how clear we think, our ability to focus and performance throughout the day.

A healthy diet based on whole, fresh foods that include healthy fats, healthy fibers, moderate proteins and low carbohydrates is a great option and according to the type of diet we follow we need to find foods that contain pre and probiotics or if we can´t get them through food we can use supplements.

Getting enough fiber from a healthy nutrition program is simple, vegetables, fruits and grains are some options for people following a ketogenic diet may be harder to get enough fiber since they eliminate all grains but vegetables are still an option, some fruits like berries and chia seeds.

For priobiotcs many people use to have yogurt or kefir which are good options but some of us avoid them because they are high in carbohydrates, one option is to find yogurt or kefir options low in carbohydrates, for those who eliminate dairy of their diet then fermented foods are one options or taking probiotics from supplements is another option.

For the past months and year mental health problems have increased and many experts recommend changing the diet and improving gut health, people with depression and anxiety who focus on improving their gut health by increasing the intake of fiber, healthy fats, moderate protein and lowering processed and refined foods have seen positive results.

Prebiotics and probiotics along with fiber play an important role on our gut health which is something we need to consider optimizing our health and not only focus on the 3 macros.

We´ll talk in a future post about the benefits or fermented foods and how they can help us lose weight, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal gut health.

If there´s something you want to know more about or if you have any doubts, questions or suggestions leave a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account, we want to hear from you (well, read from you) so that we can help you achieve your weight loss goal and improve your health.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Amber glasses to improve sleep

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Is it hard for you to get enough high-quality sleep every night? Do you find it hard to fall asleep fast? You may know by now that getting high quality sleep every night is crucial for optimal health and performance so finding tools or strategies to help you improve the quality and quantity of sleep is beneficial.

On the last post about sleep we talk about the negative impact that blue light has on quality and quantity of sleep, blue light is the light emitted by screens of electronic devices and we also need to consider that we´re not following the wake-sleep cycle that goes with nature.

When we´re exposed to blue light especially in the night when the sun sets the circadian rhythm gets out of sync and our brain doesn´t produce melatonin to fall asleep so the best step you can take is avoid electronic devices but since this is difficult for most of us then using amber glasses is a good option.

Amber glasses have demonstrated through research to be effective at blocking blue light leading to improvements in the quality and quantity of sleep and helping restore the circadian rhythm and production of melatonin.

Amber glasses have increased popularity in the last years thanks to being effective at blocking blue light while making it possible for us to maintain our normal activities, but this doesn´t mean that we can´t binge watching a documentary o series or that we can keep playing video games or checking social media or e-mail late night.

These glasses are an effective tool we can use when we need to get something done, when we need to finish a project and we need to stay up late in front of our computer finishing the last details.

Spending too much time in front of a computer or electronic device can also affect your eyes, some people may have blurry vision or even headaches. Even when some people say that amber glasses don´t work and it´s all a marketing strategy, there´s researching showing that they are effective.

For me it all comes down to how much time you spend in front of a computer or any electronic device, if you spend 6 to 7 hours or more per day then using amber glasses to block blue light especially in the afternoon and night then they will be beneficial.

To get enough high-quality sleep we want to mimic the cycles of nature and make sure that the circadian rhythm in in sync and send our brain and body the right messages through the eyes. Getting sunlight exposure in the morning sends the signal to our body that it´s day time and we need to be awake and darkness late afternoon when the sun starts to set sends the signal to our body that it´s time to produce melatonin to sleep so if we´re not able to turn off all electric devices when the sun goes down we can use amber glasses to block blue light from the screens.

If you can turn off electric devices some days of the week like weekends, if you can turn off the computer, laptop, tablet do it. Also avoid checking social media and email when you are already on bed a couple of minutes before you want to fall asleep. Amber glasses are a tool we can use to help us block blue light when we need to be in front of the computer finishing a project but if we can turn them off then we should take advantage of those moments to get high quality sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you spend more than 7 hours in front of a computer and if you´ve been having trouble to get high quality sleep every night.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Compound exercises, you need them!

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Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal we´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, we can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as we keep increasing the weight our performance will improve too.

With compound movements we can lift heavy weight for 5 to 8 reps for hypertrophy to build lean dense muscle, we can go heavier in weight and lower in reps around 1 to 3 reps for strength and power and we can also lift lighter weight for 12 to 15 reps or even more.

