You know the drill. Every time the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, people inevitably start asking you that dreaded question, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” You’ve come to expect the question and likely something prepared to the effect of:(more…)
A quick Google search for the mental benefits of exercise will yield you an exhaustive list of articles and other resources on the subject. It can be difficult to find time and motivation to fit in exercise and personal training while juggling the many demands of modern life! Many of our clients are busy working professionals juggling their fitness regimes with work, children, hobbies, and a host of other activities.
With school back in session and the summer getaways coming to an end, it’s time to fall back into routine. It seems that amongst the ‘health and fitness’ crowd (or maybe more broadly the ‘hustlers’ of the world) there is a deeply held belief that the early bird gets the worm. Early morning workouts, long before the sun comes up, are the way to put you on the path to success and productivity.
But what if you hate mornings?
Sure, it feels great to get your workout done for the day. There’s less temptation to pass on your workout due to the mental fog that can come from a long day of work or for social events (no one is asking you out for post-work drinks at 6 AM). But if you’re someone who feels like they are continually battling what they “should be” doing (i.e. getting up and working out) and what they “want to be doing” (i.e. getting a few more hours or sleep) then we’ve got some tips to help you actually make it to your AM workout.
How to Get Out of Bed & Workout in The Morning
Change Your Mindset
As far as we know, there isn’t any magic potion out there (including coffee) that makes getting up at 5 AM feel good, (especially so if you aren’t a morning person). But instead of thinking about all the work that needs to be done (i.e. miles to run and squats to bang out) think about the chance to get some alone time just for yourself before the rest of the world (work, family, etc.) starts knocking at your door.
Don’t Jump Out of Bed
It might seem counterintuitive, especially if you want to hit the snooze button, but give yourself a moment to transition from sleep to awake. Sit up in bed. Hit the light. Drink some water. Over time these small queues will help your body recognize that sleep is over and it’s time for the next phase of the day.
Add In A Pre-Workout
Now that you’re actually out of bed, it’s time to give yourself a little mental boost. Pre-workouts often contain caffeine, plus a variety of other cognitive workout enhancing ingredients such as β-Alanine, Citrulline Malate, Creatine, and amino acids like tyrosine which have been shown to help with mental focus giving you the extra boost you need to crank up the dial for an intense workout.
Mentally you might be feeling more alert thanks to the previous tips, but physically your body still isn’t there yet. Give yourself the space to allow your body to warm up slowly. Try a 5-7 minute run at a slow pace (we’re talking a 3 or 4 out of 10 on the exertion scale) coupled with some dynamic stretches to really get the blood flowing to the muscles. Taking the time to add this warmup onto your workout may seem like wasted time that you could have spent in bed, but it will actually help you go harder once you get to the ‘main’ part of your workout and avoid injury to muscles which aren’t quite ready for the grinding workout you have in store.
Better Yet, Start the Night Before
Going back to our first tip, there may not be a magic potion to make getting up feel any easier, but there is something to be said for a good night’s sleep that has you waking feeling well-rested.
What are your tips for getting out of bed for that sweet Rise & Grind? Let us know!
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a lifestyle or dietary approach that has gained more attention recently, and rightly so. Studies are demonstrating promising health benefits of IF, including: weight loss, reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, enhanced cognition, better mood, and hormone balance. Intermittent fasting alternates periods of normal food intake with extended periods (usually 16–48 h) of low-to-no food intake. This approach can take various forms, such as:
Feeding Window: You can only eat during a set period of time every day (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, for instance, which is a 14 hour fast).
Alternate-Day Fasting: This diet can take different forms: you can eat over 12 hours then fast for 36 hours; you can eat over 24 hours then fast for 24 hours; or you can eat normally over 24 hours then eat very little (about 500 kcal) over the next 24 hours.
Eat-Stop-Eat: You fast or restrict calories for 24 hours, either at regular intervals (two days per week in the 5:2 Diet) or just from time to time.
Random Meal Skipping: You skip meals at random throughout the week.
During fasting, the body switches over to using fat as its fuel source; this is what helps to support fat loss during intermittent fasting. Further, it appears that IF helps improve cellular repair, metabolism and rejuvenation.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting:
Supports weight loss: During fasting, the body switches over to using fat as a source of fuel. Studies on humans who used IF for 8-12 weeks lost anywhere from 2.5-8% of their body weight (that’s up to 14lbs. in someone who weighs 170lbs.)
Reduces cardiovascular risk factors: Studies indicate that IF can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, and inflammation (measured by C Reactive Protein) which are all associated with risk of cardiovascular disease. Other studies demonstrate that people who fast have a lower chance of being diagnosed with diabetes.
Improve cognition: Animal studies have indicated that intermittent fasting can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, metabolic dysfunction, and cognitive dysfunction over the life span.
Improve hormone balance in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Women with this condition who use IF can benefit from normalization of the menstrual cycle, improved metabolism and weight loss.
Support mood during perimenopause: IF can be one part of the puzzle in supporting women suffering from perimenopausal depression and/or anxiety.
Keep in mind that IF is not for everyone. People with impaired glycemic control should speak to their Naturopathic Physician or GP before giving it a try. Also, if you’re pregnant, underweight, younger than 18, or have a history of disordered eating, IF is probably not for you.
How to get started:
First, speak to your ND or GP to see if intermittent fasting is an option for you. If it is, pick an IF routine that works best for your schedule and routine. If you choose the ‘feeding window’ routine, start with a 14-hour overnight fast (ex. from 8pm to 12pm). Try using an app like ‘Zero’ to help keep you on track and watch your progress over time. During the feeding window, eat as you normally do. Studies show that in fact, people do NOT tend to ‘eat more’ during the feeding window. If you’d like some guidance as to what is best to focus on eating when you’re not fasting, speak to your Naturopathic Physician for guidance.
Learn more about Dr. Kathleen on her website (www.drkathleenmahannah.com), connect with her on Instagram (@dr.kathleenmahannah) or find her at Innovative Fitness North Vancouver on Wednesdays and Fridays!
Nair, P., & Khawale, P. (2016). Role of therapeutic fasting in womens health: An overview. Journal of Mid-life Health,7(2), 61. doi:10.4103/0976-7800.185325
Horne, B. D., Muhlestein, J. B., & Anderson, J. L. (2015). Health effects of intermittent fasting: Hormesis or harm? A systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,102(2), 464-470. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.109553
Former IF coach Dr. Rory Gibbons talks burn-out & how to treat it.
Tired, stressed-out, heavier, moody and “just not the same as you used to be”? You are not alone. Burn-out is becoming more and more common among hard-working professionals that literally want to to do it all and be the best at it. So why is this happening and what can be done about it?
More often than not, people experiencing early onset burn-out, or burn-out altogether just think they need to suck it up. If your car is running low on gas and hasn’t had an oil change for way too long, do you step on the gas or do you fill it up and give it some TLC? Your fatigue and sluggish productivity is a sign that your body’s energy reserves may be running low.
In order to figure out why you’re tired, looking at physiological markers in your body such as blood quality, thyroid hormones, iron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12 can often be a great starting point. Sometimes by running a comprehensive hormone evaluation we can see how your body is producing hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone. When you need more of the stress hormone cortisol, it steals precursor hormones that are destined for production of testosterone and estrogen. Sometimes when these hormones are low fatigue (and a whole host of other symptoms) can occur.
By understanding the biochemistry of certain hormones, lifestyle and functional nutrition interventions can be used to improve energy and get you functioning at the top of your game.
Fatigue is multi-faceted therefore treatment should be multi-faceted. In addition to determining why you are burning out, energy can be supported by specific dietary interventions. Changes as simple as staying hydrated and limiting processed sugar in the daily diet have been shown repeatedly to improve energy levels.
Don’t forget about sleep. Motivated entrepreneurs often sacrifice sleep for meeting deadlines and for going the extra mile for their valued client, however the most successful business people in the world can agree that proper sleep quality will elevate your game. Try to develop a night time routine that limits screen time (TV, smart phones and tablets) and if you really need to use a device, make sure you are using an app that changes the light being emitted such as “nightshift” or “f.lux”. Blue light has been proven to suppress melatonin which we need for sleep quality and cell recovery. Keeping with the routine, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily; this regulates secretion of cortisol and melatonin to when nature intended it to be released.
Nutritional treatments such as intravenous nutrient therapy and energy shots have both proven to increase energy levels with limited side effects. Intravenous nutrient therapy provides essential vitamins and minerals that are being burned up fast during your more stressful times and has shown to be effective at elevating energy and mood, improving lung capacity, and boosting immune function. The shots have been shown to improve energy, nerve function and brain cognition. Both therapies take very little time, and often patients notice an improvement shortly after. Efficiency is something high functioning people appreciate and there is nothing more efficient at getting nutrients into your body than intravenous therapy.
If you feel like this article relates to you, then you need to see me! Visit drrorygibbons.janeapp.com to book online or simply call the clinic at 604-986-9191.
I am Dr. Rory Gibbons. I am a naturopathic physician practicing in North Vancouver and I can improve your level of energy, productivity, focus, and performance. I understand that you’re busy and the free time you have you want to spend with family and friends, so I work hard to maximize your visit time by taking a thorough history and providing a comprehensive treatment plan. If low energy is not a concern for you, I am also able to help by providing treatment that is simple, natural, and effective for the following:
Men’s health such as libido and testosterone-related concerns (lack of motivation, low joy of life, reduced muscle bulk, depression)
Whether it’s training one on one with a coach or training with a group of others that have similar fitness goals to yours, it’s incredibly empowering and motivating because you are part of a community that is invested in keeping you accountable and supporting you on your way to success.
In other words, SHARED CHALLENGES=SHARED VICTORIES!