September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we”;ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.
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Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:
1. Reset your habits.
We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they”;ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that”;s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.
Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >
2. Practice positivity.
You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “;People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,”; says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it ’til you make it!
3. Give yourself goals.
Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “;fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding”; or “;calling one friend every week.”; Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!
Reach All Your Goals–;Every Time!
4. Accept setbacks.
No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we”;ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.
5. Try mentoring.
People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides–;mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “;connector”; database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.
6. Widen your circle.
If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “;The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,”; says ScienceDaily.
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7. Make time to read.
We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you”;re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.
8. Try new apps.
Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >
9. Learn a second language.
Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it”;s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.
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10. Fix your posture.
Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you”;re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.
11. Meditate daily.
Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that”;s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.
12. Cook often.
When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don”;t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don”;t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.
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13. Sleep more.
You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.
Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >
14. Lose weight.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. The all-new Nutrisystem program provides you with a personalized weight loss experience and perfectly portioned meals delivered to your door. You take a quiz and we provide you with a plan that’s tailored to you. Click here to learn more! >
15. Be grateful, be happy.
Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives–;food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends–;improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.
7 Reasons Nutrisystem Is the Perfect Fall Weight Loss Plan
The post 15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
You know that eating healthy and losing excess weight are good for your well-being. But did you also know that your healthy diet happens to be the eco-friendly choice?
That”;s right–;your Nutrisystem weight loss plan can help to conserve our natural resources and protect our planet. From properly portioned meals and home delivery to our new and improved “fresh frozen” coolers, our program is a great start to a sustainable lifestyle. We’re taking a big step to help you go green and do even more to help the environment. There”;s only one earth and it”;s up to us to take care of it. We’re all in this together!
5 Reasons Nutrisystem is the Best Diet Plan to Become Your Best You
Go green with Nutrisystem! Here are seven ways you can live more sustainably on our program:
1. New Biodegradable Boxes
Packaging and containers accounted for more than 80 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2017, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This was about 30 percent of the trash that ended up in landfills.
Nutrisystem is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our products so that we can help to decrease this shocking percentage. That’s why we’ve developed new biodegradable boxes that are more sustainable than ever!
Designed to reduce the impact of your daily diet on the waste stream, these new “;fresh frozen”; coolers still bring your favorite Nutrisystem foods directly to your door in a strong, secure package. Groundbreaking technology allowed us to create an eco-friendly cooler with the same look, feel and functionality you”;ve come to know and trust from Nutrisystem.
The boxes are made with thermally robust and environmentally-friendly materials, making them great to reuse and repurpose. Use them for storage, gardening or fishing gear. Take them on beach trips, picnics and sports games for your cold foods and beverages. Many places also accept them as donations, such as animal shelters, churches, local shelters and food banks.
These biodegradable boxes are also recyclable, if that”;s the better choice where you live. You can recycle them with polystyrene products at your local recycling plant.
If you don’t have a need for these coolers in your home, you can also dispose of them worry-free. Our new eco-friendly containers are also biodegradable,* so you have the option to put them in the regular trash can and nature will safely break them down at the landfill.
We want you feel good about choosing Nutrisystem for your weight loss goals. Our new eco-friendly “fresh frozen” coolers can help you decrease your waste and live sustainably. Help the planet become a healthier place while you become a healthier you!
2. Home Delivery
Shopping online for at-home delivery of your food rather than driving to the grocery store can help reduce pollution and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The EPA estimates that weekly trips to the grocery store generate 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in the environment. Efficient delivery routes can cut emissions dramatically, the agency reports.
Stocking up on meals and snacks from Nutrisystem will save you many trips to the store while simultaneously decreasing your carbon footprint. We make healthier versions of all your favorite foods, including pasta, burgers, grilled chicken and even pizza. You can also skip that late-night snack run, as we offer plenty of snack options to satisfy your midnight cravings. From our sweet cookies and cupcakes to our popcorn and cheese puffs, you’re sure to find a new favorite treat!
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3. Seasonal Shopping
Supermarket produce shelves are loaded with a staggering variety of choices all year long. However, many items are transported thousands of miles before they get to the store, says the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture. When you pick fruits and vegetables that are in season in your region, they don”;t have to travel as far before you eat them, saving resources and protecting the environment. Even better, produce harvested closer to home tends to be fresher, tastier and more nutritious than items that were picked weeks before they to get to you.
You’ll be eating at least four servings of non-starchy vegetables each day on Nutrisystem. You can also add in fresh fruit as your fiber-rich SmartCarbs! Don”;t know what”;s in season where you are? Check out this article for some shopping tips! SeasonalFoodGuide.org also has state-by-state listings so you can find out what to buy in your region at any time of the year.
