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Telling The Time Of Your Circadian Rhythm

You’ve probably heard that your body has a natural clock, but do you actually know what time it tells?

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     No matter how you plan your evening, or morning – for that matter, your body seems to have the final say. Why is that? This incredible phenomenon occurs to each of us, each and every day. It’s scientifically known as our circadian rhythm, better known as your body’s internal master clock. This is the biological system that firstly alerts but, more than likely forces you to sleep at a certain time and to wake up at another. In short, your circadian rhythm is your body’s sleep on and off switch. 

Believe it or not but this fun little scientific phrase actually controls a lot of systems in our bodies. 

However, the basics first. Our Circadian Rhythm is formally known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This nucleus sits “pretty” next to the optic nerves that cross in our brains. It allows our brain to perceive the “time” or eyes see. Michael McCarthy, M.D., a staff psychiatrist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System mentions that “the master clock responds to changes in daylight only and it gets that information from the eyes.”

Crazy to believe that only our eyes dictate that information, right?

Still, our master clock affects many other attributes of daily function – appetite, hormone production, body temperature, and even wound healing.

But, when we forgo our body’s master clock, our entire body is thrown off by our desire to watch just one more episode on TV or binge a few more youtube videos on our phones. In fact, night shift workers often have more health problems because they are using their bodies at a time when the brain just isn’t primed to be working.

Here are just two ways in which refusing to listen to your body’s natural circadian rhythm affects your everyday life.

WEIGHT-GAIN

     Interestingly, when your body is sleep-deprived, it naturally craves more calorie-rich foods (read, junk food), that will surely cause negative effects to your daily caloric intake – research from the University of California at Berkeley discovered.

For those of you who are night owls that end up waking in the mid-afternoon, appetite was also at its highest during this time.

BLOOD SUGAR

      Additionally, a thrown-off rhythm will also alter your metabolism. For example, if you refuse your body’s need to sleep at night and eat instead, insulin levels will spike. Higher insulin levels will cause the body to hold onto fat rather than burn it. Not good.

In general, when insulin levels are affected, a range of related health issues are capable of occurring. 

Basically, consistently high insulin doesn’t allow insulin receptors a much-needed break during sleep, especially when levels are at a constant high during the day. After enough time, insulin resistance will occur.

When you are resistant, the body’s ability to absorb glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream is greatly restricted. To compensate, your pancreas produces excess insulin in the hopes that the body will absorb more blood sugar. Eventually, blood sugar in the body increases to dangerously high levels, leading to prediabetes or diabetes.

Many of us may want to overlook our body’s nightly and morning needs but take a second to ponder the consequences!


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Fitness

5 Fitness Supplements You Really Must Try

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Do you find that your body isn’t feeling its best, and you don’t know what to do on how to improve? After water, a healthy diet, and plenty of sleep, our next recommendation is to try out fitness supplements.

Health gurus online often sell overpriced supplements that promise a lot and deliver little. These health supplements are safe to use in the right doses. They’re also proven to help improve specific functions of your body. 

Read on to learn about the top five best fitness supplements to take today! 

1. Creatine

Creatine is one of the most common supplements athletes or simply people working out regularly take. This is because creatine is produced naturally by your muscles in order to produce energy. Taken as a supplement in its synthetic form, it helps enhance your performance during workouts by contributing to muscle growth under stress. 

Creatine also gives you boosted energy so that you’re able to increase your stamina. Creatine monohydrate is recommended because it’s affordable and effective for most people. 

2. Protein

Protein supplements, usually through whey protein, are also one of the most recommended supplements. The reason for this is because for more muscle growth to happen, you need to increase the rate of protein synthesis above protein breakdown.

When it comes to bodybuilders or people who are looking for larger gains, sometimes this can’t be achieved easily through diet alone. This is when a protein supplement becomes necessary. Whey-protein is recommended over others because it can get in the bloodstream quickly.

3. Omega-3

Regardless of whether you’re an athlete or simply workout occasionally, omega-3 is often recommended for everyone because of its numerous studied benefits. When it comes to supplements for fitness, the main benefit of omega-3 is its anti-inflammatory properties.

It can also help ease muscle and joint soreness to speed up your post-workout recovery process. Along with this, it can also help improve symptoms of anxiety, eye health, improve sleep, and more. However, we recommend taking the time to research brands for high-quality fish oil.

Pause and have a look at this article for more ideas on enhancing your recovery. 

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is often overlooked, as you can get it by everyday exposure to the sun. However, quarantine has caused more people than ever before to stay in their homes when they would normally be out during the day. In certain parts of the country, the winter season can be especially dark. 

This supplement is necessary because it contributes to bone and muscle health. It can also help you reduce your risk of multiple sclerosis as well as heart disease. 

5. Caffeine

If you want to boost your energy at the gym as well as lose weight, caffeine can help. The recommended dose is between 150-300 milligrams about 30 minutes before you work out. Caffeine can help lose weight because it enhances your energy and decrease your feelings of fatigue.

Caffeine can also be taken in the form of pills if your stomach is easily irritated by coffee in the morning. However, make sure you’re taking the correct dose. 

The Best Fitness Supplements

It’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different–not all fitness supplements are for everyone. If you’re considering taking health and fitness supplements, consider speaking with your doctor beforehand, especially if you don’t feel well. They can help test you and see what vitamins your body is missing. 

Ready to learn more about how to achieve a more effective workout? Keep reading our blog for more tips and tricks! 

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Beauty

A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health

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Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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