Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sleep Deprived?

Lately I consider sleep a luxury. I'm sure my sleep isn't going to improve when the bambino arrives. Sleep is too important to miss out on. Not enough sleep can effect your mental abilities, your mood, your ability to lose weight, and much more. I found a great article in Prevention Magazine on how to improve your sleep.

  • Soak up the sun - an early morning walk will prevent low energy later in the day.
  • Reenergize with exercise - It will help you sleep better and energize you.
  • Take a nap - right after lunch is best, either less than twenty minutes or 60-90 minutes to avoid waking up from deep sleep.
  • Work on something interesting - Guess I can't fold that pile of laundry, again.
  • Eat for stamina - small meals or snacks with complex carbs, protein, and a small amount of healthy fat.
  • When in dire need, reach for some caffeine. I'm not much of a caffeine fan, but a Diet Coke once in a while is truly a necessity!

I believe that a short yoga or stretching session right before bed really helps me sleep. I try to avoid working on my computer late at night as screen time too close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep. So read a good book instead or soak in a tub with some lavender oil. That sounds nice, maybe I'll soak in the tub and read a good book right now.

"5 Surprising Signs You're Sleep Deprived" by Kaitlin Bell, Prevention Magazine, March 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

No TV and No Treats

We made it through our Multi-Media Fast for a Week. I have to be honest - I struggled the most. By Wednesday I was fighting some serious depression, worried about what e-mails I was missing. Sure every one of my blogger friends was going to drop me because of neglect. But I made it through and it was very good for our family. I cooked a lot more, spent a lot more time with my adorable boys, and read a couple of fabulous novels (I'll post the reviews later this week, Kathi Macias and Rachel Ann Nunes latest).
It was a great break, I would highly recommend trying it for a week (but make sure it's good weather).
You all remember that I pledged to not buy treats during the month of April and instead donate the money to charity? That isn't going quite as well as our No-TV pledge. It was my Stockton boy's b-day so I bought ice cream. The problem was I bought ice cream on Wednesday, by Friday it was gone, so Saturday I had to buy two more gallons for Sunday's b-day party. Sheila said I could just pay double, my contribution to charity is going to be huge!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No TV for a week?

Next week is No-TV Week for my sons' schools. We decided we're giving up all multi-media. I'm turning off my computer for an entire week. Oh, my. Hope I survive.

I've got a whole list of the fun things we're going to do as a family. Check it out here.

Getting children active is such a huge issue with today's childhood obesity and other health scares related to a sedentary lifestyle. We love and protect our children from so many things, I hope we can protect them from health issues by increasing their activity and offering healthy foods.

I'll let you know how it goes next week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Health Tips for Moms

Frank Martin shared this great list with me - 100 Health Hacks Every Mother Should Know.
Some great stuff on the list.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Push Past Your Limits

I enjoy interval workouts because I am pushing my body to the limits and burning maximum calories during and after the workout. Do I really enjoy running until I can’t breathe and sometimes feeling as if I’m going to pass out? Not during the moment, but I love that I can conquer over myself, push my physical body when it doesn’t want to go one more step.

Isn’t that a little like life? We’ve come to this earth to prove that we can conquer over the physical body. That we can choose things of the most importance over things that may be easy or even seem more desirable at the time. It’s not always easy, but it sure does feel good to know that we’re stronger than the forces who would drag us away from true happiness now and our eternal destiny in years to come.

So if you want to succeed in being fit and healthy – push yourself harder than is comfortable (within reason, of course, no injuries please).

If you want to succeed in life – push yourself past your comfort level and deny yourself of things that won’t help you meet your goals for this life or for the next.

It may be hard, but it will definitely be worth it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Giving up Treats

I'm giving up the purchasing of treats for the month of April and donating the money I save to charity. Am I nuts? Read about the challenge here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Posture

My husband told me at Cross-Fit they had him doing hundreds of pushups. I screamed, "Don't do it! I don't care if you lose the competition."

Why is this so scary?

Pushups works the pectoralis major and minor (chest) and anterior deltoids (front of shoulders). Doing excessive pushups (or any chest exercise) will strengthen those muscles to the point that they will overpower the back muscles - which are usually weak because we spend so much of our day slouching over a computer, leaning over cleaning, or holding a cute little one.

If you want to have good posture you need to strengthen your core with a balanced approach. A little bit of work on the chest is okay, but make sure you offset it with upper back exercises. Also, make sure to stretch your chest whenever you have a chance.

My favorite chest stretch - go to a corner or a door frame, place hands a little more than shoulder-width apart, lean forward until you feel the stretch in your chest, hold for thirty seconds.

Another key of good posture is strong abs and lower back. Make sure you hold your abs in tight throughout the day and whenever you get the chance press your tongue in the spot where the back of your upper teeth and the roof of your mouth meet. If you press hard enough it will straighten you up every time.

So remember - strengthen back, stretch chest, especially if you are a mom or have issues with posture already.

My favorite back exercise you can do anywhere - stand up straight, extend arms out to the side, level with shoulders, fingers pointing towards ceiling, contract upper back muscles, slowly bring arms in front of you while keeping back contracted, as soon as you lose the contraction go back to start position. Repeat three-four times a day.

Good posture will make you look ten pounds lighter and much more confident.