Let’s face it, we ALL want to feel better and of course LOOK better…but ‘it’s so hard to be healthy’ right?! Wrong! Sure it’s true that a lot of things in life require hard work, dedication, sweat, and sometimes tears, but not all things! There are some things that we can do with minimal to NO effort at all! Below are some simple things you can incorporate in to your life to lose fat, reduce inflammation, feel better, and YES even look better while being lazy!
‘We can sleep when we are dead’ is the saying; right? WRONG! Too many people these days miss out on vital sleeping hours and seem to forget just how important sleep can be. Sleep is just as important as any other part of your life and possibly the MOST important thing you can do for your health! Both the quantity and the quality of sleep play a vital role in your overall health and wellbeing.
Sleep is the only time that your body gets to fully relax and re-energize. There is a reason why you wake up feeling tired when you haven’t had enough quality sleep; your body hasn’t had enough time to recuperate and get ready for the next day!
Sleep allows you to achieve a process called ‘consolidation’. Your body may be relaxed while you are asleep, but your mind is surprisingly active; and this can help when you are learning something new. For example, if you are learning a new topic at school or you are learning a new language, sleep will help to cement everything you have learned (when awake) into your brain!
Sleep can actually help you live longer! It is thought that people who cut short their sleeping hours may also be shortening their lives. Interestingly, this can also happen to people who sleep too much, crazy right? It’s all about balance; 7-9 hours of sleep per day is the perfect amount for the average adult who wants to stay healthy!
Sleep also reduces the risk of some health problems! C-reactive protein is normally associated with heart attack risk and the levels of this tend to be higher in people that get less than SIX HOURS of sleep . Achieving the recommended amount of sleep is also said to decrease inflammation; inflammation can ultimately cause arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. If you thought that sleep wasn’t important before, I hope you are starting to now think otherwise!
Finally, a little known fact about the human body is that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same area of the brain! As a direct result, those that get a healthy amount of sleep find it significantly easier to lose weight. When we are tired our hormones go up in our blood, the same hormones that drive our appetite!
- SLEEP NAKED!
When I tell people to sleep naked, they often give me a look of disapproval; however, when I explain the benefits they are EXTREMELY grateful in a few weeks’ time (both them and their significant others)! After reading this, you will never sleep with ANY clothing on again! Sleeping naked improves quality and quantity of sleep, reduces stress, blood pressure and cholesterol, can keep you looking young, and can improve your sex life!
- IMPROVED QUALITY AND QUANTITY! – Sleeping naked is proven to help both the amount of sleep we get and to which extent that sleep is achieved. If we sleep naked, we are more likely to reach a deeper sleep and stay in those deeper sleep phases for longer than if we were to have clothes on. This is because our body temperature is regulated in a more efficient way; we are able to reach the correct temperature and stay there for longer. The blanket on top of the sheets can even sometimes have an effect as they keep us warm (sometimes too warm) and tend to make us uncomfortable!
- REDUCE STRESS, BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL! – ‘How on earth?’ But it is completely true! It is again related to our body temperature when sleeping. As we cool, we are able to lower our cortisol level, which is also known as the ‘stress hormone.’ Reducing cortisol can lead to a number of health benefits including reduced blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, better sleep, appetite regulation, reduced stress levels, as well as improve our immune system!
- BEAUTY SLEEP! – Melatonin and growth hormones are the two most important anti-aging hormones in our body and these can be limited when we are too hot in our sleep. It is believed that sleeping in a bedroom hotter than 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit will prevent them from being released altogether! Furthermore, both hormones need cool temperatures as well as darkness in order to be released! Sleeping naked is starting to look like a good option now, isn’t it?
- ITS ALL ABOUT THE NOOKIE! – This tip may just be the one that persuades you to finally strip off when it comes to bed time, and there is scientific evidence to back it up! There is a powerful hormone called oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone; I think this is what Cupid puts on his arrows. Oxytocin can be released due to skin-to-skin contact with your partner. Oxytocin is responsible for orgasms and sexual responsiveness, blood pressure reduction, combating stress and depression, and reducing intestinal inflammation! Plus sleeping naked next to each other is more often than not enough to get people going anyway!
