Exercise Without Sleep Is A Waste of Time

I see people dragging in the gym sometimes and I want to ask them, "How much sleep do you get on a regular basis?" That's probably not the best way to strike up a rapport with someone in the middle of a chest press but it does make me wonder about something; do folks know one of the biggest detriments of an exercise program is the lack of a regular sleep schedule? Rest is needed to help you recover and allow your body to repair itself. Exercise not only helps you get in great shape but it also causes muscle fatigue. For example, when you perform strength training exercises, tiny tears occur and this requires the proper recovery time. That's where sleep comes into the equation. Studies confirm that sleep is the best way to recover. In general, we need between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Although sleep needs vary for everyone, the point is this; you have to rest well in order for your body to recover, rebuild and recharge. Taking a day off or sleeping longer will make all the difference in your fitness performance, your mood and your overall productivity. So the next time you want to press your way to the gym on "fumes" re-think your strategy. Whether you workout in the morning or evening, be sure to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep. Trust me, you'll notice the difference and experience incredible results.

P.S. Now for all you moms and caregivers out there you may be saying, "Yeah right, I'm going to sleep with a nursing, screaming all-the-time infant/toddler and exercise? Ha-ha! Well, stay tuned, I've got some upcoming posts dedicated to the sleep deprived - we have a unique challenge and it's worth more posts!

Remember, you'll ALWAYS have too much to do so get some sleep.

Are Liquid Diets the Answer for Weight Loss?

I love talking with folks about their weight loss journey. Each person has a unique story. However, I'm sometimes grieved when I hear how people got their "fast" results. Liquid diets are often used to get results fast without a whole lot of effort. Heck, if all you have to do is drink some concoction for 10 days and lose 10 pounds that sounds like a win-win, no-brainer, sign-me-up program. But all too often, the dream of weight loss becomes a faint memory once the 10 days are over. In fact, you may notice that the weight comes back faster. Here are the main reasons why liquid diets don't work for the average person trying to lose weight: 1.  Your body loses mostly water on liquid diets. Don't believe any claim that says you'll lose fat on a liquid diet. In most cases you're losing muscle, which is a no-no 2.  Your body needs a well balanced mix of food for optimal performance. Liquid beverages cannot replace real food 3.  While you can get calories through juice beverages, the trade off is loads of sugar which can sabotage your weight loss efforts 4.  Liquid diets just aren't sustainable. They usually provide short-term results but long term, your body will stop losing water weight and you'll just be frustrated 5.  Moderate to heavy exercise will be just plain hard especially if all your calories come from beverages. Try it - no don't

    My point is this; if you want to lose weight the very last thing you should do is a liquid diet. In some extreme cases such as morbid obesity or just after surgery (e.g. gastric bypass) a liquid diet may be the only alternative. However, if that's not your treatment plan under the strict guidance of your physician, this is what will work; eat a well-balanced diet consisting of loads of vegetables, fruits (don't overdo it), lean protein, quality carbohydrates (low glycemic) and healthy fats (e.g. nuts, olive oil). Regular strength training should be combined with cardiovascular, flexibility and core training. If you do this I promise that you'll pass up the next best cabbage soup diet.