Even when we can lift really heavy weight with this type of exercises I don´t recommend going to high to hit low rep ranges between 1 – 4, the lowest I will go is 5 reps, the reason for this is to avoid injuries, when we go to high in weight to hit the 1 to 4 rep range the chances of getting injured are really high, our body makes a huge effort and we need to make sure that our form and everything is right. If our goal is to improve body composition, to get in our best physique possible and sustain it we don´t need to go that heavy in weight and low in reps, working in the 5 to 8 and 9 to 12 rep range is perfectly fine.

When we are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since we´re working on low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimulus for muscle growth and strength. Here we need to consider recovery, which is as important as our workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so we can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If our goal is muscle growth we can create a workout program that combines bodyweight, compound and isolation exercises and that uses both types of hypertrophy on separate days and hitting each muscle twice per week, this will give us the best results but we need to be careful how we design the program.

If our goal is fat loss, we can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 6 to 8 and make sure that we maintain our strength so that we maintain muscle mass.

We don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If we focus on key movements, we can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if we can´t perform great. Our goal is to improve body composition and build a physique we are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at our home or your job.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you like to keep things simple and effective and if you prefer short workouts compared to long workouts?

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

Anxiety and stress, what you can do.

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Do you deal with anxiety? That stress when you´re so worried about the future, about what would happen, that fear can be paralyzing.

Anxiety is the response of our body to the worries and fear of the future, as with stress and pressure the way we see it, our perspective of the situation we´re going through can make the problem worse or if used right it can be helpful. We can feel anxious for so many different situations, there are different types of anxiety-related disorders which we´re going to see in future posts and while some of those situations will only make us feel anxious for a small period of time there can be cases where that anxiety keeps growing.

When we think of stress, pressure and anxiety as the response of our body to certain situations then it´s easy for us to cope with it.  We need to understand that feeling anxious is normal, it happens to all of us and we need it in a certain way because life is full of challenges and we´re constantly changing.

The best way to deal or cope with anxiety is finding out where that anxiety comes from, ask yourself why am I anxious? in most cases it´s fear of the unknown, of the future and our mind is amazing at creating the worst case scenarios in any situation which make the problem worse so once you recognize where the anxiety comes from it may be a new project, or changing job, or finishing school and getting out to the real world, whatever it is then imagine yourself conquering that situation or that challenge, be positive and optimistic. Seeing or visualizing yourself in the future in a positive outcome is hard at the beginning but once you develop the habit to be more positive and become optimistic it will be easier.

In most cases our mind creates fear to avoid failure but those fears or those negative outcomes are not real but if we let those unreal fears and worries control us, we will deal with anxiety for the most part of our life.

There are some actions we can take to reduce anxiety that will have an impact on our entire life:

1. Reduce caffeine.- When we´re anxious if we take any form of caffeine it will make our anxiety worse like our heart rate increases, we start shaking, in some cases it can trigger panic attacks,

2. Eat healthy meals.- Food plays an important role so we need to focus on eating meals cooked and prepared with whole, fresh ingredients and avoid processed, junk and fast foods,

3. Breathe.- Take deeps breathes and focus on inhale and exhale, pay attention to your breathing and feel your body relaxing. By taking our attention to the inhale and exhale and the sensation of our body relaxing our mind calms down,

4. Exercise.- Any type of physical activity improves our mood, especially when we exercise outside in nature,

5. Practice positivity.- This is a lifestyles, it´s not only about replacing negative thoughts with positive one but about seeing the positive outcome in every situation.

As humans we all are exposed to stress, pressure and anxiety and knowing that we can´t avoid them is the first step to make a change at how we think of them, realizing that we actually need them to grow, learn, improve and keep our life exciting will make it easier but we also need to know when it´s too much of them and we need to find ways to lower them or talk to someone who can help us. Even when we share different tools in this site to help you lower them and respond the best way possible it´s important that you talk with your a specialist if you see that your case is bad.

Are you anxious right now? just stop for a moment, take some deep breathes and think about where that anxiety comes from, why are you anxious? what is making you feel anxious? and then think about positive outcomes.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Mindset

Gain clarity to achieve your goals!

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Being really clear of what we want in life is the first and most important step to success.

Do you know exactly what you want in life? are you clear of what you want to achieve?

Clarity is the only way to get what we want; how can we get or achieve something if we´re not sure of exactly what we want?

Apart that most of us are looking for instant results thanks to instant gratification and that we´re lazy because our brain wants to stay comfortable we always make everything harder than it actually is but not having clarity of what we want is also the reason why we stay in the same place. How can we know what we need to do if we don´t know where we´re going?

