Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sculpting the Perfect Body : 8 Hours at a Time

Sculpting the Perfect Body : 8 Hours at a Time
by Bob Wells, PES

Summer is just around the corner--meaning trips to the beach, and bathing suits aplenty.

Naturally, we all want to look great in our bathing suits, like actor Channing Tatum and U.S. national soccer team member Sydney Leroux (pictured below). However, we often sabotage those efforts with our lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough sleep. Even if we eat right and are on an excellent training program,  such as "Buns and Guns", a lack of proper sleep can leave us more tired, grumpier, and fatter than we hoped.

Channing Tatum / Courtesy 15 Pictures

Sydney Leroux / Courtesy Sydney Leroux
According to a report by Harvard Medical School, several studies show a link between insufficient sleep and weight gain. One such study found that individuals who regularly sleep less than six hours each night are more likely to have excess body weight. Conversely, people who sleep an average of eight hours per night have the lowest relative body fat of the study group.

Try these three tips to get your nightly 8 hours--and amazing body:
  1. Keep a regular schedule. Go to bed at the same time each night. Try not to break this routine on the weekends or vacation when it is tempting to stay up later. If you do, you will throw off your sleeping patterns, which can lead to insomnia. 
  2. Create a good routine. Keep the noise down in your bedroom. For big city dwellers, this can be a real challenge. Try using earplugs or a noise machine. Also, keep the temperature in your bedroom relatively cool (about 65°F or 18°C according to Harvard Medical School). If the temperature is too warm or too cool, it can interfere with the quality of your sleep.
  3. Get regular exercise. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. The regular exercise will improve the quality of your sleep, by helping you sleep more deeply
For more tips on getting better sleep, check out "How to Sleep Better". For more information on nutrition and eating right, check out "Sculpting the Perfect Body : One Bite at a Time".

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