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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

Fitness goals

The obesity epidemic problem!

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Even when there´s too much information and there are so many different weight loss programs, obesity and overweight are still a huge problem and it´s just getting bigger so this means that we´re doing something wrong. Most of the information we can find in the internet are lies and myth, experts share the fastest way to lose weight without considering the negative impact with everything we read we just end confused and overwhelmed, if we add to this how processed foods create an addiction and how they control our brain, and emotions it´s not a surprise that it gets really hard for us to get in shape.

The problem is that we´re taking the wrong approach to the obesity problem, we´re focusing and treating the symptom which is obesity and overweight this is why we can find so much information and debates about which is the best diet to lose weight and it´s also why we can find so many different weight loss programs, but none of them work long term.

Some industries start to create myths around obesity and different diets start to come out like low fat diets blaming fat for the obesity epidemic, they came out with the most common advice we all know “eat less – move more” but the problem just kept growing.

It´s not about finding the best diet to lose weight, it´s not about calories, it´s about macronutrients, it´s about health. If we focus on what matters which is understanding how things work, we can get in amazing shape and sustain it. We need to know what´s the job of each macronutrient and how our body responds to them, we need to understand about hormones and how they are triggered in a good or bad way by everything we do and don´t do.

Our lifestyle plays an important role and I believe that it´s the cause of obesity, portion sizes are bigger so we eat a lot more and to make things worse, this excess food comes from junk, processed and fast food which doesn´t have nutrients, the lack of physical activity and spending most of our time sitting in front of a computer or tv; we don´t give sleep the importance it deserves, our levels of chronic stress are so high and we don´t know how to react and deal with it, we are surround by negativity almost all day long.

Making some changes to our lifestyle can make a huge difference in the obesity problem, if we focus on what matters which is developing healthy habits, we will have amazing results. We all need to have free access to information, and we all need to know the truth. There´s not a class about nutrition in schools which I consider is a highly important topic, learning about nutrition, fitness and health in general is what we need to do, if we focus on the root cause the results are sustainable.

To focus on the root cause we only need to give nutrients to our body through food, eating real, fresh, healthy foods and avoid unhealthy foods like junk, processed and fast food; working out at least 30 minutes a day focusing on resistance training, getting enough high quality sleep every night around 7 to 8 hours, reducing stress or knowing how to manage it to make it work for us and getting the right mindset. Everything works together to make our results sustainable in an effortless way.

From what I´ve seen it´s simple to prevent diseases and stay in shape and it all comes down to lifestyle. I believe that many diseases can be prevented and there’s no reason to suffer or see someone suffering or in pain, but it all starts with us. We live in a time where we want instant results and satisfaction and we´re so use to technology but is causing a lot of problems. There are 2 steps we can take today to start changing our lives:

– be more active throughout the day.- find ways to do some physical activity, if you work in an office, every hour get up and take a walk for a couple of minutes, when you´re talking on the phone walk instead of being sitting on the chair.

– Consume more whole, fresh, healthy foods high in healthy fats, proteins and fiber

It´s not about limitations, it´s about working on the root of the problem and not only treating the symptoms but targeting the cause.

If you´ve been dealing with your weight and want to improve it let us know what we can do for you, how we can help. Leave a comment in our Twitter and Facebook account, we´ll be happy to help.

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

Sleep

Sleep is not only for rest.

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There are so many things going on in our body while we sleep and it´s not only recovery and growth. All systems of our body and brain are working so hard doing different functions while we sleep.

From cleaning our body from toxins, to deleting unnecessary information and storing important information in other parts of our brain there are so many processes that need to work in harmony, our body and brain never rest, there´s always something going on.

One of the most important processes that go on while we sleep is that our body gets rid of toxins and our brain deletes unnecessary information. Have you ever stopped for a moment and think about all the toxins we consume in one day? from the food we eat, the high levels of chronic stress from our work or school, the products we use to clean, the air we breathe, etc; in that same day we also get a ton of information from what we see on all social media, to tv, the news, also information about our coworkers or classmates, what´s happening on our city or country and even in other countries, everything we see from the moment we wake up, there´s literally so much going on every single day so when we sleep our brain also has a system that helps it manage all that information, if the information is not important it will be deleted, if it´s something important for a project it will store it in a part of the brain until we´re done with it and we´re able to forget it while the most important and relevant information will get stored in the long-term memory.