Most of us just go with the flow, with what life puts in our way but we all have a purpose and we if don´t work to fulfill that purpose we will work for someone else’s purpose or dream and at the end we´ll regret.

It´s frustrating how many of us dream about living life a certain way but still we have a vague idea. What would you do if I tell you that you can live the life you dream if you are clear on what you want in all areas, from your relationships, finance, job?

Being clear means being able to create an image on your mind of how you want your life to be or how would you look and feel once you´ve achieved your goal, that image needs to include as much detail as possible, the more detail you are, the more clear you are the easier it is for your mind and brain to figure out ways to get you there and the easier it is to work and act on it.

The steps we can follow to gain clarity are:

1. Know yourself,

2. Define your values,

3. Know what you stand for, what moves you,

4. Know your purpose

This 4 steps seem so vague but we need to know and understand ourselves, we need to go deep inside us the more we understand our thoughts, feelings, emotions, what´s important for us, what moves us, what makes us emotional in such a way that we take action and keep momentum.

When we know who we are, what we believe, what we want to achieve and what we need to do the only step missing is taking action, when we know exactly what we want and is something that moves us then we´re motivated every single day to take action, sometimes for some of us it´s hard to stop working and take a rest when we´re so inspired and motivated.

Clarity erase all obstacles physically and mentally we know that there will be challenges but we also know that there´s always at least one way to overcome any challenge, clarity drives focus and concentration, when we know exactly what we want  it´s easier to stay focused on what we´re doing and we can go for long hours of continuous work.

When we lack clarity we don´t know where we´re going and we don´t know what to do, this leads to procrastination, one of the reasons why we don´t take action is because we don´t know exactly what to do, maybe we start working on something and a couple of days or weeks later we change what we´re doing or maybe we just stop working on it, this constant change comes from lack of clarity.

If we want to live our best life possible we need to be clear of what we want on all areas of life which include health, finance, job, family, relationships, etc; the reason why we need to define our values and what we stand for is that our goals in all areas of life can align to those values and this makes our lives a lot more easier, we know what we want, we know what we need to do so we act accordingly.

We need to make choices every single day so if we have a clear goal based on our values, our purpose and what we stand for it´s easier to make the right choices, we just need to choose the option that´s going to keep us moving forward to our goal.

You can start today be making a list of your values, what is important to you, it may be relationships, honesty, respect, write at least 5 values then think about what you stand for and think about a project or goal you would want to achieve based on what you stand for and that aligns to your values. Take as much time as possible to write your values and what you stand for, you need to spend time alone and go deep inside you so don´t get angry or upset if you don´t have this exercise in a couple of hours.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account how easy or hard it is for you to gain clarity on your goals.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

Muscle growth and body composition

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If you want to be able to lose weight, get in shape and sustain your results effortless then improving body composition is key and muscle growth is one of the 2 pieces of this puzzle.

Improving body composition means maintaining a healthy weight with the right percentage of lean muscle mass and body fat.

Maintaining lean muscle mass is important and needs to be one of our priorities, the more muscle we have the faster our metabolism works so it´s easier to lose fat and stay lean but it also help us avoid injuries and stay healthy. There are 2 most common ways we lose muscle; one is related to some diseases and the other is age.

As we get older our body goes through different changes and one of this change is the loss of muscle mass with this come a lot of negative consequences like loss of strength which lead to injuries and other health problems.

Making sure that we get in shape and maintain an optimal weight that considers the right percentage of body fat and muscle mass helps us look lean and toned and as I´ve said before it´s not necessary to get big. Making sure that we maintain muscle mass or build muscle mass to maintain a healthy weight is important to maintain strength so that we reduce the risk of injuries as we grow older. As we grow older we lose muscle mass and strength so by working out focusing on resistance training to maintain strength and give our body the stimulus it needs to maintain that muscle we make sure that we´re not losing it, this also helps us get through daily activities like lifting bags and boxes, pushing and pulling boxes, enjoying time outside in nature with friends and family.

I´ve heard some people say that when you reach a certain age, like 70 or 80 you are not able to gain muscle mass but this is actually not true, we can build lean muscle mass at any age if we do it correctly, we need to give our muscles the right stimulus to grow and we also need to give our body the nutrients it needs to grow muscle and we need to be on a calorie surplus, if we do those three points correctly then we are able to gain muscle at any age.

