While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought. Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these sleep tips.
Steps to Better Sleep for Peak Sports Performance
(Family Features) For fans and athletes alike, fall means gearing up for a new season of sports activities. While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought.
However, a lack of sleep can significantly affect athletes’ performance both on and off the field.
Sleep quality, efficiency and duration all may decrease just before competition, limiting opportunities for athletes to get the optimal quality and quantity of sleep their bodies need due to intense practice and game schedules, according to research published in “Sports Medicine.”
The same research found sleep can affect several aspects of an athlete’s performance. Skills that require endurance tend to be more affected by sleep deprivation than short-term, high-power activities. Running speed and free throw accuracy improve with more sleep, for example. There is also evidence that getting inadequate sleep increases the risk of injury as sleep deprivation can cause low energy and problems with focus during the game. It may also negatively affect split-second decision-making.
Less sleep also means fewer opportunities for natural secretion of the growth hormones that occur in deep sleep and aide restoration, physical performance and a healthy metabolism.
Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these tips from Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra:
Find more advice to ensure a better night’s sleep at MattressFirm.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Whether you are trying to reduce carbs or eat more protein, eating well on the go can be a challenge. Here are a few simple suggestions to eat on the go while still following your current diet.
(BPT) - Whether you are trying to reduce carbs or eat more protein, eating well on the go can be a challenge.
Quality carbohydrates like whole-grain breads, milk, yogurt, fruits and legumes are an important part of a balanced diet, especially for children and teens. For adults, reducing the amount of empty carbs you eat can be a great way to meet your personal wellness goals. It’s important to replace those carbs with lean meats, healthy fats and nutrient-dense vegetables.
Here are a few simple suggestions to eat on the go while still following your current diet.
A ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a popular diet that balances protein, fat and carbs roughly in the following breakdown:
* 10 percent or less of their calories from carbs
* 70 to 80 percent of their calories from fat
* 10 to 20 percent of their calories from protein
One good way to follow a ketogenic diet is with a salad starting with a lean meat such as rotisserie-style chicken, turkey breast, steak or roast beef. Add in some veggies like lettuce, spinach and onions. Then top it all off with a dressing that has less than 2 grams of carbs like ranch, savory Caesar, oil and vinegar or Chipotle Southwest.
If keto sounds too ambitious for you, there are other simple ways to reduce carbs in your diet, like asking for a lettuce wrap instead of a sandwich. You can make any Subway sandwich into a nutritious salad with five servings of veggies.
Visit subway.com and use the nutrition chart to see how your favorite salad stacks up, or try these favorites:
* “Spicy” Steak Salad: Order a steak salad with your favorite veggies plus jalapenos, shredded Monterey Cheddar and Chipotle Southwest sauce. This has 380 calories, 17 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein.
* “Cobb-style” Oven Roasted Chicken Salad: Try a salad with oven roasted chicken, guacamole, your favorite veggies and top it off with ranch dressing. This has 420 calories, 20 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein. You could also add a strip of bacon for an additional 35 calories.
If you’re in the mood for a sub but would like to cut down on carbs, you can always ask to have your bread scooped out.
Trying to improve the overall nutrition quality in your diet, but don’t want to cut carbs? Try these easy swaps:
* Swap white bread for wheat. Select whole grain-certified 9-Grain Wheat
* Swap sweet sauce for savory. Try mustard, oil and vinegar or mayo
* Swap sweet drinks for water. Choose bottled water or unsweetened fountain drinks
If you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up and find yourself feeling lethargic during the day, rest assured you’re not alone. Regardless of how hard you may work to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may be in need of a way to reset your body clock for optimal health and to look and feel your best – especially in the morning. Consider these simple lifestyle choices for sleeping and waking up to optimize wellness.
Simple Steps to Wake Up Well
(Family Features) If you have a hard time falling asleep and waking up and find yourself feeling lethargic during the day, rest assured you’re not alone. Regardless of how hard you may work to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may be in need of a way to reset your body clock for optimal health and to look and feel your best – especially in the morning.
As a life balance coach and wellness expert, Lauren Zoeller constantly urges her clients to prioritize sleep because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of three of adults in the United States isn’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep.
Lack of sleep means lower mental and physical performance and can lead to health issues ranging from diabetes to heart disease. Sleep loss also takes its toll on skin. While asleep, important repair, renewal and detoxification processes take place, which are vital for healthy skin. Dark circles, dehydration, skin redness and sallowness may appear when the skin isn’t able to naturally repair during proper sleep cycles.
According to Zoeller, “sleep” and “wake up” patterns can be reset with a combination of aromatherapy and some simple lifestyle choices.
“I use a combination of natural, clinically proven skincare solutions from This Works, which work in harmony with your body clock and promote healthy sleep habits,” Zoeller said. “At night, a few pumps of the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray – which is powered by 100 percent essential oils of lavender, chamomile and vetivert – is proven to help you relax and fall asleep faster.
“For the morning, you can try This Works’ Morning Expert collection, which features natural ingredients to rehydrate, protect, smooth and brighten tired morning skin. I love the Wake Up Drops, which are made with peppermint, rosemary and lavandin oil to energize and boost alertness and mental focus.”
Zoeller also recommends these simple lifestyle choices for sleeping and waking up to optimize wellness:
Find more tips for refreshing your body and mind to wake up feeling well at ThisWorks.com.
Photo caption (woman): Life balance coach and wellness expert Lauren ZoellerSOURCE:
If you start each day motivated but find your energy tends to fade throughout the day, a few simple and easy-to-implement changes to your routine could make all the difference. Minor adjustments to your eating habits, exercise routine and mental attitude can help boost energy levels so you can power through the day feeling fully charged.
5 Ways to Avoid an Energy Crash
(Family Features) If you start each day motivated but find your energy tends to fade throughout the day, a few simple and easy-to-implement changes to your routine could make all the difference. Minor adjustments to your eating habits, exercise routine and mental attitude can help boost energy levels so you can power through the day feeling fully charged.
Tune in. Take the silence out of a dull morning with some of your favorite music to help ensure you’re starting the day on a positive note. Turn on the radio while you’re showering, plug in headphones while preparing breakfast or set a “wake up and get ready” playlist on shuffle during your commute.
Start with breakfast. It’s fairly common to skip breakfast if you’re in a rush to get out the door, but those few minutes you save in the morning can end up costing you as the day wears on. That’s because breakfast quite literally breaks your overnight fast and sends signals to your body that it’s time to kick back into gear for the day. With a convenient option like the Nescafé Coffee Protein Smoothie, you can hack your morning routine so that you can get more out of your day. Made with real 100 percent Colombian Arabica coffee, oats and almond butter, this ready-to-drink smoothie contains 15 grams of plant-based protein and as much caffeine as one cup of coffee to help you prepare for the day ahead.
Get creative. If you typically spend your mornings focused on routine tasks, give your brain some creative freedom. Carving out time during the day for an activity you enjoy, such as sketching or coloring, watching inspirational videos, meditating or even brainstorming outside-the-box ideas for a fictional client, can help increase productivity when you turn your focus back to the task at hand.
Shake up your afternoon pick-me-up. Mornings can go by in the blink of an eye, but afternoons sometimes seem to drag. A little boost may be all you need to keep going. Reward your hard work with an option like a Nescafé Cold Whipped Latte and enjoy a perfectly indulgent afternoon treat. Give it a quick shake and the chilled blend of coffee, creamy milk and coffee or French vanilla flavors create layers of barista-inspired froth and foam to deliver a coffee-shop experience right at your desk.
Prep for the next day. If you’re apt to take your work home with you, consider jotting down any end-of-day work thoughts and tasks for the following day before you leave for the night. Keeping a physical to-do list or journal can provide a starting point for the next morning. This can help prevent forgetfulness, reduce stress and potentially aid in getting a better night’s sleep because your brain isn’t buzzing from trying to keep a mental checklist.
Find more inspiration to energize your morning and shake up the afternoon at Nescafe.com/us.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (employees in meeting)SOURCE:
A growing number of health-conscious consumers are pursuing a keto lifestyle and products in their pursuit of health benefits, weight loss and improved performance. If you’re considering a keto diet but not sure where to begin, these tips can help get you on the right track.
A Keto-Friendly Approach to Weight Loss
(Family Features) A growing number of health-conscious consumers are pursuing a keto lifestyle and products in their pursuit of health benefits, weight loss and improved performance.
If you’re considering a keto diet but not sure where to begin, these tips can help get you on the right track:
South Beach Diet
There are several simple ways to tune up your nutrition and lifestyle habits so you can feel better than ever. A great place to start is with your diet.
(BPT) - Just about everyone feels like they could use a little extra pep in their day, that surge of energy to get things done and enjoy their favorite activities. This is especially true as we age.
However, very few people actually feel as if they have the energy they need. The stress of modern life, poor sleep habits, consuming processed foods and less than optimal digestion are triggering a perfect storm for a human energy crisis.
There are several simple ways to tune up your nutrition and lifestyle habits so you can feel better than ever. A great place to start is with your diet.
“A healthy diet that is rich in plant foods, whole grains and lean proteins is always the starting point in reaching optimal health,” says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum+, an author and internist. “At the same time, as we get older, it’s important to understand how our bodies change, and what we need to do to help our bodies get what they need to keep our systems running well.
“However, despite our best efforts,” Teitelbaum explains, “it is very difficult for us to get all of the nutrients we need from food alone. Sometimes nutritional supplements may be needed to fill nutrient gaps.”
In addition to movement and a healthy diet, Teitelbaum shares things people in their 50s and 60s need to know to optimize their health and feel good.‡
1. Your digestive system changes as you age, so make sure it's getting support.
A healthy digestive tract is crucial for overall health. As we age, our digestive systems often need more support in order to properly break down food and absorb the nutrients our bodies need to function optimally, according to a study published in Oncotarget.
To get the most nutrition from the food you eat, Dr. Teitelbaum recommends talking to your doctor about adding a plant-based enzyme supplement to your regimen to support your digestive health. GI Digest, for example, is a comprehensive digestive enzyme formula designed to assist in the proper digestion of proteins, fats, starch, dairy and gluten.‡
2. Small things can make a big difference for heart health.
Getting an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids along with vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, may support cardiovascular health.‡ Because vitamin D is best absorbed in the body when taken with a fat source, Dr. Teitelbaum suggests talking to your doctor about a supplement that has a combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, like QÜELL Fish Oil EPA/DHA Plus D.‡ Also, be sure to talk to your doctor about other heart-healthy habits you can incorporate into your life, because things like daily walks, reducing stress and increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can all support heart health.‡
3. Is your energy lagging? It may be a simple deficiency.
As we age, we tend to accept at face value that having less energy just comes with the territory. Sometimes the solution is a simple matter of meeting our bodies’ nutritional needs. For example, one mineral that helps the body convert nutrients into energy is magnesium. When levels get low, it can interfere with your body’s ability to access its energy stores, causing the body to work harder, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
To support your body’s metabolic function, a supplement like Magnesium Glycinate contains 100 mg of magnesium in an easy-to-swallow tablet.
In addition, vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps your body convert food into energy; however, as we age, our bodies can begin to have trouble absorbing enough B12. To support your body’s energy needs, ask your doctor about taking Methyl B12 Plus, a great-tasting lozenge that rapidly dissolves in the mouth.
If your energy levels are lagging, Dr. Teitelbaum says, it’s important to talk to your doctor, so together, you can uncover the root causes, and he or she can make recommendations.‡
4. Feed your body with real, whole foods.
Food processing destroys most of the vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients the body needs to function optimally. Dr. Teitelbaum says the best thing you can do is cut the sugar from your diet and slowly add whole foods. Though most adults should be eating at least 1.5 cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables per day, a mere 9 percent actually meet that target, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It may sound like a tall order to work all those fruit and veggie servings into your diet, but break down the daily goal into smaller parts and it may feel more attainable. For example, just take the simple step of adding one extra serving of fruits and veggies to each meal. Slice some banana on your morning cereal, opt for the steamed veggies with your entree, snack on veggies and hummus, and close the meal with fresh berries. Supplementing with a high-quality multivitamin can also help fill the gaps in your diet. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends Ultra Preventive X as a daily multivitamin that can help provide the nutrients you need in their most usable forms for the body.‡
To address your needs and support your health, always talk to your healthcare practitioner about adding nutritional supplements to your daily routine. To discover new ways to use nutrition to tune up your health, visit the Douglas Labs website and watch the videos at www.douglaslabs.com/tune-up-teitelbaum/.
+Dr. Teitelbaum has been retained as a medical consultant in advising Douglas Laboratories.
‡These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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