We’ve all had those days when everything seems to go wrong. Mismatching socks, hair that doesn’t want to stay down/up, spilling your morning coffee, forgetting a meeting that started 30 minutes ago, traffic lights that turn red at the first sight of you, and much more. Such days usually only last a day and after a good night’s rest, you wake up to a new day and in better spirits.
You’ve heard the hype: ‘supplements’ that boost brain performance, games that improve your IQ, toys for toddlers that’ll make them the next Mozart. Although some companies may claim an extreme brain boost at an extreme price, the verdict is still out on if the products offer a real boost to brain performance apart from the placebo effect. Much to the delight of such product peddlers, the lack of concrete research doesn’t detract the people who are driven to gain any advantage they can in the race to achieve more. Continue reading A Proven Way to Boost Brain Performance in 30 Minutes→
This is a guest post by Stacey Yan, a good friend of mine. Stacey has just completed her MSW degree and is currently enjoying her off time hiking around the various trails of Southern California.
Did you know that snacking while paying attention to something else, such as watching TV can cause you to eat much more than if you were paying attention solely to eating? Changing your snacking habits and what you snack on can help you improve your health, whether your goals are to lose weight or improve how you feel, here are some simple tips for healthy snacking.
Healthy Alternatives to Common Snacks
Seeking out healthier choices when eating out with friends at happy hour? Just because you’re at a bar doesn’t mean there aren’t smart alternatives to your favorite foods and drinks. You can cut calories just by your choice of cocktail. For example, a vodka soda is only 97 calories vs. a vodka tonic which has 159 calories. As for bar bites, be aware that food that has breading, is deep fried, or drenched in sauce is usually packed with empty calories. Opt for food that is baked, grilled, or steamed. Continue reading Don’t Become a Snack Monster→
I don’t know when these false healthy alternatives arrived in our always dieting society, but I do know that they are not helping one bit. Sure, the premise sounds great. “Want your favorite snack? Here, have 1/6th less of it!” That does sound amazing. That is until you kill the whole box.
I used to work in an office place. You know, the kind of place where everyone has their own cubicles, works 9-5, sits around all day, does enough work to not get fired, gossips at the water-cooler and everywhere else, and eats all that unhealthy food provided by everyone for birthday’s, celebrations, Friday’s and so on. Luckily, while I was there, I stayed quite focused and the lifestyle structure really helped me focus on my training despite my dislike for the whole answering to ‘The Man’ deal. I built these great friendships that I have to this day. Unfortunately, these great friends opened themselves, and for a short while me, to the world of 100 calorie packs. Continue reading Why 100 Calorie Packs Make You Fat→
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin
* Ring! * ah, !@$&%*(!!!!
I’ve always been terrible at waking up early. As soon as the alarm went off, I would hit the snooze button faster than I could think about hitting the snooze button. I hated waking up early, I felt too tired, too groggy. I had tried many times to become an early riser, only to fail every single time. As I mentioned in my previous posts, because I was a night owl, I always felt best after the sun went down. Being a night owl may not have been such a problem if my work schedule fit my natural sleep patterns, but I was expected to be in the office at 8am which made for an entertaining morning sprint out the door every single day!
Fortunately, I was able to overcome the night owl chronotype by studying and experimenting with various theories and creating an effective method of early rising. After many attempts and many failures, I was able to re-create myself as an early bird. I currently wake up at 5:00 am and since creating the habit, I have personally seen a marked decrease in procrastination and solid improvement in my punctuality. If that’s not enough to convince you to wake up, here are a few more gifts waking up early will award you with.
Is the thought of getting sweaty keeping you from exercising during lunchtime?
Sweating helps our body cool down to its optimal temperature, but when you want to get some exercise in during work hours or lunchtime, being drenched in sweat and smelling like a pig sty isn’t the best way to get along with your coworkers. Although there is no way to completely keep you from breaking a sweat, there are many things you can do to minimize sweat stains and body odor during work.
