Whether you’re going on a family vacation, weekend getaway, or business trip, traveling is a great way to shake up your routine and get you out of a winter-induced funk. Unfortunately, not all travel shake-ups are enjoyable, especially the dreaded jet lag.
Anyone who’s traveled across time zones has experienced this phenomenon, no matter if you’re off by a just couple of hours or half a day. Jet lag can leave you feeling groggy, disoriented, and unable to sleep at “normal” times; and that’s just in the short term. In the long term, jet lag can cause serious health problems like depression and disrupted metabolism. Disrupted sleep can also cause problems with memory, focus, and potentially lead to weight gain.
I’ve definitely got a bone to pick with whoever decided to trade off more daylight hours for one less hour of sleep. Though spring and summer are my favorite seasons, and that lost hour means they’re on the way, I still find myself dragging when Daylight Saving Time rolls around.
The annual spring forward officially happens at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, which means most of us will be changing our clocks Saturday night before we go to bed, knowing we’ll be getting one less hour of sleep.
You see fitness and activity tracking gadgets everywhere these days. Whether it be something you clip on your clothes or something you wear on your wrist, more companies are creating solutions that help you keep track of your progress and stay motivated day by day. Garmin is the latest company to launch their own such product: the Garmin Vivofit fitness band. It comes in five colors (black, gray, green, blue, and purple) and will be available within the next month. The Vivofit is available for pre-order at $129.
Like other contenders for a spot on your wrist, the Vivofit’s pedometer function tracks the number of steps you walk (or run) in a day, the number of calories you burn, the distance you go, and patterns in your sleep. You’re able to visualize this data on the small display on the band itself, or via the accompanying free Garmin Connect iPhone and Android app on your smartphone. (iPhone app | Android app)
By Team Best Life
Skimping on sleep on occasion won’t cause much damage, but if you do so on a regular basis you’ll begin to see the effects, such as a decrease in memory and attention and possibly even weight gain. How can you make sure to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night? Your first step is to be aware of seven common sleep saboteurs:
1. Alcohol: Many people believe a nightcap helps you sleep, and while it initially can help you relax, it ultimately interferes with your ability to stay asleep. In fact, one study found that men who consumed an alcoholic drink before bed spent more time in the lighter first stage of sleep and less time in the later deep stages of sleep compared to those who drank an alcohol-free or lower-alcoholic drink. And, as the effects of alcohol wore off, the men experienced more awakenings. Limit your alcohol intake, and if you are going to drink, try to do so earlier in the day.
Why are so many Americans—69.2 percent to be exact—overweight or obese? The answer seems obvious: We’re taking in more calories than we expend. But why is that? Check out these seven common weight gain triggers.
We slurp down sugary drinks.
This includes sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea and other beverages that cost about 140 to 150 calories per 12-ounce serving. They are a major source of added sugar in our diet. Guzzle just one can daily on top of your actual calorie needs and you could gain 15 pounds a year. A Canadian study that tracked toddlers found that those who drank more sugary beverages were 2.5 times more likely to be overweight compared to those who didn’t.
We consume too little fiber.
This comes from not eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aside from making you feel fuller on fewer calories (and thus, satisfying appetite), fiber may also promote a slimming gut flora, the population of trillions of bacteria that reside in our gut that are thought to influence everything from immunity to anxiety to obesity risk. (more…)