If these GREAT benefits aren’t enough to get you in your birthday suit tonight then I don’t know what is! Ooh, maybe this will put you over the edge…there is also evidence that shows sleeping naked can help lower your body fat! Get skinny while you sleep? Yes please! So why not give it a go tonight?
- SLEEP COLD TO GET LEAN!
Sleeping in a room of a temperature of 66 degrees was shown to increase the amount of brown fat (good metabolically active fat) in our bodies! Having more brown fat increases our fat burning potential of the nasty white fat we don’t want as well as gets rid of excess blood sugar ! Originally, scientists thought that babies only had brown fat but it has been discovered that adults have brown fat as well. In fact, according to a 2014 study carried out by the National Institutes of Health, sleeping in a cold room can help boost your metabolism ! So if you want to get a restful sleep and leaner turn down your thermostat to 66 degrees. If that’s too cold for you its ok, even a small temperature decrease has been shown to have slight calorie burning benefits. Now get some LEAN ZZZZ’s!
- WAKE UP and take a SHOT!
No, not that kind of shot! My morning elixir shot! Every morning when you wake up, have a glass of warm water with the juice from one lemon, 2 tablespoons of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), a few dashes of cayenne pepper (optional), and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Lemon juice is well known for aiding digestion as well as cleansing the system. ACV will help with digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, and has also been shown to reduce the blood sugar spike of a high carb meal by 19-34%; leading to less fat gain! Try 2 tablespoons of ACV before any high carb/sugary meal! Cayenne pepper boasts helpful detoxification properties and will complement the lemon juice well, but is not to everyone’s taste. The cinnamon in the shot provides increased health benefits like decreased inflammation, blood sugar regulation, and antioxidants.
- GRAPEFRUIT BEFORE A BAD MEAL!
Eating some grapefruit or drinking a glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice before a unhealthy meal can be EXTREMELY helpful as it will lower the blood sugar spike of the food you are about to consume; making it less likely to be stored as fat! According to a study out of Scripps Clinic in San Diego, California, found that people eating half a grapefruit or eight ounces of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice three times a day lost on average four pounds in 12 weeks; probably due to the insulin lowering effects and metabolic boosting properties! Besides having half of a grapefruit before a bad meal try adding half to your breakfast and one half at lunch! Before adding grapefruit to your diet make sure it does not interfere with any medication you are currently taking.
- MAKE YOUR OWN FAT BURNING DRINK!
Try my Renovation Tea. Renovation tea can help a sluggish metabolism which is often caused by inflammation. Many of the ingredients in this tea help to not only reduce inflammation; they increase blood flow and regulate blood sugar. This recipe uses a few simple ingredients and can easily be made at home. Directions: bring a gallon of water to a boil; add about 15-20 bags of Matcha Green Tea as it has been shown to aid in cancer prevention, has anti-aging properties and contributes to weight loss. Add three lemons (sliced) and three limes (sliced). Lemons and limes have vitamin C and their potassium and citric acid offer numerous benefits from flushing out toxins to aiding in digestion. Once the sliced citrus has been added place a few slices of fresh ginger root (ginger aids in digestion, reduces inflammation, and increases the metabolism). Depending on your preference of sizzle and spice, add one to four dried red hot chili peppers to further increase your metabolic rate due to the capsaicin. A few cinnamon sticks or a tablespoon of powdered cinnamon are added to the mixture for an antioxidant boost and anti-inflammatory benefits. Also add a slice of turmeric (curcumin is the primary pharmacological agent in the spice) or some turmeric tea bags as it aids in reducing inflammation, it’s an excellent source of phytonutrients, helps digest fats, reduces gas and bloating (bonus), decreases congestion, relieves joint pain, reduces joint swelling, and helps range of motion. After the concoction has had a chance to stand for one to two hours, it is time to strain into a refrigerator safe container. Take a glass of Renovation Tea every morning, before a workout, or anytime you need a pick me up! Be careful before bedtime though as there is some caffeine from the green tea (you may also use caffeine free green tea bags).
- COLD SHOWERS!
Taking a cold shower helps to activate good fat (brown fat) to burn bad fat (white fat) as energy! Brown fat also helps to improve circulation as well as reduce inflammation and repairing muscles!
To YOUR health!
Joey Thurman @JoeyThurmanFit
References: – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907104248.htm  http://time.com/3602415/sleep-problems-room-temperature/  – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24954193