All this cleaning part is so important to be able to free space on our brain to get more information in, to learn new skills and in our body to help us prevent diseases.

There are so many toxins that have a negative impact on our body and health so there are systems in our body that make all this cleaning possible every night but for this to happen we need to make sure that we net enough high quality sleep.

During sleep our hormones are also working, enough high quality sleep makes it easier to lose weight and stay lean because all our hormones like leptin and ghrelin are balanced and working properly so we don´t have cravings, we don´t feel hungry all day so it´s easier for us to make the right choices. Enough high-quality sleep improves metabolism and helps with insulin sensitivity. Lack or poor sleep is linked to weight and obesity, if we are obese or overweight can cause sleep problems which leads to a negative cycle.

Our physical and mental health are also impacted by the quality and quantity of our sleep, we can see the negative impact of a poor night sleep that day and if this sleep problem is chronic then the negative impact is huge, health problems physical or mental are highly linked to poor or lack of sleep. When we don´t get enough high quality sleep the immune system won´t be working efficiently and this makes it harder for our body to fight diseases, also lack or poor sleep increases stress as we mentioned before and stress and we know that this bad stress causes a lot of damage to our body.

Our body needs to heal, recover, repair, grow and clean from all the toxins, stress (good and bad) that we went through during the day and for this to be possible we need to be aware of the other 4 principles of fitness so that our body has the nutrients and everything it needs to make every process as optimal as possible.

Since sleep affects every system, hormone, etc; on our body and there are so many processed going on while we sleep we need to make sure that we get enough high quality sleep every night, this is not only necessary to maintain a good mood, energy and concentration throughout the day it´s necessary for optimal health and this includes physical and mental.

We cannot forget that sleep plays an important role for the proper recovery of our workouts, our muscles recover, grow and get stronger when we´re recovering and sleep is part of this recovery so, if we want to get the best results possible we need to make sure that we´re getting enough high quality sleep. For weight loss sleep is also important to keep cravings low and make sure that all hormones are working properly to make our weight loss journey a lot easier.

One simple step you can take today to improve the quality and quantity of sleep is turn off all electric devices and lights at least 30minutes before going to bed, try to make your bedroom as dark as possible those 30 minutes, this will send signals to your brain and body that it´s time to sleep.

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account if you make sleep a priority every night and how good is your quality of sleep and if you don´t prioritize sleep let us know why, is it school, your job, kids?

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.

Pam

Stress

Stress is bad! Some times

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We´ve all been in stressful situations and some of us every day, as we saw in the last post there are different types of stress or different levels, many of us consider all types of stress bad but we actually need some of it.

We all know that stress is bad for us and it have a negative impact on our health but not all stress is bad, we need some of it to grow, to get stronger but we need to know how to identify when stress is good and when it´s bad so that we can respond accordingly.

Bad stress or the type of stress that can have a negative impact on our body and health comes from doing something we don´t like and spending time with people we don´t feel comfortable which is what happens to most of us on a daily basis whether we´re at school or job.

High levels of stress for long periods of time which is chronic stress is the type of stress that is bad for us. If we wake up late in the morning, we´re stuck in traffic, we get late to our job, our boss don´t like our work, our coworkers spend most time blaming and criticizing so the entire day we´re dealing with negativity it becomes cumulative this is why stress is so bad for us, we get to a point where our body can´t deal with that much stress for long periods of time and we get sick.

If we add to our daily stress that when we wake up every morning we get stressed by thinking of all the bills we need to pay, how many days we got left before the next paycheck, hope that our boss don´t fire us and we don´t even like what we do then it make sense that our health is not as best as it could.

The points I made in the last paragraphs are some of the situations that keep our levels of stress high for long periods of time and we´ve got use to them, that is bad stress that type of stress is the one that have a negative impact on our lives and our health.

