How to Sleep Better

The lack of daily quality sleep, increases us for greater risk of chronic diseases including depression, heart disease, and obesity, while also intensifying mood swings, irritability, and a constant state of exhaustion.

The correct amount each night recommended is seven to nine hours for adults ages twenty-six to sixty-four to feel your best during the day.  Our daytime activity can influence our nighttime sleep. It is essential to exercise during the day to burn off energy.

Start a ritual: Take a warm shower or bath.  When you get out of a warm bath, the air temperature around you will cool your core, which sends a chemical reflex to the brain that induces sleep.

Create the ideal environment: Honor your five senses during bedtime. Make the bedroom as dark as possible and avoid any blue light (i.e. TVs and phones).  For many, herbal tea, white noise, great bedding—helps.

Keep the room cool: Utimately, your body temperature needs to drop to induce sleep.

Clear your mind: If something is bothering you, create an opportunity to relax, whether it’s journaling or meditating.

Eat light: Consider a smaller, dinner. Fattier meals are harder to digest. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks later in the day.

Be consistent: Keep a steady bed and wakeup time. Establish healthy habits.

Go easy on yourself: Don’t expect to fall asleep immediately. You should ideally fall asleep within about 15 minutes of getting into bed.

 

 

Reasons to get Outdoors

People recovering from spinal surgery should be exposed to natural light.  Which helps relieve stress and supports taking fewer pain medications. So get outside and have fun!

Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. This will help fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don’t overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regimen.

Going outside means less time in front of the TV and computer and more time walking and meeting people while doing other things that put the body in motion.

It is a fact sunlight tends to elevate people’s mood, makes us happy. Physical activity helps people relax and removes stress which also supports our motivation to diet.

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A person who uses a manual wheelchair can burn up to 120 calories in half an hour while wheeling at 2 mph on a flat surface, which is four times as much as someone doing the same action in a motorized wheelchair.

A partial list of wheelchair-related activities and their caloric burn (performed by a 160-pound adult in thirty minutes):

 

 

  • Sitting, watching TV: burns 40 calories
  • Dusting: 65
  • Table Tennis: 80
  • Vacuuming: 98
  • Basketball (shooting baskets): 116
  • Tennis: 149
  • Basketball (gameplay): 221
  • Nordic sit skiing: 428

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Take Time to Explore Nature

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Walking and hiking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.

Getting Healthy is Awesome!

I love feeling lighter and fit. I have more energy and I am definitely happier.  I want to share with you the basic ways I learned to conquer my diet challenges. Just listen to my podcasts on my blog. My tips will help you achieve a healthy lifestyle.

I produced a popular exercise video which is also now available on my web site in DVD and digital download format:

The Perfect Little Total Body Workout DVD Order

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Walking to Improve Your Health

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A daily brisk walk for a healthier life. Walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Strengthen your bones
  • Lift your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination

 

 

The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.

Turning your normal walk into a fitness stride requires:

  • Your head is up. Looking forward.
  • Your neck, shoulders and back are relaxed.
  • You’re swinging your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Your stomach muscles are tightened and your back is straight, not arched forward or backward.
  • You’re walking smoothly, rolling your foot from heel to toe.
  • A total body workout: http://www.pamprentice2020.com/plb-video/

Swimming and Back Pain

10450877_776313239068118_3563667225533959382_nSwimming is an excellent form of low impact aerobic conditioning that is easy on the back and spine. With swimming there is practically no impact on the spinal structures. The water supports the body, relieving stress on all the joints in the body.

I like to modify my swimming strokes. I roll my body to the side and keep my chin in the water slightly lifting my mouth when taking breaths during the crawl.  This prevents jerking my head backward.  Doing this reduces the amount of movement in the neck while swimming.  I sometimes use a snorkel to eliminate the need to move my head for breathing.

I enjoy walking with weights from side to side in the pool in at least waist deep water.  I love exercising in the water for relief of lower back pain and neck pain.  It is an easy fun way to stay cool, workout and feel super energized!

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Relief for Back Pain

Pelvic Tilt  Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. In this relaxed position, the small of your back will not be touching the floor.

Tighten your abdominal muscles so that the small of your back presses against the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, and then relax. Repeat this move 3 times.

Take a deep breath and on the exhale contract your abdominals, pulling your belly button towards your spine. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Knees to Chest Stretch  Lift one knee at a time to chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on other knee. Repeat 3 times.

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Spinal Stretch 

Contract your abdominals, bring one knee up, and lift over leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on other knee. Repeat 3 times.

More easy stretching and exercises to relieve back pain: http://www.pamprentice2020.com/plb-video/

Keep Your Body Moving

When you hit the diet plateau, learn how to jump-start your diet. Try burning an extra 100 calories a day. Working out hard for 40 minutes can make your body burn more calories at a higher rate for nearly a full day. Follow these easy tips to help you get on track: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelaprentice/pam-prentice-2020-health/

Try and choose activities and exercises that work the major muscle groups of your body legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. Exercises for each muscle should be repeated 8 to 12 times per session. As with all exercise, if you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up.

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Reasons to get outdoors. Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. This will help fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don’t overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regimen.

Going outside means less time in front of the TV and computer and more time walking and meeting people while doing other things that put the body in motion.

Light tends to elevate people’s mood, makes us happy. Physical activity helps people relax and removes stress which also supports our motivation to diet.

People recovering from spinal surgery should be exposed to natural light.  Which helps relieve stress and supports taking fewer pain medications. So get outside and have fun!

A partial list of wheelchair-related activities and their caloric burn (performed by a 160-pound adult in thirty minutes):

  • Sitting, watching TV: 40
  • Dusting: 65
  • Table Tennis: 80
  • Vacuuming: 98
  • Basketball (shooting baskets): 116
  • Tennis: 149
  • Basketball (gameplay): 221
  • Nordic sit skiing: 428

Have Fun Burning Calories!

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By exercising you will develop balance, coordination, strength and flexibility.  If you are disabled exercising will help prevent fatigue.

Depending on your disability, you may want to start out with some basic stretching exercises. Resistance bands are inexpensive, portable, and can be used whether you are sitting, standing or lying down.

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It is important to maintain a healthy diet that includes three to five servings of vegetables, two to three servings of fruits and two servings of protein per day. By eating small meals when you are hungry you learn portion control.  You must keep high calorie food out of sight. Try to avoid activities that encourage you to eat high calorie food. By avoiding sugar and high fat foods you will soon start losing weight and you will feel stronger.

To boost your metabolism in a safe manner while preserving your functional capacity, try my favorite healthy recipes at: http://www.pinterest.com/pamelaprentice/pam-prentice-2020-food/  These yummy recipes provide good nutrition, meal planning and are low in calories.