We want to maintain strength and get stronger, not only to maintain and gain muscle mass and this doesn´t mean that we need to get huge as bodybuilders, we maintain a lean and strong physique. Maintaining strength and muscle is important for maintaining optimal health and maintain optimal performance as you grow older, you want to be able to carry bags and boxes when you go for groceries, you want to have lean and strong legs to walk and move from one place to another.

The best way to maintain strength and get stronger and also to maintain and build muscle mass is with bodyweight and compound exercises, we can add some isolation exercises to work certain weaker muscles and gain more mass faster but the key is to get stronger in bodyweight and compound exercises, for this we need to focus on progressive overload (we´re going to talk about exercises variables and techniques in future posts) working on the 5 to 8 rep ranges with heavy weight. What we want is to lift heavy weight for low reps. 

When we focus on maintaining strength and getting stronger keeping body fat low we´re working on improving body composition, this helps us look great and it´s easier to maintain the results and keep improving. Any excess of weight including excess of muscle mass in unhealthy this is why our goal is to improve body composition and maintain a healthy weight considering muscle mass and body fat. We want to be lean and strong.

Our goal is to improve body composition and maintain a healthy weight that considers body fat and muscle mass percentage, but we not only want to look as great as possible we also want to make sure that our body and physique are useful.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Lifestyle

The power of social media

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Social media is so powerful, but we need to learn how to use to our advantage.

Do you know how much time you spend every day on social media? whether it´s to upload pictures or videos, to share ideas or just going through the feed the amount of time we spend there is huge, on average we spend around 3 hours per day and if we think about what we do in most cases we´re only wasting valuable time.

We´re growing up in a world where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and all social media platforms are the way to engage with people all around the world. The problem is that many people don´t share their truths, they hide their reality with filters and they share what they want us to see so when we go through our feed we see all those amazing pictures of people sharing their amazing trips and how much they are loving life but are we really sure that they are enjoying and having an incredible life? this pictures can have a negative effects on us because we may not be working on what we love and in general our life is not that amazing.

Engagement with social media releases a chemical called dopamine which makes us feel good, when we upload a picture and 5 minutes later we check and see thousands of likes we feel good but when we don´t get as many likes as we want we feel bad, we feel like we don´t deserve it and we´re not good enough, we start comparing our pictures and stories with someone else´s who has a lot more followers and likes and we feel bad for ourselves but the problem is that we may not know the truth and stories about the people we´re comparing ourselves to, and we also have our own story.

We´ve become addicted to social media, we want the likes and follows we´ve become addicted to that feeling, it help us cope with stress of life but it can also lead to depression when we compare our content with others.

Some years ago our lives were more focused on what happened around us, our neighbor, our city or country, we use to be a lot more in contact with our closest friends, family, neighbors, classmates and coworkers, now is what happens all around the world and we are more in contact with people in other countries than with the ones close to us.

Even when social media can have a negative impact in our life it also has huge power and if we know how to use them, we can improve our life and help others which is what I love.

It all starts with who we follow, if we follow people who share content that can help us grow, inspire and motivates us then we will start acting and working towards a more successful life. What we share is also important, if we just share pictures or video to add value and to help people all around the world then we´re making a difference in someone else´s lives.

We care more about the numbers on our accounts than on other people, it´s not about getting millions and millions of followers, it´s not about getting millions of likes in our posts, it´s about sharing content that can be valuable for others, it´s about how many people we actually help, it can be just by telling our truth, our story or sharing our knowledge in any specific area.

Social media won´t go anywhere but if we make use of it the right way we can get a lot of benefits and advantages, we need to make sure that we don´t waste our time with it and follow people that are adding value to our life. Just imagine what would happen if from those 3 hours a day we reduce it to 1 hour and we make that 1 hour count and we use the other hour to exercise, we will get in better shape, we will get all the benefits of exercise and we´re learning something from the people we follow.

Remember that an image can say too much, one single image can have a positive impact or negative impact in other´s lives, one post can help someone to improve their life while other can make someone feel unworthy.

Social media is a great tool to help us learn from others and grow and it´s also a tool to help people. What we share, the pictures, images, content, video, etc; it all matters. They can have a positive impact on someone and we can inspire people to improve their lives or maybe just make them smile, but it can also have a negative impact by making someone feel bad so we need to be aware of what we share.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account which type if content you prefer, do you like to follow friends and family to see what they´re doing? Or do you like to follow celebrities to have an inside of their lives, or do you like to follow people or accounts from where you can learn?