4. Easy Meal Planning
Thinking ahead about what you want to eat each week is a smart weight loss strategy. Meal planning helps you avoid impulsive decisions to eat unhealthy food when you”;re famished and you don”;t have good choices available to you. It”;s also an eco-friendly way to eat: Just like a home delivery, planning and stocking up on the supplies you need reduces the number of trips you make to the grocery store each week.
With your Nutrisystem program, we send you a simple and easy-to-follow meal plan to refer too. This meal plan will lay out what a typical day looks like and provides a detailed view of what you will need to pick up for the week. You can stock up on pantry and freezer staples that you know you will always go back to, such as frozen or canned produce, nuts, beans and more. Print out our comprehensive Grocery Guide and highlight your top picks to streamline your shopping trip. Make sure to also download NuMi, our FREE online tracking app that makes meal planning a breeze.
5. Eat Greener
With your Nutrisystem weight loss plan, you”;re enjoying lots of vegetables and fruits, beans and legumes, nuts and whole grains. You should be adding in at least four servings of non-starchy vegetables each day. These ingredients are naturally high in nutrients but low in calories and saturated fats. They are also packed with fiber, making them a satisfying choice when you’re feeling hungry. Add unlimited quantities of to your Nutrisystem meals, eat them as snacks and enjoy unlimited fresh salads and steamed veggies as side dishes.
In addition to being nutritious and delicious, plant-based foods like vegetables are also the most eco-friendly ingredients on your plate. By making plants like non-starchy veggies the bulk of your dish, your meal will be a more sustainable choice: They require less water, land and energy to produce and transport than meat and dairy products.
For tons of tempting plant-based recipes filled with fresh fruits and veggies, check out the Recipe section right here on The Leaf Weight Loss Blog! Nutrisystem even has a Vegetarian program that’s filled with delicious meatless meals.
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6. Portion Control
Between 30 to 40 percent of the United States food supply goes to waste, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. That”;s more than 40 million tons of food that ends up in the trash each year, along with all of the resources that went into producing and delivering it.
Planning your meals with just the right portions for you can help you cut down on your food waste and be more eco-friendly. Managing your own portion sizes is also one of the smartest strategies for cutting down on your own waist; that”;s a win-win for you and the environment! Nutrisystem sends you perfectly portioned versions of your favorite meals and snacks. We also teach you how to build your own healthy Flex meals using proper portion sizes.
7. Look for Local
On Nutrisystem, you will add in some groceries like fresh veggies, fruits, eggs and beans. You can reduce your “;food miles”; even further and help preserve farmland and other open spaces in your area by purchasing these grocery additions from local growers. Buying directly from farmers is an eco-friendly choice, helping them to keep their land in productive use and protecting it from development. “Shopping at the farmers market, maintaining a home garden, or participating in a CSA are wonderful ways to support a local food system,” says the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture.
Whether you shop at a farmer”;s market or a roadside stand at an individual farm, you also can ask questions and get recipe ideas about the items you”;re buying from the growers who know their products best. Of course, the fresh-picked food from farms will be at its peak of flavor and nutrition. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) maintains a listing of farmer”;s markets you can search by zip code on their website.
Lose weight, reduce your waste and make the world a better place! Learn more about Nutrisystem programs >
*Foam breaks down up to 92% in four years.
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The post Eco-Friendly: Go Green With Our New Biodegradable Boxes appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
We’re all different. From our head to our toes and everything in-between, humans are all individuals with unique qualities that make us who we are. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss. How and where you carry your weight is an important factor to consider when trying to drop pounds and reach your goals. That’s why Nutrisystem has created personalized plans that consider your personal body type. “Pear shape” and “apple shape” are two of the most common body types. Keep reading to learn more about the pear body shape and what it means for the weight loss journey.
What Does Your Body Type Mean?
What Does Pear-Shaped Mean?
If you”;re the classic pear shape, most of your weight is below your waist in your hips, buttocks and thighs. Your waist may be more defined and narrower than your hips and thighs. While body type depends on many factors, women are more likely to be pear-shaped then men, says ScienceDaily. Men tend to more apple-shaped, storing excess fat around the middle in the abdomen.
Your pear-shaped body may be beneficial for your overall health. One study found that postmenopausal women with a pear body shape may have a lower risk of heart disease than apple shapes, even with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). “Women who stored fat around their middle were three times more likely to suffer from heart disease than women with the opposite body type,” says Patient.info.