We won´t be able to eliminate stress completely from our lives but we need to learn how to cope with it, some steps we can take to reduce it are:

1. Make sure you wake up early each morning and have time to do everything you need to do before going to work. Set the alarm clock 10 or 15 minutes earlier, leave everything you need ready the night before,

2. Try to get out of the house earlier to avoid traffic,

3. Don´t take any comments from anyone personal,

4. When you feel stressed during the day take 5 or 6 deeps breathes and focus on inhale and exhale,

5. Take some minutes every night before going to bed to meditate and take all the negative stuff from your mind.

Actually the best step we can take to lower stress is avoid negative people and negative environments, avoid situations that we know are going to stress us but for most of us this is impossible because we need the job so the 5 steps will help. If you have the possibility to get another job where you can do what you love that´s great, the best thing that could happen to us is loving our job, loving what we do and working in a place where the relationship with our team and coworkers help us grow and learn.

Since we´re living very stressful lives and for some of us is hard to completely change our lives from one day to another we need to find ways to lower it and understand that not all stress is bad, many of us confuse pressure with stress and many of us want to avoid completely all types of stress and this is wrong, some stress is beneficial and pressure is not that bad if we don´t let it turn into stress.

In many cases how we react to a situation makes it worse, if we take everything too seriously and we always think about the worst case scenario we´re increase stress for not real reason so one thing you can do today is stop taking everything too seriously, there are things or stuff that happen on a daily basis that won´t have an impact on the long run, if someone cut you off on traffic and you get angry it will only increase your stress so instead of reacting just move on, that person may have an emergency or he/she is just being rude and that´s how he/she is so don´t let that action affect you.

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

Sleep

The circadian rhythm…circadian what?

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You may have heard about the importance of having a sleep schedule or at least trying to go to sleep around the same time every night, this is true and the positive impact it has in your life is amazing, the reason for this is the circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm plays an important role on the quality and quantity of our sleep, if the circadian rhythm is out of sync for any reason then it will impact negatively our sleep, this can by just for one night but if this turns into a habit it can have huge negative consequences in the long run.

We are supposed to follow nature´s clock what I mean with this is that we´re supposed to go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun goes up. Our body has an internal clock and most of its functions go according to that internal clock, this has to do with the production of melatonin to fall asleep, increasing cortisol at certain hours.

Nature works in a cycle of 24 hours, a cycle of day and night, during day we get light from the sun and at night it´s dark. Our body also works in the same 24 hours period, or at least it tries. This 24-hour cycle has a lot to do with our sleep-wake cycle the same way the sun rises and sets every day. This cycle also contributes to hours of sleep when hour body is recovering, growing and eliminating toxics and hours of alertness during the day when we´re supposed to have all the energy and focus to live as best as possible.

During this cycle there are so many things going on in our body like producing melatonin, body temperature fluctuates, the hormones also have fluctuations.

We need melatonin to fall asleep which is produced when the sun starts to set and as the lights go down if we keep working on our computer or laptop or checking our phone until late night our body won´t produce melatonin which is one of the reasons why we can´t fall asleep and we don´t get high quality sleep. When it´s dark our eyes send a signal to our brain that it´s time to rest so our body produces melatonin to fall asleep.

Cortisol is an important hormone and it´s higher in the morning and it decreases throughout the day. Just as cortisol there are other hormones like insulin, leptin, ghrelin that plays an important role on our health and they´re all impacted by this internal clock called the circadian rhythm.

When we´re out of zync with natures clock it affects negatively our body, and this includes our brain and it affects also our health physical and mental.

This circadian rhythm may be affected by lack of sleep or poor quality sleep, when we go to sleep late at night around midnight like many of us do and we want to fall asleep fast just minutes after turning off the computer or checking emails which is impossible for our body. Not having a sleep schedule and sleep routine also affects negatively this internal clock. Outside factors like light from electric devices, sounds, temperature they all have an impact on how our body and brain get the right signals to either fall asleep or wake up.

Even when it seems like we can get ahead of this internal clock this is not true, our internal clock is affected by our environment being the cycles of day and light the most important ones because this circadian rhythm that is located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus receives direct information from the eyes.

So, if we want to feel great and maintain optimal health, we need to make sure that everything is functioning as best as possible and making sure that the circadian rhythm is in sync is key.