I’ve always envied people who were able to wake up early and get their day started while people were still in their beds sound asleep. On the very few occasions that I had to wake up at the crack of dawn, I would always enjoy the tranquility of the early morning. The sound of birds chirping, the cool crisp air and the beauty of sunrise as it casts light onto the sleeping city. Even though I enjoyed every aspect of early mornings (except for the groggy feeling of being up so early), being a night owl, I was never able to experience the many benefits of early rising.
Every morning was always haste, waking up in panic, cursing at the clock, jumping out of bed, showering up and running out to the car for an anxiety fueled drive to work. No, I was never able to even eat breakfast before rushing to work. To the casual observer, this is obviously an unhealthy living; not only am I jumping out of bed in panic that I had overslept, but having no time for a relaxed breakfast and the anxiety fueled rush to work driving as if I was on the final lap of a F1 race. I was miserable in the mornings and it showed in the office.
4 Ways to Exercise without Breaking a Sweat – Get the exercise you need during lunch!
Breaking a sweat is part of exercising, but what if you want to minimize sweating when exercising during work hours?
When we exercise, our muscles warm up to optimum temperature. As you warm up, you begin sweating, and this is your body’s way to regulate body temperature and help keep it from overheating. But you want to get some exercise in during lunchtime without getting sweaty? Here are 4 quick tips to keep you from breaking a sweat as you get your exercise in during work hours.
When do you feel most alert and active? In the mornings? Or do feel your energy increase later in the day?
What is Chronotype?
Chronotype refers to the activity and sleep preference of an individual. Your chronotype can dictate the time of day of your peak mental and physical performance, as well as your mood is at its best. Most people are usually active during the daytime, but depending on your own biology and habits, the preference for when one is active and when one prefers to sleep may vary significantly. Most people fall between the two extremes, and vary about 2 hours in waking up, but it is said that in extreme cases, an extreme night owl will sleep when an extreme early bird wakes up.
What’s my Chronotype?
In most cases, your chronotype is easy to identify by asking yourself two simple questions: When do you prefer to wake up? When do you feel most ready for sleep? But to get a granular look at your personal chronotype, there are many types of assessments developed that you can use to determine your chronotype. Use this simple Morningness-Eveningness Scale questionnaire to see where you fit in.
Eating healthy and adding servings of vegetables and fruits are always recommended to improve one’s health. But have you thought of using lunchtime, not only to eat healthfully, but to lose a little off that tummy? Have you been meaning to exercise, but feel too pooped to get up and exercise after work?
Like many, you may have other commitments that keep you from getting the exercise you need. Finding time to exercise can be difficult when you have a demanding schedule everyday. Common options include waking up early to go for a morning run or exercising after work. If you’re already pooped from the stresses of the day, making time and being motivated for exercise might be tough. Fortunately there is another solution to get your body moving even when you’re on a tight schedule. Have you ever thought about getting some exercise in during lunchtime?
I want to exercise during lunch, but don’t know how
Get creative! How much time do you have during lunch? Most people have 1 hour for lunch, which will give you ample time to get your heart rate up and metabolism in high gear. Make sure you don’t eat till you’re completely full and try finishing your lunch in 20-30 minutes and go for a walk/jog afterwords. If you’re going to be jogging, ease into it. You don’t want to push your body too hard right after lunch. Depending on your physical fitness level, you may want add a few body weight squats at the end of your walk (after you’ve sufficiently warmed up your body) and also some pushups. (Some people may prefer to eat after exercising too)
I don’t want to get sweaty during work hours
It is better if you’re able to break a light sweat, but if you don’t want to bring an extra change of clothes, it’s fine. Go on a light leisurely walk around the block to get some fresh air and de-stress. You’ll be able to stretch out your muscles and keep your joints lubed up. Do a few deep breathing exercises to get an extra kick at the end of your walk.
Wouldn’t my colleagues think I’m ignoring them?
This may actually be of concern to some, especially if the corporate structure of your company has tightly knit social groups. If this is the case, ask your coworkers to join you in your walk. Use this opportunity to motivate each other toward better health and fitness.
It’s important that we do what we can to improve our health. Eating well and exercising are two great ways to lose weight, tone your muscles and improve your health. By using lunchtime as a potential exercise time slot, you can minimize your excuses and take action.
Do you exercise during lunch?
Do you have any tips and exercise routines that you can share with us?