Researchers theorize that a pear shape may be protective because of where body fat is being stored. Apple shapes tend to store fat around the belly where many organs reside. According to Patient.info, belly fat around the organs is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Genetics and Hormones
According to a study, published in Nature Genetics, body shape and how someone carries extra weight is determined by genetics. The study found 24 genetic variations which helped separate apple-shaped people from pear-shaped people, says Medical Xpress.
You may have inherited your pear shape; However, the other culprit for your hourglass figure may be estrogen. “The pear body type is more common in pre-menopausal women and some men and is associated with estrogen dominance,” says the American Council on Exercise (ACE). According to HuffPost Canada, pre-menopausal women with excess estrogen tend to have this shape. In both genders, extra estrogen is considered a risk factor for obesity.
Exercising for Your Shape
Regular cardio and toning exercises are key to managing a pear shape. Cardio will help you burn fat all over. You can also add regular resistance training–;the kind where you”;re moving your body against the resistance of your own body weight, gravity, bands or weights. That will help you firm up your muscles. You may always have a pear shape but you”;ll look and feel better by incorporating regular exercise into your routine.
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Dressing for Your Pear Shape
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your pear shape. Nordstrom Trunk Club recommends tops and jackets that accentuate your top half and defined waist. Choose bright colors and prints that balance your silhouette. When it comes to pants, select darker colors and “slightly roomier” styles that aren’t too tight. A pointed shoe can elongate your legs.
Eating for Your Pear Shape
You can enjoy a diet slightly higher in carbohydrates than other body types. However, be sure to focus on those that are rich in dietary fiber. Protein will help you to feel full and satisfied but be mindful of the amount of dietary fat you consume. Check out the list below for some smart choices for each gender:
Smart choices for women:
Low fat, high-quality proteins, such as salmon, egg whites, chicken breast and cottage cheese will keep you feeling full and satisfied long after you finish a meal.
Choose high fiber carbohydrates like quinoa, barley and hummus.
Blueberries are an ideal fruit choice for your body type.
Eat vegetables such as cauliflower, kale and spinach for loads of nutrients and few calories.
Smart choices for men:
Salmon, chicken breast, eggs and cottage cheese will provide you with high-quality protein to fuel your day.
Fill your plate with high fiber carbs like brown rice and corn.
Fruit like blackberries and apples (with the skin on) fit well into your meal plan.
Make your salads and sides with broccoli, spinach, asparagus and cherry tomatoes.
Personalized plans from Nutrisystem take your personal body shape into account, creating a weight loss program designed for you. Our menu is filled with delicious, high fiber and low fat options that are lower on the glycemic index. This helps to simultaneously curb your appetite while helping your body lose weight, according to a June 2013 study, published in Obesity. Study participants who followed a low glycemic diet lost more body mass than volunteers eating a high glycemic diet, including the dangerous fat that”;s tucked in and around the abdominal organs.
If your pear-shape is at least partly caused by estrogen, limiting foods that boost blood estrogen may help you lose weight, says ACE. They recommend avoiding high-fat dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, trans-fats, unfermented soy products and non-organic meats. Instead, opt for low-fat dairy, organic protein and healthy fats from whole foods like nuts, seeds, avocado and olives.
You should also stick to high-fiber options. “Fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, slows insulin release and aids in the removal of estrogen from the body,” says ACE. Always speak to your doctor before making any dietary changes or if you have any questions or concerns about your estrogen levels.
5 Reasons Nutrisystem is the Best Diet Plan to Become Your Best You
The post Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Pear Shape appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Since bodies come in all shapes and sizes, we here at Nutrisystem understand that there is not exactly a one-size-fits-all approach to healthy living. One of the things that often comes into play during the weight loss journey is one”;s body shape. Where you tend to gain weight–;and where it”;s most difficult to lose–;are definitely related to your body shape and cannot be ignored. Of the recognized shapes, most people seem to fall into the “;apple body”; or the “;pear body”; category. The new personalized plans from Nutrisystem take your personal body shape into account, so that you get a meal plan that works best for you.
Let”;s take a look at the apple body shape and what it means for your weight loss journey.
What Does Your Body Type Mean?
What Does Apple-Shaped Mean?
Those who fall into the “;apple shape”; category have shoulders that are broader than their hips. This body type is also typically associated with being “;top heavy”; (bigger on top and smaller on bottom). Oftentimes apple-bodied people have thin limbs, larger waists and tend to carry weight around their abdomens. When apple bodies gain weight, it”;s usually around their midsection.
The apple shape is more likely to develop–;or worsen–;as one ages. Men who are apple shaped are commonly described as looking as though they have a “;beer belly.”;
The Body You”;re Born With
Of course, our body shape is impacted by more than just our lifestyle. Body shape has also been shown to be strongly affected by genetics. In a study, published in Nature Genetics, researchers found that the shape of a person”;s body–;more specifically, how they carry weight around their abdomen–;is determined by one”;s genes. In fact, researchers found 24 genetic variations which helped separate apple-shaped people from pear-shaped people, says Medical Xpress.
Still, researchers also conceded that lifestyle habits can have an important impact and that genes are not our final destiny. That means that healthy habits, like a well-rounded diet and regular exercise, can help prevent fat accumulation regardless of body type.
Exercising Your Apple Shape
Overall, we believe in a well-rounded exercise program that hits all areas of the body–;no matter what body shape you have. However, those with apple shape might be interested in exercises that address their trouble zones.
For apple shapes, that”;s usually the belly and the waistline, so core-focused exercises combined with plenty of cardio may help. Of course, even though your arms and legs might not be “;trouble spots,”; we still think strength training and full body work-outs have value. Keeping muscles strong as we age is so important for all of us. Always speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
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Dressing for Your Apple Body Shape
Even with weight loss, to some degree, you will always maintain an overall appearance in line with your body shape. In other words, you can lose fat, become leaner and most importantly, get healthy–;but you can”;t completely alter the body shape you were born with.
For that reason, knowing and understanding how to dress for your body type can be valuable information that helps you feel your best.
Since the legs are often one of the best assets of apple-shaped bodies, show them off! Choose clothes that play up those thin limbs. And if you”;re someone who usually gains weight around the middle, opt for clothing that does not fit overly tight in that area. Clothing that is ruched or loose-fitting around the belly might make you most comfortable.
Eating for Your Apple Body Shape
The biggest health concern with the apple-shaped body type is the fact that the risk of diabetes and heart disease can accompany that extra visceral fat that may be accumulating around your midsection. For that reason, the ideal apple-body shape diet is focused on reducing refined carbs and unhealthy fats which can contribute to this type of weight gain.
Protein is the foundation of your diet. Be smart about the types of carbohydrates you choose, focusing on vegetables and good-quality, complex carbs that are high in fiber. Limit added sugars and simple carbs. Check out the lists below for grocery additions that may work best for you:
Smart choices for women:
Lean proteins, such as chicken breast, turkey breast and tuna should be the cornerstone of your meal plan.
Get your carbohydrates from legumes, such as lentils or chickpeas and whole grains like quinoa.
If you”;d like to indulge in fruit, choose lower sugar options like raspberries.
Fulfill your veggie servings with spinach, zucchini, cauliflower and artichokes.
Smart choices for men:
Choose salmon, crab and lean beef as the protein portion of your meals. When you want to go meatless, edamame is another great protein choice for you.
White beans and quinoa are high in fiber, making them perfect carbs for your plan.
When you want to enjoy fruit, blueberries and apples (with the skin on) are the way to go.
Load up on fiber with vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and spinach.
Of course, getting rid of fast food–;and heavily processed foods–;is going to help anyone, regardless of body type. It”;s a healthy lifestyle change that can not only help you to lose weight but also live longer.
And at the end of the day, that”;s really what we care about most–;helping people make lifestyle changes that will improve their quality and longevity of life. No matter what body type you were born with, we believe that”;s what you deserve.
Check out Nutrisystem Personalized Plans for a diet designed for your body shape! Click here to learn more. >
5 Reasons Nutrisystem is the Best Diet Plan to Become Your Best You
The post Weight Loss & Body Type: All About the Apple Shape appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
What”;s the best time to exercise? When you can fit it in–;even if that”;s right before bed. You may have heard that exercising at night can make it harder to fall asleep, but that claim doesn”;t add up: According to the National Sleep Foundation, a study of 1,000 people found that there were no significant differences in sleep quality between people who exercised within four hours of going to sleep versus those who had worked out earlier in the day.
No matter what time of day you exercise, you”;ll likely sleep better: In the National Sleep Foundation study, 83 percent of “;vigorous exercisers”; got “;very good”; or “;fairly good”; quality of sleep, compared to just 56 percent of non-exercisers. And working out before bed could actually improve your sleep quality further: In a review of 23 different studies, published in Sports Medicine, people who exercised within four hours of bedtime had more hours of deep sleep than those who didn”;t do those workouts, says RunnersWorld.com.
Getting quality sleep is a big deal to your risk of early death, risk of disease and also your weight loss efforts. When you sleep less, you eat more…; and not quality, nutrient dense foods. One study, published in Clinical Nutritional and Metabolism Care, found that when people got fewer than seven hours of sleep, their daily calorie intake increased by 14 percent, with most of those extra calories coming from high-carbohydrate foods.
Burn more calories with a before bed workout and get better sleep to control your appetite. Our fitness experts at The Leaf have created this quick workout before bed to help you on your wellness and weight loss journey! Just remember to give yourself a one-hour break after the exercise. This will help your body cool down and prepare for slumber–;just as you would after a warm bath.
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Get started with some strength training.
Strength training at any time of the day improves your sleep. However, a before-bed strength session can mean you”;ll sleep more soundly, waking up less frequently during the night. Of course, it can also help with your weight loss goals: According to The Harvard Gazette, scientists found that men who performed 20 minutes of “daily weight training” experienced less age-related belly fat gains than those who did the same amount of cardio work.
This short before bed workout is lower intensity, so you won”;t get too amped up–;or too sweaty–;in the hours before bed. Perform all sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise. Rest for one minute between each exercise and set.
Exercise 1: Squat to Chair (or Bed)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out from parallel. Push your hips back to initiate the squat, controlling your descent as you bend your knees to descend until you sit in the chair. As you descend, keep your chest up and your weight on your heels. Keep the weight of your body in your heels and press back to standing without using your hands. If this is too hard, perform only the lowering portion of the squat–;sitting down–;then use your hands to stand back up and repeat. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the repetitions.
Exercise 2: Elevated Push-up
Place your hands on the seat of chair or on the fourth step of a staircase. Assume the classic push-up position: Arms perpendicular to your torso, your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining this rigid body line, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the seat. To protect your shoulders from pain and injury, keep your elbows relatively tight to your sides rather than flaring them out at a 90-degree angle. Press back to start. If this is too hard, try a wall push-up instead. Perform four sets of four or more repetitions each.
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Exercise 3: Supine Glute Bridge
Lie face-up on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, palms up. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips forcefully off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you”;re lifting, keep your knees and thighs parallel–;don”;t let them pull together. This will engage your hip musculature. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, then slowly return to the start position. As you”;re raising up, don”;t let your heels come off the floor. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set.
Exercise 4: Wall Stick Up
Stand facing away from a wall, with your feet about six inches away from the wall. Your head, upper back and butt should all be in contact with the wall–;and they should stay in contact with it throughout the exercise. Put your arms straight up overhead, with the backs of your hands, elbows and forearms in contact with the wall. Now slide your arms down the wall by bending your elbows, keeping your hands, forearms and shoulders in contact with the wall. Keep lowering until your elbows come as close as you can bring them to your sides. (You should feel a strong contraction between your shoulder blades.) Pause, then slide your arms back up the wall until your arms are overhead. Perform four sets of five repetitions each. Over time, try to increase the number of repetitions in each set, aiming for eight repetitions.
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Finish up with some calming stretches in bed.
When people with insomnia do yoga, they become more likely to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, says The National Sleep Foundation. Calm your own body down with this six-pack of restorative stretches after your strength workout, and help put yourself on the path to dreamland. Sit on the edge of the bed for the first three stretches, then lie on the bed for the last three.
Stretch 1: Circle Your Ankles
Sit on the edge of the bed with both feet on the ground. Lift one foot off the floor and circle your ankle 10 to 15 times in each direction. Repeat with the other foot.
Stretch 2: Lift Your Heels
Place both feet back on the floor. Press the balls of both feet into the floor and lift your heels off the ground, stretching the midfoot. Perform 10 to 15 lifts.
Stretch 3: Stretch Your Side
Sit up tall. Place your right hand on the bed by your side and lift your left arm to the ceiling. Arc the left arm up and over the head until you feel a slight stretch in your side. Reverse the movement to the starting position. Repeat six to eight times per side.
10 Ten-Minute Workouts
Stretch 4: Rock with Your Knees at Your Chest
Lie on your back on the bed. Bring your knees towards your chest, and grab your legs just below your knees. Rock back and forth gently a few times.
Stretch 5: Single Knee to Chest
Still on your back, straighten your legs. Now bring just one knee up to your chest while the other remains outstretched on the bed. Hug the lifted knee to your chest, then switch legs. Hug each knee three times.
Stretch 6: Lying Arm Circles
Let your legs go straight again on the bed. Spread your arms out so your body forms a “;T”; shape. Keeping your arms straight, perform 10 arm circles forward, then 10 back. Repeat one more time.
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*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.
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