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Should You Measure Sleep as a Part of Your Fitness Performance Tracking?

Posted by on 9:02 am in Exercise & Fitness, Losing Weight | 0 comments

Should You Measure Sleep as a Part of Your Fitness Performance Tracking?

Many healthy wellness programs have been updating their fitness performance tracking strategies to include sleep. Recently, the even the Canadian Armed Forces updated their own fitness strategy to include sleep as one of its four main components.

This is becoming an increasingly common move in fitness performance tracking in groups where physical and mental fitness, energy and alertness are critical. In that specific case, sleep has been added to the three other existing pillars of fitness including physical activity, nutrition and injury prevention.

Fitness Performance Tracking Indicators

This new component of fitness performance tracking has been added as an indicative performance behavior in the new “BALANCE” fitness strategy of the Canadian military. This addition has other national militaries as well as other groups such as emergency responders, paying attention. The new military fitness indicators replace the previous version that was last updated in 2008.

Sleep had not previously been mentioned in prior military fitness performance tracking strategies. That said, it is now one of four primary measures of fitness.

Why is Sleep a Measure of Fitness?

It is very rare for adults to be able to reach optimal performance levels when regularly obtaining fewer than seven or eight hours of sleep per night. This, according to the new fitness strategy of the Canadian military, which cited a number of studies on the impact of sleep on soldiers in making this determination.

The military’s own recruitment website states that its recruits should expect to receive six hours of sleep per night during basic training. That said, the newer BALANCE fitness strategy will bring in a “decentralized” implementation method. This will allow various bases and units to develop their own programs in order to meet to fitness performance tracking objectives.

What Should You Learn From This Strategy?

Physical fitness isn’t just a matter of regular workouts. In fact, it isn’t even just a matter of eating right and being active while taking steps to avoid injuring yourself. Instead, it involves many other factors and sleep is primary among them.

Sleep has an impact on energy, alertness, fatigue, motivation, physical performance and mental health. It has a significant effect on decision making and reflexes as well. As a result, paying closer attention to sleep is increasingly considered to be an important fitness performance tracking measure. Improving your sleep habits and the quality of your sleep can have a wider impact on the rest of your fitness and wellness goal achievements.

Looking for a Great Summer Vacation Destination? This Option Might Surprise You

Posted by on 8:47 am in Wellness | 0 comments

Looking for a Great Summer Vacation Destination? This Option Might Surprise You

If you’re looking for a fantastic summer vacation destination, then you may want to consider heading to Mexico this year. While this may surprise you as the country is typically exceptionally popular at that time of year, this year may provide a unique opportunity.

The reason is that there is an expected dip in travel from the United States to Mexico, which means that the most popular summer vacation destination options may not be as crowded as they have been in previous years. The prediction in dropping travel to Mexico was made by Allianz Global Assistance.

Where Are People Going for Their Summer Vacation Destination?

Cancun has stayed at the top of the list for international summer vacation destination from the United States this year. That said, the difference in 2019 is that it is expected to account for only 10.5 percent of international travel. In 2018, it made up 15.7 percent and the year before that, it was 16.9 percent.

Despite its popularity as a summer vacation destination, Cancun does appear to be sliding when it comes to the places where Americans plan to travel from May 24 through September 3. It was during those planned trip dates that Allianz based its data.

Why This Makes Mexico A Great Choice

The reason this still makes Mexico a top choice for a summer vacation destination is that it means that you’ll be able to enjoy all the same:

  • Amenities,
  • Attractions,
  • Events, and
  • Historical sites

These all remain the same as they would be during the top years for this destination. That said, you won’t need to do it while facing crowds the size that they were last year or the year before.

Moreover, you may find that with a drop in travelers, there may also be a larger amount of competition, meaning that you may be able to find a better deal. Still, if you were hoping for a luxury summer vacation destination, then it’s a good idea to step away from those most popular spots such as Cancun.

Instead, consider this luxury villa rental in Mexico’s Nayarit province, which is a true hidden gem in the country. It is safe, gorgeous and friendly, while still being within reach of top must-see locations such as Puerto Vallarta.

Keep in mind two of the main reasons Allianz identified for the drop in tourism numbers for this summer vacation destination are the defunding of the Mexico Tourism Board and its international offices closures. It isn’t that the location is any less appealing but is instead simply a matter of reduced marketing. Wise travelers look for precisely these opportunities to take their dream vacations.

