Tag Archives: sleep

Good Sleep For Good Health

Nothing makes you feel more refreshed than a good sleep in night. It is a natural cyclic state of resting for mind and body. There’s more to an ideal 7-8 hrs of sleep than just preparing our bodies for the next day. Adequate sleep is an essential part of good health and plays an important role in all body functions hence ensuring a better mental and physical fitness.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reported that good sleep is essential for a person’s health and well being.

Lord Chesterfield very well said that “A light supper, a good night’s sleep and a fine morning have often made a hero out of the same man, who, by indigestion, a restless night and a rainy morning would have proved a coward.”

Now, the question is “Can good sleep make good health?”

Yes, sleep makes you feel better. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Without it, one becomes more susceptible to health problems, such as heart disease, obesity, depression and many more. Some facts of sleep which lead to a healthy life are -

Good Sleep Keeps Heart Healthy: Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol so some experts say that heart will be healthier if one gets between( 7 -9 hours) of sleep each night.

Sleep Helps to Make Body Repairs: Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage. This is the time when the cells undergo wear and tear and that’s what makes you feel refreshed in the morning.

 

Good Sleep Reduces Stress: When your body is sleeping deficient, it goes into a state of stress. Therefore it is recommended to have good sleep in order to allow your body to cope with day’s stress and manage it in a better way with a relaxed mind. It is found that any amount of sleep deprivation reduces mental performance.

Sleep & Weight Loss: Lack of sufficient sleep affects the appetite regulating hormones. It also aggravates cravings for high-fat and carbohydrate rich foods, making a route to weight gain. It also affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, a key factor in weight management. So, if you want to be on a healthy weight, make sure you get a good sleep every night.

Good Sleep Reduces Depression: Lack of proper sleep and depression is inter-linked. Depression may lead to insomnia and lack of sleep increases depression. Sleep impacts serotonin levels (feel-good hormone) which affect the mood of an individual.

Sleep Prevents Cancer: People working for long hours have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. There is evidence stating that good sleep can alter the balance of hormones in the body which may influence cancer progression.

As you can see, sleep needs are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. So to make your life healthy and happy one should follow this recommendation which is reported by National sleep Foundation.

Good Sleep

 

As very well said by Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise.”

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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How to Build Muscles

Muscular man

If building muscle is what you want then here is some basic information on muscles and how to exercise them effectively to get the size or definition you are looking for.

What is the most basic function of muscle. Muscle apart from physical appearance is important for movement, to maintain posture and is known as the source of power in the body.

They take care of everything from walking to keeping the blood flowing. The best part about muscles are that they are  long-lasting, they are self-healing and are able to grow stronger with exercise.

There are three types of muscles in the body. Cardiac muscles in the heart take care of the pumping and functioning of heart, second type are the smooth muscles that are found in the walls of the arteries and intestines and lastly the skeletal muscles which cover our outer body, and are often exercised strength and physical shape.

The skeletal muscle is what we want to develop and not the other two smooth and cardiac muscles. Here are tips to build stronger muscle. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

How to do Strength Training

Exercise

Strength training is anaerobic style of physical activity that increases the strength of muscles through resistance training, isometric training or weight lifting. The Strength training routine puts the muscles through short duration, high intensity activities that result is better performance and effective weight loss.

Strength training is safe for both men and women of all ages and can be worked according to one physical ability and benefits mental and emotional health. Strength training also helps people with health problems like diabetes, arthiritis, osteoporosis and heart diseases can benefit from it with a good exercise program made around their needs. Old people have many problems like knee pain, back pain which can be a problem in movements. Strength training with light exercise can slowly work on the problem and help you reduce the pain and become fit.

Working on your muscles has many advantages. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Lose Weight and Stop Snoring

Snoring is a result of blockage or obstruction of breathing. It is not as big a problem as it may seem but can be irritating at times when you want to sleep and the person next to you is snoring. Snoring is a sign telling us that there is a problem in breathing while one sleeps and take action in curbing the problem before it becomes big and chronic.

Some people have a problem that they can not breathe during sleep due to snoring. This is called Apnea. Body takes immense pressure on the body, unable to take in oxygen properly. Hypertension, hyperactivity and heart problems are more common in people who snore. People who snore probably don’t get good quality sleep due to breaks during sleep because of
breathing. For people with greater difficulty in snoring can cause problems to the brain due to lack of oxygen going to it.

