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Things You Can Do for a Happier 2018

deonna.walker | January, 17, 2018

Many of us use the new year as an opportunity to hit the refresh button on our bodies, minds, and spirits. Many of us tend to forget that making positive changes at the start of the new year isn’t always about the numbers on the scale or hitting the gym. This year, why not make a positive change to enhance your mental well-being?

Now the first question is, “Where do I start?” Most of the time New Year’s resolutions are very black and white, and you either keep them or you don’t. The reason for that is because most people just give up when they fall off the wagon. Instead, you need to try to set realistic goals that you can work on throughout the year. Things won’t always be all rainbows and sunshine, but you can make progress if you have a plan that is long term. It is possible to avoid the mental defeats that tend to occur when you don’t stick to what you resolved to do.

To help you get started, here are some resolutions to enhance your mental health:

Feed Your Mind

Scientists have studied and discovered a very important link between your gut health and your mental health. Serotonin (a key chemical messenger in the brain) is produced in the gut. It’s thought that reducing inflammation in the digestive tract can help your body produce more serotonin. In turn, this plays a huge role in mood, sleep, and appetite. The National Institute of Mental Health states that people with depression often have a lower than normal levels of serotonin.

Resolve to: Cut back on processed foods. Add one more fruit or vegetable to your diet.

Keep Moving

All you need is thirty minutes of moderate exercise at least five times a week. Not only will this habit keep your heart healthy but it is also an amazing mood booster. Even just an hour of exercise a week can reduce future risks of depression. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and that boosts both the production and availability of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The more of those little guys we have, the better we feel. A bonus is that exercise happens to be one of the quickest ways to relieve stress.

Resolve to: Walk around the house or office more often. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park further away from the grocery store doors.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is necessary to be physically and mentally robust. Our bodies and minds use the downtime to rejuvenate and process information accumulated throughout the day. This also helps solidify memories. But if we become sleep deprived, we will become irritable. People suffering from insomnia are more likely to experience anxiety as well as depression. When you are sleep deprived, you can’t manage your moods, and the most basic demands on your life begin to feel harder and harder.

Resolve to: Wind down 30 minutes before you go to bed. Turn off electronics and aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Jot Down Your Thoughts

Try keeping a journal or making notes in your smart phone. This practice can also be a useful tool for your mental well-being, especially if your mind is going in circles about a particular subject. Writing down your thoughts can help ease any anxious feelings and help your brain to mange your thoughts.

Resolve to: Utilize a to-do list or keep a journal.

Set Very Clear Priorities

Most of us want to avoid unnecessary emotional stress in the new year. Having a plan will really help. Think about your priorities and ask yourself how they line up with your values. Sometimes this may mean saying “no” to people or tasks to make sure your goals are not overloaded. Working towards unimportant things can take away from you being able to do the things that matter and will also add unnecessary stress, anxiety, conflict, and even depression.

Resolve to: Think about your top five priorities or goals for the new year. Decide how you want to spend your time and how that aligns with your goals.

Carve Out Some Time for Yourself

We tend to stay plugged into our work, money, and social drama around the clock, thanks to technology. Those pressures can snowball over time if we let it. Every person needs a release valve. It’s very helpful to take time off at the end of the year, but you can kick start your new year with a small vacation as well.

Resolve to: Take some quiet time to meditate, listen to music, or pursue a hobby.

Seek Out Psychological Help

There is no shame in seeing a mental health professional. If you have symptoms of depression and anxiety, then you shouldn’t suffer in silence. These professionals are trained to help and can prescribe good treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you think more clearly and look at things through a different perspective. Anxiety and depression do not go away on their own. You should really talk to someone about what you may be experiencing.

Resolve to: Make this the year you talk to a professional, even if it’s just for one session.

 

 

 

Why You Should be Sprinting

deonna.walker | January, 11, 2018

One of the most beneficial activities out there — sprints! Sprints are tough, but their benefits are well worth the struggle. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to get faster, leaner, or stronger, sprints are beneficial for anyone looking to improve their fitness level. In this video, we highlight some of the main benefits you will receive from sprinting, such as:

  1. Sprinting induces EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity, intended to erase the body’s oxygen deficit. Simply put, this means that even after you’ve completed your workout, you are still burning calories. EPOC is achieved through high intensity exercises, even when done in short bouts like HIIT (high intensity interval training). Sprints are one of the best HIIT exercises out there. More calories burned = a leaner look!
  2. Sprinting leads to changes in the muscle cells that eventually allow you to work harder for longer periods of time. They increase your ANABOLIC THRESHOLD!
  3. Sprinting increases protein synthesis by putting intense stress on the muscles and releasing hormones that aid in muscle growth (e.g. testosterone and growth hormone).
  4. Sprinting will also increase the production of a concentration of enzymes that will improve phosphate metabolism. Improvements in phosphate metabolism lead to a more efficient and effective ATP-phosphocreatine system, one of our bodies’ primary energy sources.
  5. Sprinting will improve your overall physique from an aesthetic standpoint. Your lower body will look more muscular, your core muscles will pop more, and you will achieve amazing weight loss results if you are pairing your efforts with healthy eating habits.

Here are some HIIT cardio examples:

HIIT Cardio Treadmill

Stairmaster for 20 seconds or run on a treadmill uphill for 15 seconds; rest time 30 seconds. 12-15 cycles.

HIIT Cardio Treadmill

Run on a treadmill (manual running) for 15 seconds; rest time 45 seconds. 12-15 cycles.

 

HIIT Cardio Battle Rope

Rowing machine for 20 seconds or battle rope for 15 seconds; rest time 45 seconds. 10-12 cycles.

HIIT Cardio Bike

Stationary Bike Sprint for 20 seconds or Mountain Climbers for 20 seconds; rest time 40 seconds. 12-15 cycles.

What is HGH, and does lacking it affect your weight loss?

deonna.walker | January, 9, 2018

Many women struggle with a host of side effects because they have a low HGH level and don’t even know it. Some side effects include weight gain, less elasticity in the skin, gray hair, mood swings, sexual side effects, etc.  

 

Sadly, many women aren’t aware that these issues are linked to low HGH, and instead, they often feel frustrated and confused as to why they don’t look and feel better, no matter what they do. The fact is, there are some simple things you can do to boost your HGH, and the positive effects can be a complete game changer regarding how you look and feel!

Simply put, HGH or “Human Growth Hormone” is a protein structure produced by the anterior pituitary gland that helps to keep us fit and healthy. However, it is especially misunderstood in women.

 

When we are young, HGH promotes growth, and its levels spike during puberty. However, as we age, our HGH levels decline, and as those levels decline, our bodies pay the price.

 

In women, deficient HGH levels will have some consequences.

 

Did you know that women can see their HGH levels start to decline as early as in their 20s!?
Women who are suffering from low HGH will notice changes occurring in their body composition. This could include:

 

  • Weight gain, especially in the hip, stomach, and thigh areas
  • Wrinkles
  • Low sex drive
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Mood swings
  • General signs of aging
  • Longer recovery periods after exercise

 

Fortunately, there are research-proven strategies you can implement today that will help you fight off Mother Nature, bad genetics, and the environmental and lifestyle factors that women face.

 

Some of the potential benefits of getting your HGH back on track are:

  • Weight loss
  • More youthful skin and hair
  • Increase in muscle mass and bone density
  • Healthier brain, vital organs, and other tissues
  • A strengthened immune system
  • Improved memory
  • Reduced stress
  • Enhanced sexual life
  • Increased energy levels

One of the simplest strategies to naturally kick-start your HGH is high intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT. HIIT performance has been clinically shown to increase growth hormone and IGF-1 levels in as little as 10 minutes, resulting in increased protein synthesis, fat burning, and performance.

 

To engage in HIIT, choose an activity to perform at 100% intensity for 30-60 seconds (e.g. sprints, battle ropes, cycling), take 30-60 seconds to rest, and then repeat! Sweat-drenching sessions for 15 minutes, 3 times a week, is a great place to start.

 

But if you want a little more, you can use HGH supplementation. For a lot of women, HGH supplementation can drastically increase fat loss, restore sexual desire, stop or reverse the graying of hair, prevent hair loss, improve bone density, improve skin, and stop excess weight gain.

 

If you think you need to kick-start your HGH, I highly recommend that you talk with your doctor. He/she can guide you in the right direction. HGH supplements can be purchased at any nutrition store.

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