Thursday, February 9, 2017

Heart health and grateful hearts

Did you wake up with a grateful heart or stressed for the day ahead? 

STOP what you're doing and write down 3 things you're grateful for! Me?

1. My health... And that I have control over it!! Many don't!! I look at exercise as a privilege... When I want to give up, I think about the people that don't have this opportunity.
2. That I get to chat with my AWESOME team this morning!! They always fire me up!! My second family!!
3. Lastly my amazing family and friends who have been our biggest supporters through SO much craziness!! ❤️

What about YOU?

Speaking of heart and health - February is the month of heart health.  I have 4 incredible tips that help in keeping your heart as healthy as possible!  I'll share two today and two tomorrow!!  If you have questions - please connect with me on Facebook today!!!


Don't underestimate how much sleep can affect your success with regards to your workouts AND health disease. The next time you're tempted to stay up later than you should, just think about how good that pillow will feel -- and how good a full night's sleep is for your heart. In one study, young and middle-age adults who slept 7 hours a night had less calcium in their arteries (an early sign of heart disease) than those who slept 5 hours or less or those who slept 9 hours or more.The type of shut-eye they got was important, too: Adults who reported good-quality sleep also had healthier arteries than those who didn't sleep soundly. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, or if you don't feel refreshed after a full night in bed, talk to your doctor about how healthier sleep habits might improve your slumber. Sleep is when our body reboots and recovers. That’s important for all aspects of our health, not just the heart. You can’t feel good if you’re not restoring yourself. When you’re asleep, your heart rate and blood pressure go down. That gives your heart a much-need break. Without it, you’re stressed and you’ll crave fuel from high-calorie foods -- which, let’s face it, are not heart-healthy. So make it a priority to be well-rested. You’ll be ready to face whatever the day may bring.

Not only is sleep vital for heart health, it is KEY in seeing results in workouts.  Sleep is the time when our muscles are able to fully start to repair themselves. Your body releases a growth hormone at its highest concentration during a 24-hour period when you're at rest during the night. Since growth hormones are closely correlated to muscle-size increases, you want to maximize this hormone as much as you can.  (And, NO, won't bulk up by lifting weights...I can discuss this with you more if you are concerned about it! ;)   When you sleep, the immune system works overtime to repair the body of all the damage that it experienced during the day (as a whole system, not just the muscle cells specifically). If you don't give your body enough time to carry out this process, you may not see the muscle recovery you need. This leaves you weaker going into your next workout and slows the rate of progress down.  Finally, lack of sleep tends to suppress the thyroid hormone, which is the primary regulator of how many calories you burn on a daily basis just to exist. If you want to burn off fat as best as possible, it's important that you maximize your metabolism to move the process along. Unfortunately, when sleep levels are low, your metabolism tends to get altered. If you hope to build lean muscle mass without gaining body fat in the process or are looking to lose excess body fat while retaining all the lean tissue you currently have, making sure your metabolism is functioning optimally is essential. This means having a healthy response to carbohydrates consumed, maintaining a strong metabolic rate and showing a good regulatory system of hunger and appetite.


Does this mean we all have to start training for the Ironman? No. You can do anything physical that keeps your heart rate up for 30 minutes -- or 20 minutes if it’s high intensity -- 5 days a week.  The American Heart Association says as little as 30 minutes a day, five times a week, of aerobic exercise – including walking – can reduce your risk of heart disease.  You should get at least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate exercise, meaning any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat. But really, every little bit counts.

Stay active throughout the day. A workout at the gym is a good start. But what’s going on for the rest of your day? We now know that even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, being sedentary for the other 23 and a half hours is really bad for your heart. That doesn't mean you have to quit your desk job or throw away your favorite recliner. Break up long periods of sitting, and choose to stand or walk while doing things like talking on the phone or watching TV.  Also, pay attention to how much time you spend seated, whether it's at work, in your car, or on your couch at home.  If you're doing nothing, do something -- and if you're doing something, do more. If you’re sitting at a desk all day -- even if you hit the elliptical [cardio machine] that morning -- you’re still at risk for heart disease. When you’re at work, build in breaks from being still. Get up and get your limbs moving and your blood pumping.Take a conference call and answer emails while standing at your desk. You can also swap your regular chair with a balance ball, which keeps your core muscles engaged as you work. If you check social media on your phone when you’re on a break, get up and pace around the room at the same time. You get the idea: Keep moving.

My favorite workouts:
I love the workouts from the 21 Day Fix.  There are 7 workout DVD's and each one is only 30 minutes long.  You don't need fancy equipment for this either.  The workouts vary from strength training to cardio intervals to stretching/yoga.  You are truly getting the benefits from all workout types in one program. Plus, it works with food portioning, so it is a 1-2 punch for heart health!  You can learn more about it here. To follow my favorite workouts, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for video clips on different movements!

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