Why Does Substantial Weight Loss Sometimes Cause Hair Loss, Too?

Posted by on 2:42 pm in Losing Weight, Wellness | 0 comments

Why Does Substantial Weight Loss Sometimes Cause Hair Loss, Too?

Though substantial weight loss is often considered to be a positive thing, it can also come with some surprising unwanted side effects. While many people know about the risk of loose skin, there is also a chance that you can experience hair loss, too.

This is not usually the case when someone loses a few pounds, unless they are the result of extremely poor nutrition. Instead, it typically takes substantial weight loss in order to bring on such unwanted outcomes.

Hair Loss from Substantial Weight Loss

After losing around a hundred pounds or more, this type of substantial weight loss can lead to hair loss. This is very frustrating for many people because they work so hard to drop the pounds and then experience highly unwanted consequences as a result. For many people, the hair loss can be more upsetting than any other part of the weight loss, including hunger, exhaustion or having to change their lifestyle.

Once people experience substantial weight loss, hair can become more thin as well as being finer. This becomes most obvious in the shower when washing hair, where it can seem to come out in large amounts.

How to Correct Hair Loss Resulting from Lost Weight

There are four main things that you can do to help to reverse – or prevent – significant hair loss after substantial weight loss.

  1. Eat enough protein – Protein is an important part of your diet when it comes to hair growth. If substantial weight loss is causing your hair to fall out, making sure you’re eating right can play a vital role in correcting it.
  2. Eat enough biotin – Like protein, biotin is an important nutrient for improving the health and strength of both your hair and nails for that matter. Try to obtain it through food over supplements if at all possible as food sources of nutrition are more effective.
  3. Give yourself scalp massages – Many people feel that scalp massages can help to promote better hair growth and health. The reason is that these gentle massages not only feel good but also promote blood flow to the area. This added blood flow means the area receives more oxygen and nutrients which make it better able to grow hair.
  4. Patience – Keep in mind that hair grows in cycles. Therefore, even if you’re doing something that’s working, it could still take weeks or months before you see real results. Be patient and try not to be discouraged. Just as substantial weight loss takes time, so does hair regrowth.

How to Treat Yourself at McDonald’s Without Ruining Your Diet

Posted by on 11:24 am in Dieting, Losing Weight | 0 comments

How to Treat Yourself at McDonald’s Without Ruining Your Diet

Yes, it is possible to eat at McDonald’s or your other favorite fast food restaurant without ruining your diet. This feels as though it goes against everything we’re told about healthy dieting. Indeed, eating fast food isn’t really the healthiest move you can make in terms of nutrition. It’s also true that eating it too frequently can make it extremely difficult to control your weight.

However, this doesn’t mean that if you treat yourself to a McDonald’s meal, you’ll be ruining your diet. If you’re using it as an occasional or rare treat, and if you are maintaining a steady weight management strategy most of the rest of the time, your treat shouldn’t do any damage in the grand scheme.

Fast Food Isn’t Ruining Your Diet

It’s easy to point to fast food to explain what is ruining your diet. If you’re having it frequently – several times per week – you could be right. That said, it’s not actually the food itself. Instead, it is your choice to eat it as frequently as you do.

If you are eating a healthy and balanced diet most days, the occasional cheeseburger with fries won’t impact your ability to lose or maintain your weight over the long term. Having a bit of fun and treating yourself to the foods you like is just as important as eating healthy foods within a certain calorie restriction on the majority of days.

Don’t Make Yourself Feel Deprived

Making yourself feel deprived will ruin your diet just as quickly as eating fast food regularly. Remember that if you truly love eating at McDonald’s, then the occasional treat there is going to be a part of your life. You need to enjoy your food, the experience and the taste. It’s important psychologically, even if it does not nourish you with the vitamins and minerals you require.

If your eating habits start making you feel deprived, then your strategy will not last. Eventually, you will decide to break your healthy habits and your promises to yourself. Then, you’ll do it again. Since it’s not something you’ve worked into your strategy, it will be “breaking the rules”. As a result, it is done without restrictions or limitations. It just requires you to accept that you’ve broken the rules. If you make it a part of your rules, it will be kept under your control without ruining your diet.

Learn the calories in the foods you choose to eat and keep yourself accountable for them. Track them as you would the rest of your foods so that you can make sure you’re nourishing your body properly the rest of the time, even when you hop away from healthy foods for the occasional meal now and again, just because.

A Wellness Lifestyle Means More than Just Losing Weight

Posted by on 12:20 pm in Wellness | 0 comments

A Wellness Lifestyle Means More than Just Losing Weight

Many people think of a wellness lifestyle as something that focuses mainly on weight. While achieving and keeping up a healthy body weight is a good part of a wellness lifestyle, it is hardly the only factor.

That said, all the different components of a wellness lifestyle play in the role in the success of the rest of them. For example, if you exercise, you’re more likely to burn calories and fats. At the same time, people who exercise regularly are also more likely to sleep better. When you sleep well on a regular basis, it’s easier to prevent unwanted weight gain and keep weight under control.

What Goes into a Wellness Lifestyle?

There are a number of different factors that make up a complete wellness lifestyle. The following are some of the main ones:

  • Eating right – This doesn’t mean that your food is always focused on nutrition and is always flavorless. It doesn’t mean that you can’t ever have junk food. Most doctors will agree that as long as you eat enough servings of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fat and whole grains every day, it won’t hurt you if you have the occasional piece of birthday cake, pizza or other junk food favorites. It’s not realistic to think that you can always have a flawlessly nutritious diet. Still, you should aim for complete, varied and balanced on most days to give your body what it needs to function at its best.
  • Being regularly active – Thirty minutes per day is all it takes on most days of the week. This doesn’t mean that you need to join a gym, unless you enjoy going to the gym. A brisk fifteen-minute walk at lunchtime and another one after work is an easy way to get your minimum without ever feeling like you’re forcing yourself through a workout.
  • Restful sleep – Getting a good sleep at night is good for both your mental and physical health. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get eight hours per night. Instead, it means you’ll get as much as your unique body and mind requires. This may be more or less than eight hours.
  • Being social – Loneliness is currently considered to be a serious and growing health problem. As we increasingly rely on social media to make contact with those we know, we’re becoming more disconnected with people in real life. Furthermore, as it becomes more common for people to live alone, it becomes more important to make specific excuses to get out and interact with others.

What is the Army Combat Fitness Test and Would You Pass?

Posted by on 8:49 am in Exercise & Fitness | 0 comments

What is the Army Combat Fitness Test and Would You Pass?

The Army Combat Fitness Test has been the same for nearly forty years. That said, for the first time in those almost four decades, the United States Army has decided to make some changes. In this way, it will be altering the way it measures its solders’ physical fitness levels.

The new Army Combat Fitness Test will be rolled out over the next year and a half. Also known as the ACFT, it will be rolled out to 1.1 million U.S. soldiers worldwide. The purpose for the change in the test will be to make sure American troops are adequately prepared for what will be physically required of them in combat. According to many commanders, the current version of the ACTF is not adequately accomplishing that goal.

The Old Army Combat Fitness Test

The older version of the Army Combat Fitness Test requires two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a two mile long run. This version of the ACTF was first created in the early 1980s. However, following the wars occurring in the Middle East, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army saw the need for change.

The Army sought a new test that would better reflect the type of physical fitness requirements that would be needed in real situations. In this way, the test should more closely measure whether troops are combat ready. The military discovered that almost one in four of its soldiers evacuated from the battlefield were drawn out of combat as a result of musculoskeletal injuries. That said, only 14 percent of the withdrawn soldiers had actually suffered wounds from actually fighting.

The New Army Combat Fitness Test

The new version of the Army Combat Fitness Test is fifty minutes long and involves six different events. These include:

  • 3 reps of a deadlift as heavy as 420 pounds
  • Throwing a 10 pound medicine ball
  • Hand-release push-ups
  • A 23-meter shuttle run
  • Hanging leg tucks
  • A two mile long run

Many people are now using the new Army Combat Fitness Test to set goals for their own physical fitness. At the same time that the Army is finding it challenging to meet its recruitment targets, its fitness tests are becoming more popular than ever among people who are focused on achieving their exercise goals. Many boot camps and group workout programs are using this as a guideline for the options they provide in their workouts. Would you pass the test?

It’s Not Just What You Eat But How You Eat it for Weight Loss

Posted by on 11:32 am in Dieting, Losing Weight | 0 comments

It’s Not Just What You Eat But How You Eat it for Weight Loss

When your goal is weight loss, what you eat makes all the difference. That said, as much as it’s very important to choose the right foods, there are many other factors that also play a role in your ability to successfully reach your goal. Though it may not seem appealing at the beginning when you think about changing your lifestyle habits, the difference they make may soon change your mind.

After all, not all changes need to be big ones, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a substantial difference to reaching the outcomes you want. What you eat is an important change, but many others will get you there faster and easier on top of the right healthy eating choices.

Use These 3 Tips Beyond What You Eat to Lose Weight

1. How You Eat

What you eat isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to your meals and snacks. How you eat it also plays an important role in your potential success. Are you wolfing down your food? If so, you’re only handing yourself a setback. If you slow down your rate of eating, you’ll have the chance to pay attention to how things taste and textures, too. You’ll boost the enjoyment of your meals by savoring each bite. At the same time, you’ll give your brain and stomach enough time to communicate with each other. You’ll feel satisfied after eating less food.

2. Don’t Keep Food All Around You

Don’t keep food always in sight. What you eat isn’t everything. How much of it you’re eating is also important. If you’re constantly tempting yourself with foods within easy reach – especially treat foods like chips and candy bars – you’re more likely to overeat. Make food inconvenient by leaving it all in the kitchen, never leaving it within grasping range without getting up and interrupting what you’re doing. Then, make sure healthy foods are more convenient to eat than unhealthy ones. Keep fruits and veggies in grab-and-go mode in your fridge and packed lunch.

3 – Control Your Stress

That may sound easier said than done, particularly when compared to controlling what you eat. That said, every little bit counts. Not only will extra steps like taking 3 minutes to meditate every day or simply smiling at the sun as you think of something you’re grateful for in your life all ways to make you just a touch happier each day, but they also control cortisol levels. Find out how to better cope with your stresses and anxieties and it will naturally help you to prevent fat gain and promote fat loss. It will also help you to avoid stress eating or choosing comfort foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt.

Why Are Wellness Goals More Important Than Just Weight Loss Goals?

Posted by on 10:15 am in Losing Weight | 0 comments

Why Are Wellness Goals More Important Than Just Weight Loss Goals?

If you skip the fads and look at the healthy trends for this year, you’ll discover that wellness goals are far more popular than weight loss targets. There are many reasons for this, and it is believed that the trend will only continue to grow as people discovery why this mindset shift is an important one.

Weight Loss Goals are Still Important

Certainly, it’s still important to consider weight loss goals, even if your main focus is on your wellness goals. After all, your weight is an important indicator of your overall health. Too much or too little of it will require you to make changes in order to arrive at your healthiest possible body.

That said, your weight isn’t the only factor worth considering. It just happens to be one that you can see and measure. That’s the reason that wellness goals are starting to take off and leave weight loss dieting behind.

Enter Wellness Goals

When you change your angle and pursue wellness goals instead, weight is still a factor. That said, it is only one of many. This perspective allows you to take a broader view of your life and allow your weight to manage itself naturally as you live a lifestyle that will encourage improved overall health.

For instance, when you are following efforts toward wellness goals, you’ll likely also be working to improve your cardiovascular health, reduce your risk of cancer, shrink your chances of diabetes, and even improve your skin health. To achieve any or all these goals, you will need to adopt a nutritious, balanced diet, and you will need to keep up a certain amount of physical activity on a regular basis.

Healthy Lifestyle for Similar Reasons

Did those steps sound familiar? That’s right, the things that you need to do in order to achieve healthy weight loss are the same steps you would take to achieve your wellness goals. By eating right, you give your body the nutrition it needs to be healthy so you can achieve better wellness. That said, it can also help to make sure your weight will reach the right level for your body. This is particularly true when you are regularly active, which is also vital to heart health, reducing the risk of cancers and avoiding diabetes.

What’s more, by pursuing wellness goals, your benefits will be a lifestyle and, therefore, your efforts will lead to results you can maintain over the long-term.

I Tried These Wellness Products and Love, Love, Love Them!

Posted by on 9:24 am in Wellness | 0 comments

I Tried These Wellness Products and Love, Love, Love Them!

I’m one of those people who is practically addicted to wellness products. I just love how many there are and that I’m in a position to try some of them out. This includes everything from healthy weight loss tools, fitness gadgets, and other devices, technologies and tools meant to make it easier for me to live a healthy lifestyle.

Over the last few months, I’ve been trying out some great wellness products – some I bought for myself, others that were gifts from the holidays – and I thought I’d share my experience with you.

The Best Wellness Products I’ve Tried Recently

The Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser

I’m pretty new to the world of essential oils. I’ve resisted these wellness products until now because every time I visit a store that sells them, it’s so overwhelmingly strong that I have to leave. They sell them at craft shows, in health stores, etc, and I can’t stand it. I got this one as a gift and decided to use it. I went light on the essential oils while it humidifies my bedroom at night. Just a tiny touch of lavender to put me to sleep at night, or a bit of eucalyptus or citrus when I need a bit of a wake-up during the afternoon is perfect.

The Fitbit Alta

I’ve gone through several trackers over the years, including the kind you wear on a waistband, and three that you wear on your wrist. My favorite so far has been the Fitbit Alta. I love its size and features. I think the only thing it’s missing is being waterproof, though it’s pretty water resistant. I know that the Charge 3 has come out and it has similar features and is waterproof, but I’m not wild about its size. For me, Alta is the top current choice.


This is an energy pill I’ve come to love for giving my workouts a boost, especially if I exercise in the morning or at lunchtime. It’s natural-feeling energy, so it doesn’t feel like a shaky jolt as some other products do. All the ingredients in 3G BURN are clinically tested and it’s an all-natural formula. It’s also made in an American facility.

The LuxFit Foam Roller

I was a late-comer to foam rolling. It was a hard sell for me. After all, it doesn’t feel very good while you’re doing it. Sometimes, it nearly hurts. I have to admit that while I was using it to work out all my worked-out tissues and muscles, it made a big difference. I wasn’t as sore after workouts, I recovered faster, and I just felt better overall. I like this one for its great size, density and affordability.

I Tried These Top YouTube Fitness Channels for a Month

Posted by on 8:58 am in Exercise & Fitness | 1 comment

I Tried These Top YouTube Fitness Channels for a Month

Whenever I want to try a new workout, I always look to YouTube Fitness Channels to provide. That said, if you’ve ever tried to search among all the different videos, you’ll know that it can be a bit overwhelming. There are millions of videos and thousands of channels to choose from.

Worry not, I’ve used the last month to come up with a great list of YouTube fitness channels you might love. I’ve listed them below so you can see why I liked them, and why you might, too.

My Favorite YouTube Fitness Channels (2019 edition)

The Fitness Marshall

I absolutely adore The Fitness Marshall. Caleb Marshall easily takes the top of my YouTube fitness channels list. These videos not only give me a fantastic workout for my body, but also for my mood! Even if I start off feeling down, tired or unmotivated, I’m full of energy and smiles by the end. These quick cardio sessions are essentially interactive dance videos. Make sure to pay attention to the expressions he has on his face if you want to keep yourself smiling the whole time. He is the master of fun and motivation for getting through snack-sized workouts all week long. His channel also has handy playlists to provide complete workouts if you’d rather enjoy a longer sweat session.


Cassey Ho is the host of the Blogilates channel and while the first impression if these YouTube fitness channels may seem like a more traditional workout video, she definitely goes above and beyond. Her Pop Pilates (Pilates with pop music!) makes these female-focused workouts challenging but enjoyable at the same time. There are quite a few of them and they make you feel like you’re getting a dance workout instead of your typical Pilates experience. I also like that any equipment you need in the video is typically something you have around the house. Nothing specialty needed!


Jessica Smith hosts the JessicaSmithTV YouTube fitness channels. She has been a certified personal trainer for over 15 years and provides a range of different full-length videos. She uses several techniques for achievable fitness (with her dog, Peanut, often there to provide support) including everything from walking to meditation and from barre to high intensity interval training (HIIT). The channel is organized into helpful playlists to make it easy to find what I want.

If there’s anything I’ve discovered over the last month while coming up with this list, it’s that well maintained and up-to-date playlists are a rare thing among YouTube fitness channels. That makes this one a real gem.