A simple step we can take to make sure that the circadian rhythm is sync is to mimic our environment, try to turn off the lights and electric devices when the sun goes down, if this is hard because of school or work then using amber glasses is a great option. When you wake up get some light exposure from the sun.

Let us know if you knew about this internal clock and how it impacts our body and health by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebbok account.

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

Stress

How can stress be good?

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We know that there´s good stress and there´s bad stress and in our last post we talked about the differences between stress and pressure which is key to know how to respond on every situation.

Acute stress is good, and we need it, stress is good when it helps us grow and get stronger. When we go to the gym and follow our resistance training workout, we give a stimulus to the muscle to grow, this stimulus is a form of stress and our body needs that stress to change this is one example of good stress.

Some people consider pressure as a type of stress and for good reasons but pressure is something we´ve all been through and it can help us achieve our best results, for some of us pressure is a type of stress that is good for us.

When we go through acute stress or include some stress in our life in the right proportion it can be beneficial for our brain, body and health, it helps us improve performance, productivity, focus leading to better results. Taking challenges increases stress but if we take the right challenges that stress helps us reach our goals by keeping us motivated and focused on what we need to do so our productivity increases. If we take small daily challenges, then stress is beneficial because it will help us accomplish our tasks.

The reason why we´re able to concentrate and focus is because stress increases cortisol and also chemicals like epinephrine, we feel our heart rate increasing and also blood pressure, this is how our body responds to keep us aware to the situation so that we can act quickly and be safe so all this help us get completely focused and concentrated.

All the process that our body goes through when we´re dealing with a stressful situation has a positive impact on our body and health when it´s in small quantities, some research shows the low levels of stress or acute stress can improve or fortify the immune system.

Taking challenges that will create some stress is a way to keep life interesting some of use love challenges because they bring something new to our life and we see that stress as a way to get out of our comfort zone but, some people prefer to stay in that comfort zone, they prefer to stay on that known place and taking any challenge can lead to chronic stress which can have a negative impact.

Good stress which helps us grow comes from doing what we love, this means that we know our purpose and we work on it and even when we need to face challenges and struggles we´re actually loving all the journey and we are able to visualize the end result which keeps us motivated. When we start working on our purpose, we know it won´t be easy but we also know that it´ll be worth it.

When we have a goal or we´re working on a project that excite us the stress we´ll get from facing challenges has a positive impact because we see those challenges as part of the journey, this type of mindset is what help us keep moving forward and see every challenge from another perspective, a more positive one.

Finding our purpose and working on it gives us a sense of fulfillment and this fulfillment is what makes life meaningful, the more we work on our purpose the more fulfilled and accomplished we feel. When we feel fulfilled, we see challenges as opportunities to grow and have a bigger impact, we can see ourselves pass those challenges and as we see our work having a positive impact we get more motivated to continue.

This is why it´s so important to find our purpose and find ways to pursue it, I know that this is hard for some of us since we need to work to pay bills and support our family but, if you can work on your purpose on your spare time the positive impact you get from that time will show when you´re at school or the office.

If you have a 9 to 5 job or you´re in college what you can do is take some time for yourself to find your purpose read the find your purpose post to learn more and follow the steps. Also find strategies to help you reduce daily stress from work or school like breathing and visualizing and as Ellen DeGeneres says be kind, being kind improves our mood and lowers stress.

What you can do today is if you´re working in a project that keeps you stressed out think about it as a challenge, take that whole project and divided into small activities you need to do and focus on one activity at a time and whenever you see someone having a hard time be kind and help them.

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

Fitness goals

How companies make it harder to lose weight

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If you´ve ever asked yourself why you can´t lose weight? why you can´t keep that weight off? or why is it so hard to lose weight and sustain the results then you need to continue reading.

There are different factors that come into play when we want to lose weight and each of them makes everything harder for us. It´s not our fault and it´s not as easy as “eat less – move more”.

Fat loss is simple but not easy, and no one seems to pay attention to the most important element we need to have in place to achieve our goal, our habits and mindset.

The best way to start our weight loss journey is by realizing that it´s a lifestyle change, we need to develop good habits that are going to make it effortless to sustain our results. One of the habits is to make healthier food choices and here is the biggest problem, even when all of us know which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy we may be making the wrong choices one after another without knowing why we are not able to make the right choice for at least one time.

