Get Good Sleep

Everyone knows the value of a good night’s sleep. It can mean the difference between a stellar performance at work that gets you that promotion, and a lackluster presentation that makes your bosses doubt your commitment. There are some things that will always steal our sleep; there are only so many hours in the day, and your kids will demand as many as you can give them. So what’s the best way to ensure that the sleep you do get really counts?

First of all, we recommend the best blackout curtains you can afford. Seriously, they may be heavy, but you can find them in all colors these days, and they make it seem like pitch black when it’s noon. Light is a huge factor in how our body processes sleep, which is also why you should limit the time on phones or tablets (really, screens of any time) right before bed. Make 30 minutes before lights out a book-only time, and you’ll be passing out with ease.

Some people find that noise is a factor in their sleep quality, but they don’t always buy noise-cancelling machines or soundscapes because they’re too expensive. Well now your phone can do it for you, at the smallest fraction of a cost. Apps like Sleep Pillow Sounds or Relax Melodies will lull you to sleep, in some cases for free!

Finally, if you just can’t fall asleep, it’s time to whip out some of your grandmother’s favorite remedies. Often it’s the tension left over from the day that is keeping us up, so things like camomile, warm milk, or even jujube can help calm the nerves and relax your body and mind enough for you to fall peacefully asleep. Nighty-night!

Wake Up For the Gym Like A Champ!

We all know that working out in the morning is good for us, that it’s an excellent way to start the day and prepare for the things to come. Getting out of bed to work out, however, is a different story. The snooze button goes off endlessly, the cat snuggles into your neck, and suddenly it’s 9am and you’ve missed your cycling class again! What can you do? The depressingly logical answer is that there isn’t one rule that fits every person.

However, that’s not the whole story. Knowing what keeps you in bed and away from the gym means you can combat those impulses and finally make your 7am class. For instance, do you need instant caffeine to get going? It’s actually not a bad idea before hitting the gym. Studies have shown that consuming caffeine before working out increases the impact of your workout without adding calories! The solution, therefore, is to buy a kickass expensive thermos, the kind that keeps liquid piping hot for 12 hours or more, and make your coffee before you go to bed. Groundbreaking, right?

Preparation is key, so the other things you can do include laying out your gym clothes and packing your bag the night before. You should also make sure your bedroom is optimal for leaving the safety of the covers when you wake up. This might mean setting your heater on a timer so it warms the room up for you (if you can) or making sure you have slippers at the ready. Whatever gets you up and in motion will mean that you’re that more likely to make it to the gym that morning. And hey, just getting there is half the battle, am I right?

Reasons You Are Getting Wrinkles That Have Nothing To Do With Age

As we grow older, we know there will be subtle changes in our body. That is all part of aging. But there are other things that may be causing you to suddenly wonder who the old woman in the mirror is. There are many factors besides aging and genetics that can be at the center of your wrinkle woes. Look at these 5 factors that lead to wrinkles and see if you can slow down the clock.

 You need a new moisturizer

A large percentage of aging happens because of exposure to ultraviolet light. When we head to the beach, we slather ourselves down with sunscreen, but never think about just how much time we spend exposed to the sun throughout a normal day. Unless you live in a cave- you are getting sun exposure every day. If your moisturizer does not contain SPF- replace it with one that does and never leave home without it!

 Pasta is NOT your friend!

You know that sugar can lead to weight gain, but did you know it will also compromise your complexion? You must remember that you skin is a large organ, and sugar can cause damage to your organs. Sugars promote skin inflammation and acts to create molecules that bind to collagen and elastin- two things our skin desperately needs- and weakens them. And, remember- that hearty pasta, like bread, is full of sugar. Switching to whole grain bread and pasta will alleviate this factor.

Are you a City Dweller?

Pollution is extremely bad for your skin as well as the rest of your body. Those who are exposed to common pollutants found in urban settings are more likely to develop wrinkles and age spots. If country living is not in your future, combat this issue by eating antioxidant-rich foods, such as fresh berries, fatty fish and leafy greens. Also, while you are checking your skin care for SPF, be sure that it also contains antioxidants such as vitamin C serums.

Are you a night owl?

Whether you are up late reading, feeding the baby, or binging on episodes of your favorite show, that lack of rest leads to higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to wrinkles. Skin also regenerates itself while we sleep, so if you are robbing your body of sleep, you are promoting the wrinkles as well!

PUT THAT OUT!!!

Not only does smoking increase your risk for lung disease, heart disease, and cancer, but they cause you to look old! Not only the chemicals that are finding their way into your body through inhaling, but the act of putting your lips around a cigarette also contribute to fine lines around your mouth. So not only do you end up with gray and leathery skin, but also more wrinkles. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your body will return to being healthy. Whether you quit completely, or move to a vapor cigarette, make the change. Your body is depending on you!

Proteins That Can Get You to Your Weight Loss Goal

As you begin your weight loss journey, the first hurdle you come to is the boring foods that you have found yourself consuming. After sticking to the same old for a week, your weight is not moving as fast as you would like, and all of the dieting has actually lowered your energy level. Your problem is apparent. You are not eating enough protein.

When the words diet and protein come together, we are sure you imagine grilled chicken, tuna fish, and boiled eggs. But protein, which is vital for anyone on the track to healthy weight loss, can come in many appetizing shapes and sizes.

Many dieters find it easy to prepare our meals ahead of time, and when we make the same salad for every day, by Wednesday we are over it. We end up tossing it out and attacking the nearest vending machine. So, how do you get out of the food rut that you are trapped in? Jump on the lean protein band wagon.

Your body needs protein to repair, maintain and grow lean muscle that will help you to stay full longer. Simply eating 30% of your calories from protein reduces your total calorie intake by over 400 points.

To help you on your protein search, we have compiled a list of healthy, lean proteins that will give you enough options to move your diet from boring to BAM.

Black beans, Cod, Eggs, Egg Whites, Flounder, Ham, sliced extra lean, Pork Tenderloin, Pumpkin Seeds,  Shrimp, Filet Mignon, just to name a few!

Now- Go forth and EAT PROTIEN! That scale will start moving in the right direction and so will your energy level!

Spinning Meets Netflix

We all think that having exercise equipment at home is a smart investment. Drop the gym fees and then you can work out whenever you want. The problem, your equipment is suddenly being used as a clothes rack and you haven’t had on your workout shoes in a month.

In a gym, you have an instructor pushing you with that in your face mentality, or a pack of riders pushing you to meet your goal. With that support, you are more likely to get through your workout and not have to hang the clothes up first.

A Dublin man with a similar issue found your, and his, solution. The fix for your home cycling lack of motivation. Meet Cycflix. This is Ronan Byrne’s stationary bike hack that makes it so that you can not tune into Netflix unless you are also moving your legs.

Through pulleys, levers and a little mechanical tinkering, Byrne’s bike works by pre-entering your workout details. You decide how long you’d like to ride, speed, calories, etc. Then you pick what you want to watch. Jump on, and start pedaling. If at any time during the ride you start to slack off of your goals, the TV will give you a warning, and if you don’t get it back together, the program will be paused until you do.

Ready for the bad news now that you have planned your ultimate Netflix workout night? The bike isn’t for sale! SORRY! You will just have to hack your own! But, the good news is that Byrne does offer a tutorial to allow you to hack your own bike. Now, you just have to follow the steps and you can have your own Cycflix!