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Food

Fiber! Is it important?

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We pay too much attention to the 3 macronutrients we´ve all heard about; fats, proteins and carbohydrates but we forget about fiber which is important for optimal gut health.

Fiber is important and it´s possible that you´re not getting enough of it every day.

Some people consider fiber as one more macronutrient because of its importance and to make sure that they get the right intake.

Most of us when we start a diet or want to change our eating habits we think about calories or macros but it doesn´t matter which ones are we counting or focusing on we don´t think too much about fiber which is actually really important for our gut, not getting enough fiber daily has a negative impact on our health in a short term but also long term.

Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not broken down in the small intestine, it gets into the large intestine where it is broken down by bacteria. It can be divided into soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, it can help lower glucose and blood cholesterol and it´s found in oats, beans.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, it promotes the movements of material through our digestive system to feed he microbiome and it´s found on vegetables and beans.

Both have a lot of benefits making it an important part of our diet. There are so many benefits and it´s important for our health, especially our gut. Some of the benefits are that it elevates satiety which helps with fat loss, it lowers body fat and helps in managing diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are great at keeping fiber intake high but they can be deficient in other nutrients which are also important for our health, people following ketogenic or carnivore diets can have more problems to keep adequate intake of fiber because they tend to avoid almost all carbohydrates.

Getting enough fiber daily is important but most of us do not get enough of it but it´s a big mistake to increase the intake considerably from one day to another which can promote bloating, cramping and other problems so we need to start increasing the amount of fiber we eat gradually so that the bacteria in our digestive system also adjust to the change.

It doesn´t matter which type of diet we follow we need to make sure that we give our body all the nutrients it needs from fats, to proteins and carbohydrates and by carbohydrates the more important being vegetables which are loaded with micronutrients and fiber.

Green and cruciferous vegetables are great options to add fiber to your meals and your nutrition program. Oats are also a great option if we´re following a more balanced diet, it is great for breakfast, legumes like beans, lentils are also a source of fiber.

Some people are intolerant to grain and gluten so we need to pay attention to our body, every time we make a change to our nutrition program we need to be aware of how our body responds and how we feel, we are all intolerant to some foods or we all have problems digesting some foods especially at the beginning when we make some change to what we eat, this can also happen with vegetables or when we start consuming healthy foods high in nutrients and eliminate or avoid unhealthy processed foods.

We need to be patient and make the changes slowly to give time to our body to get rid of all the poison and toxins and get use to a healthy diet.

We need to make sure that we give nutrients to our body, so we need to focus on getting healthy fats, protein and fiber which help us lose weight, maintain an amazing physique and also optimal health.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if you are aware of getting enough fiber and how easy or hard it is for you.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

How blue light impacts sleep

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Have you been having difficulties to fall asleep? Are you having sleep problems or a bad night sleep?

We spend too much time in front of a computer, laptops, tablet, cell phone or any other screen but we don´t think about the negative impact that this have in the quality and quantity of sleep. It´s not only the fact that we´re exposed to electric light from the moment we wake up to the moment we want to fall asleep, the type of light we´re exposed and the times of the day have a negative impact on sleep.

The light that the screens of electric devices like computers, laptops, cellphones, etc; and electric bulbs release is blue light.

Even when artificial light has a huge positive impact on our lives by helping us get more things done, it also has so many negative impacts for our health and our life. Some years ago the only source of lightning was the sun and people worked and schedule their day according to the light of the sun, they worked more in coherence and harmony with nature and the environment until we had access of artificial light and when this happened we were able to illuminate our evenings and nights which causes a lot of health problems.

We saw in the last post how the circadian rhythm works and the access to light at night before bed blocks melatonin and hormones and functions in our body get out of sync.

Blue light in particular has been associated to a negative impact on our sleep and health in general. Blue light exposure suppresses the secretion of melatonin which is hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that influences the circadian rhythm.

If you are one of those people who like to check their e-mail or social media right before going to bed or worse, when you are already in bed just before falling asleep and you find it hard to fall asleep the blue light from the screen is the one that impairs your ability to fall asleep.

Since blue light impacts the quality and quantity of sleep this leads to greater health problems, lack or poor-quality sleep makes it harder to lose weight and maintain optimal weight and health and it´s linked to more complicated health problems

Light sends the signal to our brain and body that we need to be woken up through the eyes so when we want to fall asleep we need to send the right signal to our brain through our eyes and this means avoiding all light 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed especially blue light.