The reason is because companies are making it harder and almost impossible for us to make the right choice, food is everywhere and most of the options are unhealthy, sweets, junk, processed and fast food, food we can grab and go, that is convenient and cheaper so if we´re surrounded with this unhealthy foods at every moment it´s not surprise that we keep eating it.

Other reason why is the chemicals on those processed foods turn on the reward center on our brain so every time we eat them we feel good and we get addicted to that feeling, every time we feel down, depressed, stressed or angry we grab some unhealthy foods to make us feel better and if we add to this that some chemicals added to them are used to enhance flavors, make food taste better and also create addiction it´s harder to avoid them. Research shows that this foods create addiction the same way alcohol and cigarettes do.

Companies want to sell so they create amazing marketing campaigns to make us think that we are buying healthier products when it´s not that truth and they keep making packages and portions bigger. Also our relationship with food has changed, have you notice that when you´re bored, tired, feeling down, alone or watching tv you go for something to eat, which most of those times is unhealthy? This is a constant trigger of the feel good hormone and a habit we´ve created over time.

When we start making healthier choices we´re dealing with 2 problems, one the highly addictive sugars and chemicals on products that our brain will be asking for as cravings and then making a different choice.

The first days or weeks when we start avoiding this unhealthy foods it´ll be like hell, our brain wants those foods so we´ll have cravings and we can have anxiety, looking for a way to substitute unhealthy foods for healthy options that could make us feel good and activate the reward center is good option but it´s hard to do, we can have some almonds or nuts which are great for our brain.

The hardest part is dealing with our mind, every time we make a different choice we´re getting out of our comfort zone and our brain hates to be uncomfortable so it will work hard to get us back to our old choices.

What we can do here is, every time we make a healthier choice that´s going to be a new habit we need to stop listening to our mind, don´t pay attention just get up and do it. Thoughts like: you´re too tired, those cookies are cheaper, start tomorrow, you don´t have time today and any other you can think of which are just making you procrastinate stop them. Stop them right now don´t listen to them and continue with your new choice.

Have you followed a diet to lose weight? let us know what was the hardest food to avoid by leaving a comment on our Twitter and Facebook account.

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

Sleep

Phases of sleep

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We all know that sleep is crucial for our health and one night of poor sleep will impact our day, when this lack of sleep is constant the negative effects increase but what happens while we sleep?  There are so many things going on in our brain and body that help us recover from the day and get ready for what´s to come.

Nowadays people in different industries like fitness and health are giving more importance to sleep because there are so many things going on and a lack of sleep or poor quality can be the cause of health problems and there´s still people who don´t give the importance it deserves and claim that some of the most amazing minds that have lived didn´t get what´s consider enough sleep in the 7 to 8 hours which is completely true but the research on how those amazing minds manage to keep going with little to no sleep is not conclusive. For now, we´ll talk about the phases or stages of sleep because it´s important that we understand at least the basics of it.

Reading books and research, some divide the phases or stages of sleep in 4 others in 5 the way I see it and to keep it simple is considering 4 phases:

1.- Phase one.- When we fall asleep our brain produces alpha and theta waves, this phase last just a couple minutes and it´s when we can be easily woken. If at night, we fall asleep and after a couple of minutes we wake up with any noise we were in this phase. This phase of light sleep gives way to phase two.

2.- Phase two.- During this phase the brain waves decrease in frequency and increase in amplitude, our body temperature starts to decrease and heart rate slows down.

3.- On phases three.- This phase of moderate sleep giving way to deep sleep is where it is harder to be awakened. At this stage we are not aware of noises and activity around us and our muscle start to relax and blood pressure start to lower.

4.- On phase four.- This phase is the deepest level of sleep and  is where delta waves or slow waves takes place. At this stage our muscles are relaxed and blood pressure and breathing rate lowers.

These four phases are called non-rapid eye movement, after this four phases are completed we get to a rapid eye movement which is the fifth phase or REM, while we sleep we go through cycles between non-rapid eye movement and rapid eye movement.