Sleep researchers in Israel examined more than 2,000 sleep apnea patients, for example, they found that 54 percent were positional, meaning they snored only when asleep on their backs and the rest were non positional.

Other studies shows weight plays a major role. According to the National Sleep Foundation, in people who are overweight, slimming down is generally the best way to cure sleep apnea and end snoring for good. People who were overweight saw reduction in snoring when they lost weight.

Due to increasing obesity rates snoring is picking up with kids too which is not a healthy sign. If you snore at night then try sleeping on your side and not your back, it may help. If that is not of any help to you then reduce your weight maybe you get away with the problem and sleep tight.

With the help of some breathing exercises and reducing alcohol and smoking snoring can be curbed. Sleeping on the side can help in reduction of snoring. Most importantly a healthy diet and some exercise plays a great role in maintaining a balance in the body.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Yoga Asanas That Will Wake You Up

For all those who find waking up in mornings a big challenge we found the perfect solution to help you get started. A few, easy to do yoga poses that will not only wake you up but re-energize you, lift your mood and get you charged for the day!

The sequence follows your natural posture as you wake up making it easier for you to adopt it. You start with lying down, then sitting up followed by gentle twists and at last a standing stretch. While you snooze your alarm you can quickly get on with these poses and be ready when the alarm sets off again.

Deep breathing exercises to start the morning (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Manage Menopause Weight Gain

Weight gain during menopause is a big concern for women. The menopausal phase triggers changes in body shape resulting on an average weight gain of about  5-10 kg. This weight is primarily  hormone related and has a direct impact on appetite, metabolism, and fat storage.  Therefore controlling weight during this time becomes extremely difficult due to fluctuating estrogen, testosterone, and androgen levels. These added kilos further aggravate depression and anxiety which in turns can bring on the hot flashes and disturbed sleep.

Estrogen plays a big role in menopausal weight gain especially as the estrogen levels decline with age as the body stops ovulating. Due to the decrease in estrogen levels produced by the ovaries, body searches for other sources to substitute the shortage of estrogen in the body. Meanwhile fat cells in our body have the natural capability to produce estrogen, hence the body starts restoring to these cells  to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes this unwanted (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Increase Body Metabolism to Lose Weight

We often blame our slow metabolism for our inability to lose weight. What does this term stand for and what value does it hold in maintaining life processes? Metabolism basically refers to the number of calories our body at rest uses each day to keep our body functioning.

woman-crunches-swiss-ball

Is there a way this natural mechanism of body can be manipulated? Turns out, you can increase your body metabolism. Any of the following can help you rev your metabolic rate and burn more calories naturally. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

Healthy Sleep and Weight Loss

When we’re dealing with overweight people, one thing common among all of them is that they rarely get enough and healthy sleep. Most common physical symptoms of sleep deprivation can be lethargy or dark circles.  But do you know that lack of sleep can even make you fat! Lack of sleep has much deeper effects on your health than you can imagine- It can adversely affect your mood, weight and general health.

Sleep is a function of body that is still not completely understood, but it is known to be used by your body for regeneration, building immunity and restoring all the damage done to your body through your daily activities, exposure to pollution, etc.

Not getting enough and healthy sleep means not giving the body enough time to perform these important functions. The lack of sleep makes your brain go into a stress mode. Your body’s physiological reaction to stress is to store energy, since it thinks that it will need this energy sometime in the future. So, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which leads to higher storage of belly fat. As Indians, we are already genetically prone to storing more fat in our belly. Cortisol increases that tendency even more. The ‘stressed out’ brain thinks that we need to store energy, so it make you want to eat more, especially food categories that are high on calories.

Think about the last time you jumped into the fridge for that midnight snack- was it celery and carrots, or was it calorie laden mind-blowing deliciousness. Yes, your brain is manipulating you into eating that food because you’re not giving it enough healthy sleep. Bad enough that you’re storing more belly fat. To make it worse, you’re eating high calorie food.
So not getting enough sleep could be making you gain weight!

Sleep helps you regenerate. It gives your body a chance to strengthen your immune system. While daily activities create wear and tear on your muscles, sleep gives your body a chance to repair and build those muscles.

Sleep is a good thing, so get 7-8 hours of it. But too much of a good thing is probably not that good. Beyond 9 hours of sleep, the benefits reduce.

So snooze to get fitter!

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo