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What's New

City to Surf RunFit Program (Enrolments Now Closed)

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Wednesday, July 01, 2015

RunFit

Taking you places great in fitness and location!

Get your running shoes ready. Our latest RunFit program will create a fitter, leaner healthier you!  Burn calories and super-charge your cardiovascular fitness.

Our RunFit program is designed to get you out in the fresh air, whilst enjoying some of Perth's world class running locations. Run your way to a fitter, healthier you and enjoy the challenge of the Perth City to Surf.

We are excited to announce the return of our Perth City to Surf training program for 2012.
Our Team of Running Coaches in Brett Smith & James Doyle will refine your running technique to make you more efficient. In addition the program is geared to build strength, endurance and speed. Each week the running distances are gradually increased, so you only require a running base of around 3km+ to get started.

The 7-week training program is designed to get you ready to tackle the 12km Perth City to Surf on Sunday 26th August. Brett has trained over 100 runners to successfully complete this event over the past 7 years.

RunFit 2012 City to Surf Program Details:

Start Date: Sunday 8th July (7 weeks)
Time: 8.30-9.30am
Venue: Week 1- Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio
Week 2-7: External locations including Kings Park, Deepwater Point, Cottesloe, Wireless Hill, Swanbourne & Bold Park.
Week 8: 12km Perth City to Surf (Sunday 26th August)
Investment: $185 includes 7-week Runfit Program & entry into 12km Perth City to Surf (valued at $45)
$140 (25% discount) for current 'Club 50' Group Training members/ PT clients.)
Enrolments Closed: Contact Us today to enrol in our 2012 City to Surf 'RunFit' Program.

Berry Berry Good or Berry Berry Bad

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Saturday, March 14, 2015

FEED IN more berries 

Berries are more than just fresh, sweet and juicy?

 Berries - Sweet, fresh and juicy

Berries have been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently, following the Hepatitis A outbreak caused by imported product grown in China. This has reinforced the message to eat fruit that is home-grown in Australia and to understand that the Food Industry use misleading labeling to entice us to buy their product.  By buying fruit that is a 'Product of Australia' you are helping our local economy and ensuring a higher level of food standards.  

Who would have thought that something that is 'Made in Australia' can actually be grown in China and merely packaged in Australia? It's plainly not berry good, pardon the 'pun'net of strawberries grown in China.

I love berries, and there is a whole range of brilliant varieties that can provide you with a wealth of minerals and nutrients: Strawberries, blueberries, loganberries, gooseberries, raspberries, bilberries... Berries are a great source of dietary fibre and are loaded with Vitamin C which support our immune system and provide for strong connective tissue.

Ensure you include some purple-coloured berries: Blueberries and blackberries are very rich in antioxidants and can help to prevent cancer and heart disease. Rasberries are also a great choice.  Antioxidants help neutralise harmful by-products called "free radicals" that can lead to age-related diseases.

Have you tried these berries? Add them to your next shopping list!
  •   Goji Berries - A  Superfruit with antioxidants (aka Wolfberry)
  •   Acai Berries - pronounced “ah-sigh-ee” Acai is  known as an energy booster
  •   Bilberries - Associated with improvement of eye-sight and improved night vision

My Tip:  Ensure that your berries are listed as a 'Product of Australia.' This  will ensure that the berries are grown here under Australian Food Standards.  Beware that 'Made in Australia' on the packaging can mean that they are actually a 'Product of China' but merely packaged here in Australia.

I like to mix some berries into some muesli, yoghurt or a fruit smoothie to increase the nutritional value. 

Freeze your fresh berries in a snap lock bag to to avoid spoilage.

Try a palm-full of berries today for a delicious, healthy snack!

Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).

50-Day Summer Challenge

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Friday, February 06, 2015

Take the 50-Day Summer Challenge and create a fitter, healthier you!

Stop wishing.  Create yourself.  Better things are coming...

Are you ready to take the challenge?

The 50-Day Summer Challenge provides you with a guiding light to achieve a healthier lifestyle in 2015.

Join the next 50-Day Challenge from February 9th to keep yourself accountable and learn how to create everlasting change.

Do you want to avoid another year of not reaching your full potential?

 There will be times when we can easily lose focus & motivation when working towards our health & fitness goals.  The 50-Day Challenge provides a renewed focus and keeps you more mindful about making the right choices to achieve your best.

Chat to us, participate, set a goal, build a plan and take this opportunity to make life better. YOU set your own goal. We assist YOU to make it happen.

50-Day Summer Challenge details:

Start-up Week: Monday 9th February- Saturday 14th February 2015 (Enrolment Week)
Final Week:   Monday 30th March- Saturday 4th April 2015 (Dependant on start-up day)
Venue: Initial check-in and 50th day check-in to be completed at Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio in Bicton.

Investment: $50 commitment fee to cover the full 50-days.
Bookings: 
Contact Us today to join the next Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge

More information: Find out more about the 50-Day Challenge on the MBS Facebook Page.

Learn how to clean up your diet with a 'Weed & Feed' approach

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Thursday, September 04, 2014

What is Weed & Feed Nutrition?

Put simply, it is all about 'Weeding Out' non-core foods and 'Feeding In' more of nature's goodness...

Nutrition is far from an exact science. Nevertheless, healthy eating is purely a collection of healthy choices; to achieve a healthy outcome. A great place to start 'eating clean' is via a Weed & Feed approach:

STEP 1: (WEED OUT)

Start out by identifying the 'non-core' foods & beverages that currently exist in your diet.

*By description 'non-core' products are energy dense and nutrient poor and include:

  • Highly processed foods (includes most packaged & take-away food options)
  • Coffee
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar

**'Non-core' food & beverages provide little or no nutritional value and do not belong in the five food groups specified by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

By 'Weeding out' or eliminating some of these non-essential options from your diet you can expect to have a positive impact on:

  • Reducing your calorie intake
  • Stabilising your blood sugar levels
  • Reducing the prevalence of nutrition-related chronic disease
  • Improving your health and well-being

STEP 2: (FEED IN)

Over the years it is more likely than not, you have had it drummed into you by your parents, naturopath, dietician or fitness trainer to 'EAT MORE FRUIT & VEGETABLES.'

If you are looking for a brighter future it is time to 'Feed In' a rich abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables. The potential benefits associated with eating more fruits and vegetables stack up quickly: Reducing your risk of certain chronic diseases is only the beginning.

The Power of Fruit and Vegetables extends to:

    • Increased energy levels
    • Improved skin appearance
    • Weight loss
    • Improved digestion
    • Mineral & vitamin booster

The thing I love about the 'Weed & Feed' approach to nutrition is that it is a practical way to 'Eat Clean.' With a little desire, commitment & mindfulness, you have the power to make the healthy choice:

 'Weed Out' the nasties, that have a leaching affect on our bodies and 'Feed In' some more of nature's goodness.  

I can guarantee that your Mind, Body & Soul will thank you for it!

Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).

50-Day Challenge Success Story

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview: Claire Werner



Claire was a standout participant in our 50-Day Winter Challenge in June 2013. A strong commitment to 'coach herself to wellness' was truly inspirational and earned her the 50-Day Challenge Gold Medal.

Claire has been kind enough to share her success story after an interview with Brett Smith (Mind Body & Soul's Wellness Coach) this week: 

Q.1 What prompted you to take on the Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge?

I took on the 50 Day Challenge as a way to create structure and focus in achieving my fitness and weight loss goals.  I also love a challenge!


Q.2 What were your personal goals that you wanted to achieve?

I wanted to lose 8 – 10 kg and work towards getting fit and strong enough to do a half marathon.  I am aiming to complete my first half marathon in August 2014.


Q.3 How did the 50-Day Challenge help you to achieve these goals?

I think the Challenge helped me because I am competitive by nature. Being part of a like-minded group also provided me with the motivation to stay on track & accountability for my actions.  The ongoing information & education from Mind Body & Soul's Fitness Trainers was very encouraging and pushed me to achieve.  I also made a point of regularly attending Personal Training and Group Training at the fitness studio.  On each visit, I aimed to walk away knowing I’d tried as hard as possible. 



Q.4 What were your 50-Day Challenge achievements/ highlights?

Well winning was pretty good...but for me the change in my body shape was fabulous. I discovered muscles I didn't know I had! I still cling to the hope that somewhere under my polar bear padding is a six pack!  A girl can dream!!


Q.5 Have you been able to achieve ongoing positive change post 50-Day Challenge?

The pleasing thing is the healthy habits and routines I have established have been maintained. I have still been able to eat well, lose some more weight and exercise regularly.  Due to a recent injury I have not been able to exercise in the same way but has meant I have concentrated on other lifestyle choices.  I have recently been working on sleep, something I am very bad at, but getting better, and mobility.  I never go a day now without 30 minutes of mobility and stretching.  


Q.6 What advice would you provide to current or future 50-Day participants looking to create a fitter, healthier lifestyle?

I think the key is desire, you have to want to change more than you want to be the way you currently are.  Once that desire is there, then I actually think it's about setting goals and then planning to achieve them.  I planned everything, all my meals, all my exercise, and I know that seems a bit excessive but I have a super busy work schedule to contend with.  It includes a lot of travel, eating out; it’s very easy to go off track.  I would even phone restaurants a few days before visiting to ensure they could cook me a meal that was healthy. I would pack snacks for travel, so I wasn't tempted by aeroplane food. 

When I do go off track, which is rarely, I don’t give myself a hard time. I just get straight back into routine.  I also think lots of variety is great, it keeps me interested. I do something different every day for exercise and include long walks as extras when I just need to de-stress. Really, you need to stop thinking about it and just do it!

 

Claire's 50-Day Challenge Highlights included:   6kg weight loss, 11cm decrease in waist measurement & 6.0% Body Fat loss. 

For more information on the Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge click to our dedicated webpage:  http://www.personaltrainer-perth.com.au/50-day-challenge


Creatures of habit

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, August 10, 2014

Being a 'creature of habit' can literally MAKE or BREAK us.

A great Greek philosopher once said: 

'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.'

Would you agree that you are personally a 'creature of habit'?

Do you believe that your habits will determine your success in achieving positive self-change?  

Firstly, it is hard to dispute that we are creatures.  Perhaps we could also be described as animals. (Some of us more than others?!) We're very sophisticated and good looking and all that, but let's not forget that we're still made of flesh and blood.  In particular, our brains are incredibly complex evolved machines.  Our brains compute basic processes such as breathing and what we choose to eat. They also allow us to appreciate the finer points in life.

In relation to our habits, let's face it, your habits, either 'good' or 'bad', have a determining factor in your ability to live a healthy life.   To create ever-lasting change it is essential to embrace the fact that we are naturally 'creatures of habit.' 

The habits we create and carry with us in life are infinitely powerful. Practicing 'good habits', can lift you to sky-scraping heights. On the other hand, practicing 'bad habits' can have you virtually scraping yourself up off the floor.  In other words, our habits either make or break us!




The 50-Day Challenge was designed to allow participants to be more mindful about creating healthy lifestyle habits (eg. regular exercise, healthy eating etc.).  It also provides an opportunity to 'go about' off-loading some bad habits that we have developed over time (eg. watching television, drinking alcohol etc). 

ENERGY VAMPIRES:


Half the battle is identifying how your present life habits are in fact negatively impacting your ability to reach your full potential.  Accept that your 'bad habits' are your 'energy vampires' and will 'suck the life blood' out of your ability to succeed in all aspects of your life.


It is important to note that other 'creatures of habit' (people) in your life can also be your 'energy vampires.'  That is why surrounding yourself with 'positive creatures' with 'healthy habits' can help you be your best.

