Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fuel Drain - Are You ALWAYS Tired? Part 2

Oxygen - The second most crucial part in maintaining energy in your body. Those who fill their bloodstream with the most oxygen will be able to do all the things they love most (Biking, swimming, playing with your kids, actually making a home cooked meal). Chances are, with a desk job, your oxygen threshold has decreased. All it takes is a little conditioning to get you back into shape. Intervals! Sound familiar? LOL. After a good warm-up on the bike or treadmill, increase your speed and/or resistance until you're wokring nearly as hard as you can for one minute. Recover at an easy pace for two minutes. Repeat five to ten times. When you push the intensity to your upper limit for short spurts, your body adapts by pumping out more blood per heartbeat and increasing its ability to take in oxygen and clear lactate. Your fat-burning zone, that coveted point at which you're burning stored fat rather than carbs, becomes bigger. You can exercise harder and longer before your muscles go into ' the red ' .

Muscle Mass - Another piece of this puzzle is muscle mass. The more your body is made up of muscle instead of fat, the more strength you'll have for daily activities. Women are naturally programmed to shed about a half pound of muscle every year after the age of 30. This can be easily reversed with weight training. This can go for guys as well. For most people, this means incorporating twice-weekly weight training seesions into your cardio routines to regain and maintain active lean tissue. Less fat also means less inactive tissue weighing you down. It's dead weight.

Body Temperature - Your body drops in temperature as you drift off into sleep. You can trick your body by simulating this temperature shift. In the colder months take a hot shower or bath late in the day, your body temperature will rise and then fall again as you cool off from the shower making you sleepy in the process. It's harder to do this in warmer weather, but you can substitute the hot shower with a cold one. While a room temperature shower seems terribly unpleasant—and trust me, it's not as fun as a hot bath on a winter night!—it will also induce a temperature swing that will make you sleepy.

Get Some Damn Sleep Already - Seven to nine hours a night. Period. Give the kids up for adoption. I don't care. LOL. But seriously. Don't torture yourself. You didn't drink any coffee, you turned off the computer at 7PM, you lugged the TV down to the basement, you put in ear plugs and pulled the shades, but it's 11PM and you're still tossing and turning. Don't torture yourself by laying in bed frustrated. Get out of bed and do something that will relax you. Don't go watch television, play video games, or anything else that will stimulate your brain into thinking it is time to wake up. Go sit in a comfortable chair and read a book for a little while. Sort through magazines you're going to toss in the recycling bin and clip out a few interesting articles. Do something low-stress and relatively boring for 20-30 minutes and then go lay down again. You don't want to get in the habit of thinking of bedtime as unpleasant and stressful.

All in all, these are some great things to consider. But as an American that watches what other Americans eat for breakfast and lunch, it's 90% diet. Eat some real food.

<3 = :-)

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