In the last years amber glasses have increased popularity (we´re going to talk about them in the next post) because they are one tool to block blue light but there are more strategies and tools we can use to reduce the exposure to light and this includes having a sleep schedule which is for most of us the best option because we can designed one that works for us and our day.

The best thing we can do is try to emulate nature, emulate our environment which means that we need to reduce light as the sun goes down and increase it as the sun raise but this can be hard for most of us since we need to get to school, our job and get so much stuff done during the day so the best option is to reduce light exposure for a period of time before going to bed.

 We know that high quality sleep is key if we want to lose weight and maintain an amazing physique so we need to make sure that we get the best quality sleep as possible because most of us do not get the 7 to 8 hours, to improve sleep and make sure it´s high quality it all starts by being able to fall asleep fast which can be achieved by having a sleep schedule and this schedule needs to consider avoiding all blue light, especially screen devices for at least 60 minutes before going to bed, red light is a good option too but we´re going to talk about it in future posts.

Follow these next steps today to improve the quality of sleep:

1.- Turn off all electric devices especially the ones with screens like Tv, computer, tablets, cell phones (if you need to keep your phone on in case of emergency make sure that you don´t check it) 60 minutes before going to bed,

2.- Take the first 30 minutes to practice visualization and gratitude exercises,

3.- Take the next 30 minutes to practice breathing exercises to fall asleep faster.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you did the exercise and what was your result or experience.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Exercise

Bodyweight exercises, a great tool!

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For someone who is starting their fitness journey or for someone who has many years training, bodyweight exercises are always a staple.

One day I found out some videos on YouTube about calisthenics and all the guys looked amazing, lean and in really good shape, I finished watching the video and I stood up and tried to do some pushups, for my surprise I couldn´t do any… not even one. I felt so weak and angry and realized how could that happened if some years ago I could do 50 pushups?

I practiced Karate for about 11 years since I was 5 and I was able to do 50 pushups, squats, dips and bodyweight rows. Remembering this got me really angry, I wanted to be able to do that same amount of reps on each exercise and increase weight with weighted vest to go low rep.

Bodyweight exercises are one of the best exercises to get in amazing shape for many different reasons, there are variables for each exercise for any fitness level from the simple versions for beginners to more advance versions and we can do them anywhere.

We will talk in future posts about muscle fibers and muscle hypertrophy and you may ask how you can apply those to bodyweight exercises and the answer is simple, we can take any exercise for example pushup and choose the hardest version for example one arm pushups (there are harder versions) and we do 5 reps to work type 2 muscle fibers and myofibryllar hypertrophy then we can choose a simple version like normal pushups and do 15 reps to work type 1 muscle fibers or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. We can do this with all bodyweight exercises we can even do 100 reps if we want to go a little crazy and have some fun.

Bodyweight exercises have so many benefits and they can reduce injuries when working out, with any bodyweight exercise we are moving our body through space and it requires more strength and balance but since they are compound movements or multi-joint exercises we are working several muscles at the same time and the range of motion is more natural which reduce stress on the joint and avoid injuries.

If we think about what type of training or exercise can get us in amazing shape and help us build an amazing physique it´s bodyweight, when we start we´ll find all exercises so hard to do and some of us feel terrible when we start with the most simple versions but that´s how we all begin, with time we start losing fat (if we´re following a right nutrition program) and we realize that the leaner we are the easier all exercises get. As we lose fat and get in better shape, we weight less so we need to push or carry less weight in the exercises, this is a great motivation to stay lean.

When we´re starting our fitness journey we´re are out of shape and we don´t want to go to the gym and feel embarrassed so what we can do is start in our home with bodyweight exercises as resistance training and jump rope or jogging as cardio training, this helps lose fat and get in shape, with this our self-confidence increases and then we can go to the gym to add more exercises like compound movements and isolation.

We all need to be able to do bodyweight exercises and yoga which both take a lot of skills like strength and balance, when we can control our body and our mind we are able to achieve amazing things in life, it´s amazing the physique we can build just by working on getting stronger and progressing through all different variations of each exercise and we add some yoga poses we learn new skills that will also help us in our day to day.

You can start today doing 10 pushups, 10 squats and 10 crunches. Go ahead start now!.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account what is you favorite bodyweight exercise and why.

It would so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam