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In today’s world, the idea of “go, go, go” fuels many people’s lives. Many individuals are running on full-steam ahead at all times, which leaves little opportunity to slow down and get a good night’s sleep each evening. With technology, responsibilities, work and families, sleep can fall rather low on the priority list, but without sufficient slumber, everything else may suffer as a result. It can be easy to fall into a pattern of catching up on your favorite TV shows or work well into the late night hours, but then you must wake up early the next morning. You might also feel particularly stressed about something in your professional and personal life, which leaves you tossing and turning instead of slumbering peacefully for the recommended seven to eight hours at night. No matter what the cause, getting a full night’s sleep is important for your overall health, especially if you are an athlete or take part in fitness routine. This is a necessary time for your sore muscles to heal themselves and provide you with athletic recovery. If you do feel stiff, giving yourself a relaxing massage before bed can help you drift off more easily.
Improved weight management: If your fitness goal is to lose or maintain weight, it’s imperative to slumber soundly. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain. According to Harvard Health, this is because it affects how the body processes and stores carbs, and it changes the level of hormones that are associated with appetite. This is particularly true of the hormone leptin, which plays a part in helping people feel full. Not enough sleep leaves people feeling hungrier, and they will often turn to less healthy options like junk food and sweets instead of lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Additionally, if you’re feeling fatigued throughout day, you’ll be much less likely to cook a healthy meal when you get home from work.
Stronger immune system: A good night’s sleep is important for overall health and function, but it also keeps your immune system running properly. If you find yourself feeling rundown and more susceptible to sickness, it may be because you’re not getting enough zzz’s. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine noted that in a scientific study, 150 participant’s sleep habits were monitored for two weeks, and those who got seven hours a night or less were three times more likely to get sick.
Less pain: Aches and pains can create a vicious cycle. Pain can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep, and a lack of sleep exacerbates pain. This is especially troubling for people who suffer from chronic pain, which may cause people to toss and turn all night or have issues falling asleep. Luckily, a portable massager can provide you with neck and back pain relief, allowing you to slumber more soundly.
Safety: A concern for your safety may not come to mind when you think of why you need more sleep, but fatigue and exhaustion during the day can lead to a greater risk of injuries and accidents. Sleep deprivation affects your ability to concentrate and function at full capacity, which could lead to to you crashing your car, taking too much of a medication or forgetting to take a prescription. “When you’re overtired, you’re more likely to trip, or fall off a ladder, or cut yourself while chopping vegetables,” Dr. Jodi Mindell, professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and author of “Sleep Deprived No More” told R. Morgan Griffin for a WebMD Feature. “Household accidents like that can have serious consequences.”
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Living a healthy lifestyle takes commitment and focus. It’s easy to be swayed off course by cravings, sweets cravings and fatty foods, but you know that these will deter you from your goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, enhance your endurance, run a marathon or get stronger, eating a balanced, nutritious diet is a must.
Even so, late night snacks are hard to resist sometimes, and if your stomach is rumbling before hitting the hay, you may reach to something quick and easy. Instead of just grabbing whatever is closest at hand, try these nighttime snacks that won’t derail your good eating habits:
Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: