When each day feels full to the brim, follow these five easy tips to maximize each hour and make the most of each day, be more productive, accomplish your goals and still have time to spare - and less stress.
(BPT) - When the calendar flips to a new year, many people are inspired to make resolutions, promising productivity, healthy lifestyles, self-care and more. But all New Year’s goals require making time for what you set out to do — and a little planning goes a long way.
No matter your resolutions, here are easy tips to make the most of each day, accomplish your goals and still have time to spare:
Get ready the night before
Make your morning routine easier by getting organized the night before. Prepare your breakfast and coffee. Choose your outfit and set it by your bed. Pack your bag and place it by the door so you’re ready to go. Let your nighttime energy fuel you in the morning.
Spend less time on chores
Household chores are time consuming and, let’s face it, not many people look forward to cleaning and laundry. Invest in ways to lighten your load, like the LG TurboWash 360, which has features that help you get more chores done in less time. It can tackle family-sized loads in less than 30 minutes without sacrificing performance, so your clothes don’t pile up. Shorter wash times and energy-saving capabilities save you both time and money.
Stick to a sleep schedule
The first step in reaching your goals is making sure you’re in good health. One of the most important, and difficult, aspects of good health is sleep. You’ll feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day if you establish a solid sleep schedule and stick to it. To set your schedule, pick the time you want to wake up every day and count back seven to eight hours — that’s your new bedtime.
Get a good calendar
Maximize your time by having a plan for each week. Whether you use a notebook checklist, the calendar on your smartphone or invest in a year-long planner, you’ll always have your plan on-hand and never miss a deadline or to-do list item.
Become a meal prepper
Set aside time each week to plan your meals and prep them too. Chop fruits and vegetables, pre-cook meats, and cook pasta or rice in advance so you can pull together easy meals in no time. This saves you time and money, and helps you eat healthier when you’re tempted to grab fast food on your busiest days.
When each day feels full to the brim, follow these tips to maximize each hour and be more productive in the new year.
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:
Music should be an integral part of any vacation. From road-tripping it with the tunes blaring to visiting destinations with a vibrant music scene, there are a host of places to visit that will stir your soul with music. Here are three places to visit that have a unique music scene.
Portland is no longer merely Seattle's little brother when it comes to music. This Pacific Northwest gem has been called the mecca for indie rock. Bands such as The Decemberists, Blitzen Trapper, and Quasi call the Rose City home. Iconic venues such as The Crystal Ballroom and The Roseland Theater consistently deliver amazing shows, according to Hasson Company Realtors. The city's welcoming vibe, vibrant craft brew scene, and sense of creative license all contribute to its status as one of the best cities in the nation to immerse yourself in music and the arts.
While it may not have the flashiness of some of the more prominent music destinations, Bakersfield's rich musical history earns it a spot on this list of meaningful destinations. According to Avis, Bakersfield has its own unique genre known as the Bakersfield Sound. This genre of distinctive country music emerged in the mid to late 1950s in this region of California. Two of the most popular artists to come out of this era were Buck Owens of the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard and the Strangers. Even today, visitors to Bakersfield can tour the legendary Crystal Palace and learn more about Buck Owens and the unique Bakersfield Sound. The venue is especially popular for its mouth-watering Sunday Brunch.
It is no wonder that Nashville has earned the nickname of "Music City." In addition to being the home of country music, this eclectic city has birthed a host of musical acts from a bevy of genres. Music fans that visit Nashville delight in touring the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. Or you can connect with locals and emerging artists by visiting one of the many honky-tonks and smaller bars that showcase the up and coming acts. These intimate venues are truly the best way to experience the magic of this musical city.
You can find great music in nearly any big city. However, these three locations are certainly a notch above the rest and you are sure to love vacationing there. Let your ears be your guide as you discover the musical experiences of these three prime destinations.
Dairy farmers are committed to sharing milk’s vital nutrients in more environmentally conscious ways, and they’re making strides today and with each generation. When you buy a gallon of milk, you’re supporting farmers committed to continuous improvement while also incorporating one of the most nourishing foods available into your diet.
Real Milk’s Role in a Sustainable Farm-to-Table Diet
(Family Features) A dairy cow in a pasture can feel like a long way from the milk in refrigerators and at family tables. However, the distance between the farm and your family may be shorter and more sustainable than you think. Dairy farmers are committed to sharing milk’s vital nutrients in more environmentally conscious ways, and they’re making strides today and with each generation.
Sometimes it might feel difficult to balance your family’s nutritional needs with what’s best for the planet, but dairy milk production uses fewer resources than before while providing a unique nutrient package that nourishes your family.
Farmers, who work the land and care for the animals that help nourish families, understand that resources are finite and must be handled wisely. From using sustainable cow feed to reusing water and repurposing manure for fertilizer, farmers improve their operating practices, reduce waste and contribute to a better environment today and for the future.
In fact, today’s milk is made with 65 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 76 percent less manure, resulting in a 63 percent smaller footprint compared to 75 years ago, according to research published in the “Journal of Animal Science.”
When you buy a gallon of milk, you’re supporting farmers committed to continuous improvement while also incorporating one of the most nourishing foods available into your diet.
Dairy milk is a natural source of high-quality protein and is the top food source for calcium and vitamin D, which diets often lack, especially for children. In all, milk provides nine essential nutrients and is one of the original farm-to-table foods, meaning you’re making smart decisions about nutrition while providing your family with an increasingly sustainable food.
Across many aspects of life, balance is key. That is especially true in how and what people eat, and a truly sustainable diet involves more than its impact on physical surroundings. It must also be nutrient-rich, practical and affordable. The right amount of animal and plant foods can help create more sustainable diets for both people and the planet.
Learn more about how dairy farmers are stewards of the environment at milklife.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
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:
Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health. Here's an easy way to start your day "heart smart!"
Simple Ways to be Heart Smart
Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans
(Family Features) Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.
Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.
It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.
Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.
Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.
Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal
Cherry Pecan Energy Bites
Makes: 10-12 energy bites
Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.
*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.SOURCE:
American Pecan Council
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