Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sleep Well and Exercise to Boost Energy and Lose More Weight

Just as suddenly as the holidays came, with an onslaught of indulgence and bad habits, they've virtually vanished into thin air, even if your Christmas tree is still standing. They may feel like they ended ages ago, but try telling that to your body; I mean, it is only early January. In the event you ate a few too many slices of cheesecake or gingerbread cookies, sipped on a few too many cocktails and stayed up til all hours of the night catching up with friends and family, your body is still likely feeling the backlash and dealing with the consequences.

I bet the number one item on people's list of new year's resolutions is weight loss or 'getting healthy', most likely through changes in their diets, but that just may not be enough, nor is it entirely the answer. Experts agree that the missing link to help get you back on track and better than ever is a combination of healthy eating, sleeping enough and keeping active. Even if you didn't necessarily get a chance to travel or go abroad, your body might still be feeling the effects of a sort of 'holiday jet lag', struggling to catch up to a normal schedule and routine. So, not surprisingly, the same sort of strategies that you would use in getting over real jet lag can be applied in this situation.

First and foremost, you've got to get back to a regular sleep schedule, making sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Studies have shown time and time again that a lack of sleep works to pack on the pounds and makes weight loss more difficult. And speaking of schedules, be sure to start scheduling your meals in regular intervals, and for Pete's sake, please don't skip any! Yes, you've got to cut back on the fat, but you actually have to eat to lose weight, albeit smaller meals focusing on nutrient-rich foods, spaced out more evenly throughout the day.

Next, be sure to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This will work to boost your energy levels and help you sleep better at night. No, you don't have to squeeze into those yoga pants just yet (of course, unless you want to!) - there are so many ways to make up 30 minutes of butt-moving each day, especially since that time can be made up of shorter intervals. Take a ten minute break to grab a coffee, 10 minutes to run some errands and maybe just go for a plain old walk on your lunch break - indoors is fine if you like!

Give it a try for the next week or so and your energy levels should definitely be boosted compared to how you may be feeling today. Go on!