The first 4 phases which are part of the non-rapid eye movement are compromised of slow waves while the fifth phase or REM which is the rapid eye movement our heart rate increases, our breathing gets faster, there are rapid waves of beta, alpha and theta and our eyes can be seen moving beneath our lids. Some people have found through research that in this phase our dreams are more vivid compared to the other phases.

In this last phase is also when we can retain information, skills, improve memory and learning.

One complete sleep cycle going through all phases last around 90 minutes, each night we go through several cycles, we may go through 4 or 5 cycles per night depending on how many hours of sleep we get.

If we have sleep disorders it may be harder for us to fall asleep so we´ll get less sleep and will go through less cycles, if we wake up in the night and interrupt the cycle our body needs to start again from phase 1, the more we get awaken during the night chances are that we may never get to the phase of deep sleep which affects our entire sleep quality and we´ll get all the negative impacts of one night of poor sleep the next day.

There are so many things going on while we sleep and there are so many things related to sleep that we don´t know or don´t understand yet but, experts keep studying it and finding new data. We can all see the negative impact of poor sleep or lack of sleep of just one night by how bad we feel the next day but why is it that some people look great and perform amazing with just 6 hours of sleep per night? Why others need the 8 hours of high-quality sleep?

Let us know by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Twitter account if you need the 8 hours every night and also if there´s something in particular you want to know about.

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

Stress

There´s a difference between stress and pressure

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There´s a huge problem I see every day, some of us confuse pressure with stress, with get anxious, start panicking and everything goes wrong but there´s a big difference between pressure and stress.

Stress is when we are in a situation where we don´t have enough resources to meet the outcome, we may not have enough time, money, etc  and when we don´t have control of the situation the end results won´t depend completely of us.

There are so many situations that can cause us stress in a day to day basis like getting stuck in traffic, being late to a meeting, a long list of emails that we need to answer. If we feel overwhelmed and we know that we don´t have total control of a situation that´s stress.

Pressure is when we have control of the situation and the end results depends of us, of our performance, how productive, effective and efficient we are with what we have.

Pressure is that feeling when we only got one shot at any project, that we have a deadline and we have to deliver the best results possible. We are challenged to meet demands.

The reason why it is important to identify both of them is to be able to act the best way possible for each situation, we need to identify if we are in a stressful situation or if we are dealing with pressure. If we are dealing with stress the best we can do is first ask ourselves how important is that situation for us, many of us pay too much attention to what others say and think of us, we spend too much time with negative people and this create stress and we don´t need it. Sometimes we make a big deal of meaningful situations and what´s impacting us is the way we react. What we can do here is breathe, take some deep breathes and feel our body calming down.

Then ask if there´s something we can do, in many cases there´s nothing we can do so we need to change our focus, do something different and work in other stuff and just move on.

When we´re under pressure this means there´s something we need to do whether it´s making a decision or finish a project in a short period of time we need to find the best options and solutions with what we´ve got. Sometimes we don´t have the best resources of time, energy, money, knowledge but our result can impact our job or our life so we need to make the best, we need great performance, effectiveness and efficiency.

We know that stress can have a negative impact on our life and health while pressure can have a positive impact. For some of us pressure helps us stay focus and bring the best of us, taking it as a challenge to learn new skills, to improve, to get stronger is a way to get the best results while for others it can be overwhelming and can have very negative effects feeling as the highest level of stress.

Pressure can lead to anxiety, knowing that an outcome or end results depends of us and not knowing if we are going to be able to deliver on time at the level expected and how is our end result going to be taken creates fear specially if we need to learn new skills.

There are ways and tools we can use to know how to cope with each of them but as always it takes time, the best we can do now is try to avoid negative situations, negative people and negative environments, if we need to work under pressure belief that you can do it, you got everything you need to deliver a great result and even if you don´t know certain skills you can learn them and apply what you learn in your project.

Stress and pressure are different so we need to react differently to them, stress can have a really negative impact on our body and health while pressure can have a positive impact, stress can lead to bad relationships and bad results when working on a project while pressure can help us meet expectations and get our best results.

One simple question you can ask yourself to know how to respond or what you need to do is:

Do I have control over this? is there something I can do? if the answer is yes think about what you can do to get the best result, or what can you do to improve the situation, if the answer is no then let go off trying to manage or control the outcome. Do not stress with something that is out of your hands.

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