Health Tips | Stretching | Sleeping | Drinking Water | Weight Loss

Benefits of Stretching

benefits of stretchingWhy do we stretch? Is it better to stretch before a session or after a session?

Most people stretch before exercise because it has been said it reduces the risk of injury. This is not entirely true, studies have shown that stretching alone prior to exercise will not reduce the risk of injury. It is actually better for you to do a longer warm up at a lower intensity than stretching on its own.

Doing a short stretch before a good warm up is the best way to go. The combination of the two will help with muscle and joint flexibility and will prepare them for the more intense workout to come. Each stretch should be held for 15-30secs.

Stretching after exercise is very important and is a must after every workout. This is the best time to improve your flexibility as all your muscles are already warm, it will also relieve any muscle tightness. The stretches at the end of a workout should be held for 30-40secs.

When doing any stretches it is important not to hold your breath and try and breath evenly, it is also important that you only stretch the muscle to feel some slight tension, there should be no discomfort or pain.

Stretching is a type of exercise and can be done on its own. Some people find it calming and relaxing. The good thing about stretching is that it can be done anywhere at any time and it does not cost a cent.

Drinking Water

importance of drinking waterIf you are serious about looking better on the both the inside and out, water needs to become your best friend.

The process of burning calories requires a decent amount of water. If you are dehydrated it will slow down the fat burning process. When you burn calories it creates toxins in your body and you need water to help flush them out.

Water assists the body in other ways; it helps maintain muscle tone as well as lubricating your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising. Water is also required to help prevent constipation in a high fibre diet.

Every day you lose water through perspiration, breathing, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming drinks and foods that contain water.

So how much water does the average adult need??? Men on average need approx 3 litres a day and women 2 litres a day. This is just a guide, but the best way to know if you are drinking enough is first, you are never thirsty and second your urine is a very pale yellow colour.

The Importance of Sleep

importance of sleepSleep is one of those things we just cannot do without. So many of us either do not get enough sleep or are having poor quality sleep.

Every bodies sleep needs are different however the average adult needs about 7-8 solid hours sleep. Some people can function on as little as 5-6 hours.

Stress is the number one cause of sleep problems, weather it be work related, school/study related or family/marriage problems. Usually once the problem passes sleeping habits go back to normal.

Other factors that may disrupt our sleeping habits are drinking alcohol or caffeine in the late afternoon or evening, exercising close to bedtime or even doing intense mental activities like studying can affect our sleep. There may also be environmental factors such as a room being too hot or too cold, too brightly lit or too noisy.

At the end of the day if we don’t get the amount of sleep our bodies require it can disrupt many aspects of our lives.

So what do we do about it? You may need to look at your pre sleep habits. Maybe avoid consuming any alcohol or caffeine, eating at least 2hours before bed, make your bedroom sleep friendly by positioning your bed away from bright lights, make sure the room temperature is comfortable and put out any pets that may cause broken sleep.

Psychology of weight loss

psychology of weight lossPsychology plays a major role in weight loss. It’s like you want to lose weight but something in your subconscious is stopping you. You need to find out what the underlying reasons are that are preventing you from losing weight. Once you do this you will find that weight loss will become an easier process.

We use many excuses to justify why we are overweight, many like; I have a slow metabolism, its genetic, I NEED sugar, I don’t have time to exercise. But how many of these are really true??? We use these excuses to protect ourselves. What are we protecting ourselves from, from yet another failed weight loss attempt, so we sabotage ourselves before we even begin.

What we need to realise is that weight loss is a slow and frustrating process and not only focus on the scales for success but look at other things like increased energy levels, better skin condition and a more positive attitude. These are the things that are noticeable and the weight loss will come.

Making any changes in your life can be stressful, but you need to look at what the positives of the change will bring and I’m sure they far outweigh the negatives. Don’t give up on yourself, because you are worth living a healthy, positive fulfilling life.