CONCLUSION:

When resolving to 'weed out' your bad habits sometimes you succeed but often you will experience failure. Why? Not because you're a bad person. Even if you were a bad person, that it is not why you are failing.  You often fail because, simply put habits are extremely hard to change. They're hard to change because they are inherently so ingrained (semi-automatic). 

Do not despair though.  There are proven ways to change your 'bad habits.' 

When you purely focus on eliminating a 'bad habit' the 'bad habit' in itself can cloud your vision and create a negative impulse.  Focusing on creating positive habits, however will naturally- and more easily-remove the bad habits.  

Psychologists often refer to the process of replacing a 'bad habit' with a 'good habit' as sublimation. Sublimation can be used in society in many forms. An example of sublimation would be a frustrated overweight person replacing their impulse to eat fast food- by instead fueling positive emotions to complete a gym workout.  Or by replacing an impulse to drink alcohol with dinner by replacing with a healthy green tea.  



Make a list of the 'bad habits' you wish to eliminate from your lifestyle.  Focusing on one or two is generally more manageable.  Create a positive replacement behaviour and list it under each 'bad habit.' 

For example:

  • BAD HABIT (1):  Drinking 6 cups of Coffee each day
  • POSITIVE HABIT (1):  Drink 6 glasses of water & 2x green tea.
  • BAD HABIT (2):  Watching television each evening for 3 hours.
  • POSITIVE HABIT (2): Walk for 30min each evening and read a book before bed.

N.B. Like any new goal you strive for, the positive habit must be achievable.  There is no use introducing green tea if you cannot stand the taste.  Likewise, if you hate to read then choose a more suitable positive behaviour. 

References:

WEBSITE: Mind Body Green (Energy Vampires: Who They Are & How To Ditch Them)

WEB ADDRESS: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7212/energy-vampires-who-they-are-how-to-ditch-them.html

Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).


Movement is Medicine

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Monday, February 24, 2014

Movement is your best medicine...

Have you heard the old adage: "If you don't use it, you lose it."

I have always thought this to be one of those grand statements of generalisation. 

These types of simplified statements always made me quizzical... 

What exactly do we need to use and for how long and how often?  

and...

What do we lose if we don't use it, and how fast do we lose it?

After attending a Movement & Performance workshop in North Beach yesterday with presenter John Polley (JP Active) I walked away feeling totally enlightened by the magic of human movement.  There were no smoke & mirrors; just a collection of great new training concepts and global movement patterns to share with my clients.  For the majority of clients these movements and techniques will be potentially life changing.


In addition, the training workshop presented me with a couple of profound gems to takeaway.

So here they are in all of their glory:

"Rigidity is the enemy of all biology."  

"Movement is the best medicine."

These statements in all their simplicity have personally unlocked a treasure chest of ideas and reaffirmed what I have been practicing and preaching for the past 20+years to my fitness clients.

The simple message is; we were designed to move and our very existence depends on it.  Every human system is reliant on varied movement & load patterns to function effectively.  The Muscular, Skeletal, Cardio-respiratory, Digestive and Nervous System; to name a handful, will eventually break down and effectively fail without regular movement.

I unfortunately witnessed an elderly family member suffer this very fate.   I found it difficult to understand how a broken hip could end a seemingly healthy and vibrant life.   My dear late-Grandmother who was in her mid 90's at the time, sadly started to shut down when forced into a hospital bed after a fall.  Like many others in her situation, she tragically passed away within a week due to natural causes.

Natural causes?!   I always wondered what that meant....

"Rigidity is the enemy of all biology"

"Movement is medicine"

CONCLUSION:

In a rapidly changing world of convenience and technology at seemingly every turn; we as a population are consuming more food & medicine than ever before; and alarmingly moving much less.  No amount of education or government health initiatives will change this fact in the short term.  It all hinges on "self responsibility."  The positive message this brings is that we all have a choice.  You can be your own "agent of positive change" to create a fitter, healthier life derived from more active movement. You can also employ the help of a qualified fitness professional for individual direction and advice on the type of exercise that is right for you. 

I understand that some of you reading this, especially our Mind Body & Soul clients; may believe I'm preaching to the converted.  This is fantastic, however the message must remain constant:

"Movement is your best medicine."

References:

Dalcourt, Michol , Quote: 'Rigidity is the enemy of all biology.'

Michol Dalcourt is an Educator, Author, Trainer, Inventor and an industry leader in the areas of human Movement and Performance Training.


4 Nutritional Ways to Balance your Brain Chemistry

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I was introduced to the topic of 'Brain Chemistry' by keynote speaker Matt Church at a Sydney Fitness Conference in 2004.  It was certainly not your normal topic to kick off a a 3-day FILEX conference but to this day it continues to keep my mind attune to 'Better living through brain chemistry.'

You do not have to be a 'chemistry lover' or 'chemistry expert' to embrace the concept that;  Balancing your brain chemistry will Maximise Energy, Stamina, Mental Sharpness and Emotional Well-Being.

I would like to share with you to 4 simple ways you can better fuel your brain and discover your 'Chemistry for Success.'

  1.  (1) HYDRATION

are you suffering from dehydration-related fatigue?

Those who complain of fatigue may say that they lack energy or motivation, they get tired easily or their muscles tire easily in a workout or doing daily tasks.  Mentally speaking they may complain that they can't concentrate or struggle to focus.  Other words they might use include: tired, worn out, exhausted or run down.

We can all relate to one of these symptoms or words from time to time.  Fatigue is a very common complaint and the list of potential causes is extensive.  However, it is important to acknowledge that fatigue can commonly be  a symptom of dehydration.


  

In a study by Szinnai et al. (2005), moderate dehydration negatively affected short- term memory and working memory (temporarily storing information for use in various cognitive tasks), as well as subjectively increasing tiredness, reducing alertness and perceived effort and concentration necessary to complete tasks while dehydrated.

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STAY HYDRATED?

  • Always carry a water bottle with you. Whether stuck in a car in traffic, or stuck in a meeting at work, you can avoid dehydration by assuring you have fluids available.
  • Be sure to consume fluids when you exercise. Often we are in a rush to complete our workout or our run or walk. So make sure you adequately hydrate before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
  • As soon as you wake up, grab a glass of water to start your day on the right note.
  • Look for dark colored urine. If your urine is dark yellow, you are likely dehydrated. The goal is straw colored or clear.
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are mostly water and fiber. Therefore, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can increase your fluid intake. Other food and beverage options you may consider include: soups, fruit juices, yogurt, low fat milk, iced or hot tea, coffee-in moderation. Sports drinks can be more effective for long, strenous exercise bouts of beyond an hour due to their electrolyte (mineral) content.
  1.  (2) MEAL FREQUENCY AND CONSISTENCY 

Glucose is the primary fuel for brain function. If we have long periods between meals/ snacks it is likely our blood sugar will decrease which can lead to a reduced supply of glucose to the brain (neuroglycopenia).  As per a diabetic suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) the symptoms can be profound.  You may have experienced some of the following symptoms yourself if you skipped breakfast and then completed a tough workout:

  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue & weakness
  • Confusion & dizziness
  • Reduced exercise performance

TIPS TO KEEP BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS STABLE?

  • Eat regular meals and snacks, including a balanced breakfast before you start your workday. Not only will this help to keep energy levels constant, but it will also help prevent cravings and overeating later in the day. Smaller, more frequent meals can also allow for easier digestion.
  • Avoid simple sugars, and instead opt for high-fiber, nutrient-dense carbohydrates that will supply glucose to the working muscles and the brain, but do so in a more sustaining fashion versus a sharp rise and sharp drop. Examples include: whole grains, grain alternatives like quinoa, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes.
  • Exercise regularly with a combination of strength & cardio exercises included in your workouts.
  1.  (3) VITAMIN D 

WHY IS  VITAMIN D ESSENTIAL?

Research has shown us that there are receptors for vitamin D throughout the brain. Ganji, et al. (2010) noted in their large population-based study, that the likelihood of having depression in persons with vitamin D deficiency is significantly higher compared to those with vitamin D sufficiency.

Researchers at the National Institute for Mental Health have found links between low serotonin and seasonal affective disorder syndrome (SADS). SADS often occurs in countries with fewer daylight hours- by not getting enough sunlight, people become depressed.  Using light boxes, specially designed solariums, the people who suffered form SADS were able to improve their mood considerably.  The link is still not clear but probably has to do with the relationship between exposure to sunlight and the pineal gland.  Located in the middle of your brain this tiny pea-sized gland manufactures the sleep drug melatonin and is sensitive to daylight.  Because serotonin and melatonin work hand in hand, they ensure you sleep when you should (melatonin) and that you wake and move when you need to (serotonin).

FOOD SOURCES

There are limited sources of vitamin D in our diet. We do make vitamin D in our skin with the presence of sunlight; however, in certain areas of the world like the United Kingdom, adequate sunlight is nonexistent, especially during the winter months. Due to low UV exposure many people are subject to vitamin D inadequacy or even deficiency. There are some whole food and fortified food sources of vitamin D, including oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, fish oils like cod liver oil, egg yolks, and fortified foods like milk, cereals, orange juice and yoghurt (Holick, 2006).  If your Vitamin D intake is proven to be insufficient your Doctor may request that you take Vitamin D supplements.


  1.  (4) OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

whY IS OMEGA-3 SUCH AN IMPORTANT BRAIN FOOD?

Omega-3 fatty acids are stored guess where? In your brain, among other places, but each synapse in your brain has a lining composed partially of DHA, one of the primary omega-3 fatty acids our body requires. Our bodies cannot make these fatty acids, thus their term, 'essential fatty acids.' The following bullets show the extreme importance of essential fatty acids on the brain:

  • If you look at any baby formula container, you will find fortification with Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), due to the importance of omega-3 fatty acids on neurological and visual development.
  • A review of essential fatty acids released by the Linus Pauling Institute (Oregon State University), indicates that low DHA may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. This review also reported rodent studies indicating a connection between omega-3 fatty acid deficiency and learning/memory.
  • Also reported by the Linus Pauling Institute, is a noticeable inverse association across countries between rates of depression and seafood consumption; seafood being a primary source of omega-3 fatty acids in our food system.

References:

Church, Matt, 2004. 'Adrenaline Junkies & Serotonin Seekers.'

'Your brain is very complex, and therefore there are many ways in which nutrition can affect your brain chemistry, mood and energy levels.  Think about the above four nutritional recommendations in your own diet and see if you can better fuel your brain for a healthier, happy you!'

The Power of Sleep (Part 1)

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Tuesday, July 23, 2013
In my last Blog titled 'The 5 key lifestyle factors to instantly improve your quality of life'  I revealed how sleep, the food you eat, how active you are, the way you think and how you manage stress directly affect your internal body chemistry and your chances for a naturally high life.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be providing information and tips on achieving your best in each of the 5 key lifestyle areas- starting with SLEEP.

Sleep is one of the most important lifestyle factors for achieving great internal chemistry and wellness.  As the Dalai Lama once quoted 'Sleep is the best meditation.'
Deep sleep means you'll have greater productivity, better focus and more creativity.  You'll be able to communicate ideas easily, have more energy and be willing to take on tasks with less fear, staying happier throughout the day and remaining rational in crisis.


If you don't get enough sleep it can lead to illness.  Lack of sleep has also been known to cause horrific accidents, errors in judgement, and is a major symptom and cause of depression.  One night's missed sleep can drastically mess with your body chemistry.  It can literally take six weeks for the body to return to an optimal internal chemical balance after a sleepless night.  One hour's sleep lost every night each week is the equivalent of staying up all night.  I can certainly relate to this after spending a few late night's watching  Wimbledon, the Tour de France and the Ashes of late.  Spectacular sports viewing, but not spectacular energy the next day?!

ENOUGH SLEEP
Each individual needs different amounts of sleep with the average adult requiring three and ten hours.  The amount of sleep can also vary form week to week, depending on a variety of factors including how much sun you were exposed to during the day, the amount of exercise you did, and the degree of learning or new experiences you faced during the day.  Finding out your optimal amount of sleep is a crucial step toward performing at your peak.

THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP
When you're awake serotonin levels are at their peak. Then, as you pass into dream sleep, serotonin production stops. During the night the brain breaks down serotonin to create the powerful brain chemical melatonin.  
Serotonin acts like and accelerator during the day, keeping you happy and energetic, controlling when and what you eat.  Melatonin, on the other hand acts like a parking brake during the night, allowing you to recuperate and replenish all of your internal systems.    

This blog post is continued...please read 'The Power of Sleep (Part 2)'


The Power of Sleep (Part 2)

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Monday, July 22, 2013
THE SYMPTOMS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION

  1.  MILD SLEEP LOSS
  • You can't remember important details
  • You find it hard to pay attention
  • You lack energy
  1.  MODERATE SLEEP LOSS
  • You struggle to string simple sentences together
  • You become irritated by little things
  • You can't regualate body temperature well
  1.  MAJOR SLEEP LOSS
  • You hallucinate
  • You almost / fall asleep driving
  • You catch colds as your immune system plummets
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF SLEEP:

Relax before going to bed
Read a book, listen to soothing music or have a warm bath or shower before you go to bed.  Avoid stimulants including alcohol, coffee or chocolate at least four hours before sleep.

Avoid sleeping in
If you wake on some mornings later than normal you can actually feel worse than if you had got up at your regular time.  This could be because you've begun a new sleep cycle and haven't fully completed it. So rather than rising into consciousness from a natural state of awakening, you force yourself out of deep sleep and into your day. If you are totally sleep deprived or exhausted, sleeping in might be the only option to catch up on some lost hours.  

Make your bedroom dark
When it gets dark your brain begins to release melatonin so you sleep deeply.  If you want better sleep you need to shut out light -  the darker you can make the bedroon the better, as daylight sends a trigger to your brain to switch off melatonin production and begin manufacturing serotonin.  Artificial light from a TV or computer screen can also have this effect so reduce or eliminate your screen time before bed.

Control noise
Although controlling noise is a key element of the sleep environment, silence isn't always your goal.  You'll quickly adapt to routine noise and are easily affected by change in routine.  For example, if you were to move house by the edge of a main road you would readily adapt to the hum of the traffic noise, whilst guests who visit would be likely to find it unbearable. If you live in the city and head to the country for the weekend, the silence might be deafening. 
Overhead ceiling fans and air-conditioning may all help to dampen random noise.  High quality earplugs may also help level out noises that disrupt sleep, although they often take a little getting used to. 

Regulate your body temperature in bed
Try to maintain a consistent body temperature when you sleep.  Shake out your bed covering before you lie down to sleep so that the down and feathers are evenly distributed.  You may want to consider having different winter and summer bed covers if your seasonal temperatures vary greatly.  Wear nightwear made form natural fibers that breathe, such as cotton. 
Your depth of sleep will be affected significantly if your partner has a different body temperature  form yours.  So by all means give your partner a cuddle, but kindly dispatch them to their side of the bed for sleeping.  Consider separate bed covers if you and your partner are typically different temperatures when in bed.

Exercise during the day
Research has shown that you will sleep better at night if you exercise during the day, particularly cardiovascular exercise.  If you don't sleep well at night, think seriously about making a brisk walk, gym session or light run part of your daily routine. Exercise is a classic example of investing time in an activity to reap the rewards later- a one-hour workout makes your other 23 hours so much more effective!

'So a better night's sleep will improve your overall health and create a better quality of life. Make the commitment to develop quality sleep patterns and reap the rewards.'
Brett Smith, Wellness Coach (Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio).