sleep

❗️Is Rest As Important As Exercise & Nutrition? ❗️

Sweet friends,

Seriously, do you ever ask yourself “Is rest really as important for transformation as exercise & nutrition?” Many of us make time for exercise and work on meal planning but neglect proper rest.

In our Lived Transformed Bible Study a few weeks ago, we explored the truth that we are to honor God with our bodies by getting proper rest and sleep. We often talk of caring for our bodies with proper nutrition and exercise, but true rest is a pillar of health we know we need, but don't prioritize. The importance of quality rest and sleep cannot be overemphasized. They are vital to the rhythms of our lives, gifts from God which serve specific physical and spiritual purposes. 

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Physically, we must have proper rest and sleep in order to function at our best, but the latest research says lack of sleep has become a public health epidemic. As we sat around the circle at Bible Study, this topic was the one most of us had marked and highlighted as being a personal struggle.

We know we are not getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, and we are concerned because the evidence shows that sleep deprivation is serious. It’s been linked to obesity, negative effects on hormones, skin aging, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, immune system issues, muscle atrophy, type-2 diabetes, etc. We also know how we feel when we don’t get proper rest and sleep, causing us to be irritable and short-tempered with others.

Something we can do to improve our health is set rest and sleep goals, just like we do for nutrition and exercise. The following are some suggestions:

 For Sleep:

  • Sleep journal (to really be aware of our habits)

  • No TV, no phones, or screen time a minimum of 30 minutes before bedtime

  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine 

  • Relax in an epsom salt bath

  • Use lavender essential oils

  • Take a Melatonin and/or Magnesium supplement 

  • Enjoy a cup of warm Chamomile Tea

  • Use a sound machine with white noise or calming sounds to induce sleep

  • Keep the bedroom dark and temperature cool 

  • Exercise (not the 3 hours before bedtime)

  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows 

  • PRAY for good rest and sleep and memorize and meditate on scriptures like Psalm 3:3-5, Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 3:24 

For Daily Rest:

  • Practice deep breathing

  • Allow margin in your schedule

  • Take mini vacations/stay-cations doing something you really enjoy

  • Invest in a devotional and have a “quiet time” with the Lord daily

  • Take a leisurely walk 

  • Lay on your back with your feet up on the wall

  • Get together with friends that are life-giving

  • Splurge occasionally on a massage

  • Unplug from social media for a day, weekend, week or month

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Leg Up the Wall Pose

Legs Up the Wall Pose is a restorative yoga posture that allows the mind and the body to relax, relieving stress and tension. The benefits of this passive posture are transforming.

Getting into the pose

Start by setting up a clean space around a wall. Next, move your hips as close to the wall as possible, then walk your feet up the wall until your body is in a somewhat L-shaped position. Make any adjustments to facilitate a more relaxing space-- maybe place a pillow under your head, or let your arms rest on your belly or out to the sides. At this point, focus on your breath-- try elongating your breath, taking a deep, slow inhale through your nose- “calm” and a deep, slow exhale through your nose to “let go”.

Try not to bring the body to a full 90 degree angle as this can impede circulation at the hips. Instead slide your hips a few inches from the wall and/or elevate your hips by placing a cushion under your sacrum.

Attempt to stay in the pose for at least 5 minutes for optimal benefits.

 Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose

Relaxation

The semi-supine aspect of the pose combined with controlled breathing leads to a slowing down within your body. This exhibits itself in a lowered heart rate which elicits a relaxation response and, in turn, helps lower anxiety, stress and insomnia.

Facilitates venous drainage and increases circulation

Elevating the legs promotes drainage from excess fluid build-up. In addition, gravity assists circulation by facilitating the return of blood back to the heart.

Soothes swollen or cramped feet and legs

Inverting the legs/feet has long been known as an effective treatment for reducing swelling and pain in the lower extremities. This can be therapeutic after flying, physical activity or from the detrimental effects of sitting/standing during the day.

Stretches the hamstrings and lower back

The angle of the body reduces the curve of the lumbar spine, which will elongate and stretch the back muscles. The closer your hips are to the wall, the more stretch you'll create in your hamstrings.

Relieves lower back tension

Pressure is released from the spine in a supine position (especially on a bed or cushion), relieving the back from mild strain.

Studies have shown that restorative yoga poses, specifically, Legs Up the Wall, can be beneficial for those suffering from the negative effects of Fibromyalgia, Varicose Veins, Cancer, Menopause Restless Leg Syndrome, Metabolic Syndrome.

 Spiritually, God has made our bodies to need rest and sleep. They are good gifts given in order that we would acknowledge and praise Him. He is the creator. We are His creation. We learn in Genesis that God rested after the six days of creation, not because He was tired (and He never sleeps), but because He was pleased with His creation.

We can honor God with our bodies when we take intentional time to rest, reflecting on our many blessings and having grateful hearts, acknowledging our dependence on Him. In the Old Testament, God instituted the Sabbath as a day when His people were to honor Him and do no work. But in the New Testament, the Sabbath is no longer a certain day, but a person-Jesus! If we've placed our faith in the finished work of Jesus, then He is our Sabbath rest now and for eternity! 

In our anxiety driven, broken world, we can lay our heads down on our pillows at night and have sweet sleep knowing we have peace with God. 

Thank you Pam for those helpful tips on how to rest our bodies and minds. Remember nothing happens separately. All pieces of the puzzle work together to keep on the journey to transformation. Please let us know how we can serve you.

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Try one of our new stretch videos on our YouTube channel HERE, come to bible study, or a new TransFit session to worship with us!

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If you have any questions or would like to meet with a trainer, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com. We want to help you transform your mind body and spirit in the last quarter of 2018!

Blessings,

Team TransFit

Healthy Gut Equals Healthy YOU!

Wow! We are off to a great start this week in the studio. You are working hard and making this second half of 2016 your best. We love seeing your positive attitude, determination, and willingness to give 100%! Thank you!  The summer is great time to try one of our new classes, to give your workout routine a kick! Who's up for a good challenge in our KickBoxing or KettleBell class? Or you can come release some tension and try our TransFlex class! Come join us Friday mornings at 6 AM for a FREE running group! In addition to working out, you know that nutrition is such a crucial part of your transformation. While I was in Arizona, I learned about the importance of your gut health and now I want to share some important information with you!


The colon (gut) has at least 500 different kinds of bacteria! Wow! One of these bacterias is the bifidobacteria making up the majority of the "good" bacteria that is in your gut. This good bacteria is benefitted by the intake of probiotics. Probiotics can help your digestive track and help take up the space in your stomach that could be taken over by a less healthful product or organism. Probiotics can be found in foods that have live and active cultures. A great source of probiotics is found in yogurt, kefir, Kombucha, and sauerkraut.

It is important to choose yogurt products that are made with milk from cows that eat organic food. Additionally, try to choose yogurt or kefir that does not have any added sugars, colors, or flavors that have been added by heat after that were fermented. The best way to know if you are choosing yogurt that has the probiotics you need is to see if it has the LAC seal, standing for Live and Active Cultures. We encourage you to add more probiotics into your diet and then help the probiotics by eating more fiber, too!

Example of Greek Yogurt with  Live & Active Cultures seal

Example of Greek Yogurt with Live & Active Cultures seal

Fiber is important for overall health, but it is found that around 90% of Americans do not meet the recommendation for dietary fiber. Women should work to eat 25 grams per day and studies encourage you to have 40-50 grams of fiber, in order to have optimal gut health. Adding fiber and probiotics to your diet can help the amount of probiotics in your colon, improving your health.

Here are some fiber-filled foods you can add to your diet! 

  • Avocado- 1/2 cup serving size with 8 grams of fiber 
  • Raspberries- 1 cup serving size with 8 grams of fiber 
  • Lentils, cooked- 1 cup serving size with 15.6 grams of fiber
  • Black beans, cooked- 1 cup serving size with 15 grams of fiber 

In addition to your dietary needs, it is important to focus on your exercise, time spent resting, and the amount of sleep you get each night. As you know, exercise is such an important part of whole body health. Regular exercise can help you have a greater diversity of bacteria in your stomach. Sometimes we forget that rest is needed for whole body health. Stress can add to the amount of adrenalin your body gives off and therefore speeds up everything occurring in your body. As a result, adrenalin can cause your food to pass through too quickly and can lead to a negative impact on your stomach's health. Take time each day and week to add in time to rest. Lastly, a lack of sleep can alter your appetite and weight. You should try to sleep 7-9 hours each night. In order to improve your sleep, try to cut out fatty foods, alcohol, and caffeine before you go to bed and work towards eating at least three hours before you go to bed. 


Enjoy these new recipes that add in more probiotics and fiber to your meals! 

Flora-Flourishing Meal in a Jar

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain Kefir
  • 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling 
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries 
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds or nut of choice

In a mason jar or bowl, combine yogurt, Kefir, syrup, oats, chia seeds, and ground cinnamon. Let stand 5 minutes.  Top with frozen mixed berries in jar or layer the mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and top with almonds. Refrigerate overnight or up to two days. 


Barley/Farro Black Bean Salad

  • 1 cup of barley or farro, cooked according to package directions 
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn or edamame, (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (from jar), diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 3/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir gently to combine! Enjoy! 


Try to add fiber and probiotics to your diet this week. You can do it! If you would like to meet with our nutrition consultant, Katie Woodall, please email us at transfitathens@gmail.com to set up a 1-1, 30 minute session. This 1-1 session will allow you to talk about you specific nutrition, meal planning, give you new recipes to try, and a plan to succeed! Let's finish this week strong! Let us know if you have any questions! 

Blessings, 

Team TransFit