Monthly Archives: October 2016

Is 7 hours of Sleep Enough?

It can be challenging at times trying to figure out what is the recommended amount of sleep an adult should get.  Depending on which article you read, you will see anywhere from 6 to 9 hours a night.  Even knowing this, many people still find it difficult to get those hours necessary to help get them ready for the next day. 

Whether it be due to work, kids or finding time to hang out with friends, sleep can sometimes be low on the priority list.  We all know that getting enough sleep is not only important for daily function, but most importantly your health.  Also, keep in mind that everyone is different and that some people can function with less rest than others. 

Trying to figure out the right amount of sleep that works best for you is what matters.  Feeling energized and making sure you are functioning at your optimal level.  Managing sleep is about trying to figure out a schedule that works for your body and making sure you stick with it.

Sleep Is Good For Your Health

We all know that feeling you get when you’ve had a good night’s rest.  You feel like you can take on anything that is thrown at you throughout the day.  There’s a reason for this.  Getting enough sleep helps with brain function during the day. 

Have you ever had to talk to someone that was tired and it takes them a while to respond to what was being said?  Well that’s because the neurons in the brain are not functioning at full capacity due to not getting enough rest.  A tired brain makes it not only hard to communicate with people, but also retain any information that is given. 

Getting enough sleep is not only good for your mental health, but it can be good for you physically as well.  Sleeping helps the body repair muscles and tissues and also boost your immune system  In order to wake up fresh and energized, getting quality sleep is a must. 

Also not getting enough sleep can be linked to many causes of poor health, like weight gain, high blood pressure and depression.  Lack of sleep can take a toll on your mood, energy and judgement.  Your ability to handle stress can also be affected by your lack of sleep.  By understanding your sleep habits, you can make sure to recover from loss of sleep.

Are You Getting Enough Rest?

How do you feel when you you wake up from a night’s rest?  Do you feel like you could use another 1-2 more hours of sleep?  If so, maybe you are not getting enough rest. 

There could be many reasons why you may not be getting a sufficient amount of sleep during the night.  Maybe you work the night shift and you find it hard to sleep during the day with all the light and excess noise.

In a caffeine driven world we live in today, we need to be alert in order to complete tasks on time.  So we tend to make caffeine our breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

You can’t step outside in the morning without someone having a cup of coffee or energy drink in their hand to get them through the day. 

Now I’m not here to bash coffee drinkers, because coffee definitely has its benefits, but when taken in amounts that can affect sleep, then there should be some cause for concern.

Assess your Sleep Pattern

A helpful way of trying to figure out your sleep pattern is when the next time you are on vacation from work.  Try waking up without an alarm clock for a week.  I say a week because a couple of days like during the weekend, your body is still trying to catch up on all the sleep it has missed due to your hectic work schedule. 

So try waking up without an alarm clock and find out when your body naturally wakes up.  From there you can determine what time you need to go to bed in order to get the amount of sleep needed to function properly the next morning.

Quality vs Quantity

Although the amount of rest you get is important, the quality of your sleep is equally important.  If you see yourself waking up multiple times during the night, even if you get the recommended amount of sleep, you could still find yourself tired due to being restless. 

You want to make sure you are getting that deep sleep to ensure you are well rested for the following day.  Making sure you limit your alcohol consumption or even smoking can be a big help in how you feel the next day.

So what are some of the ways you try to make sure you are getting a good nights rest every night?  Please leave your comments and ideas below.


How To Burn Fat With Kickboxing

I know how intimidating it can be to hear the word kickboxing.  I’m sure the first thing that enters your mind when you hear it is fighting.  Well I am here to tell you that it is possible to get in shape and burn fat with kickboxing, and not have to worry about taking a beating while doing it.  If anything, you will be doing most of the beating while looking and feeling great! 

Not only is kickboxing a great workout, it can also be fun.  There are so many different types of exercises out there, that it can be quite difficult to find one that works for you.  So imagine  finding something that you can enjoy, but still get all the benefits of an intense workout.  Some people wonder and ask the question, can you lose weight with kickboxing? 

If so, how fast?  I will try and help walk you through some of the ways that kickboxing can be a new and exciting part of your fitness life.


Keep in mind, as I mention kickboxing, I am not talking about Billy Blanks Tae bo air boxing stuff.  I’m talking about actually hitting real bags and getting all the stress and aggression going on in your life out on these workouts.  Plus all that air boxing is a whole bunch of cardio which is breaking down a lot of muscle, but I will get to that later. 

So a good place to start is a private gym.  Although they may be tough to find, many kickboxing gyms are opening up all over the place catered to helping people get in shape.  A couple that come to mind are Ilovekickboxing and title boxing.  I know first hand because I currently am an instructor at a kickboxing studio and trust me, the workout will definitely kick your butt. 

If you just google kickboxing in your area, I’m sure you will find something you could join and be apart of an awesome community of people trying to get in shape just like you.  Most of them allow you trial classes just to see if it is something you will like before choosing to becoming a member.  So it doesn’t hurt to at least try, right?


You can burn anywhere from 500 to 1000 calories in a kickboxing class depending on how much effort you give during the class.  Now with anything in life, it takes hard work and commitment.  So when making fitness a part of you healthy lifestyle, you must make that commitment to yourself to stick with a routine that could potentially help you get great results. 

So once you have found a studio, if you could commit yourself to kickboxing at least 3 days a week along with eating healthy, you will be amazed at how quickly the results will start to show not just on the scale, but in photos.  Most kickboxing classes are usually 60 minutes long, but trust it will be the quickest 60 minutes of your life. 

Now if you’re thinking that you will only be doing kickboxing for the whole 60 minutes, well guess again.  The great thing about these kickboxing classes is that it is very structured so you know exactly what to do and when to do it.  The general breakdown of any kickboxing class goes as follows:

  1. Conditioning
  2. Stretching
  3. Heavy Bag Rounds
  4. Partner Drills
  5. Partner Condition
  6. Cool Down & Stretch

Conditioning 15 min – this is considered the warmup part of the workout, but most definitely the most intense part.  So if you can get through this part, which I’m sure you can, then you can get through the class no doubt. 

So basically you go through a series of body weight exercises where the instructor makes you do a bunch of pushups, squats and everyone’s favorite, BURPEES.  Now I know it may seem like a lot of hard work, but the best thing about this part is that you can go at your own pace and not feel like a total failure.  If you need to step back and catch your breath, you can do that without feeling bad about it.  Regardless if you are a beginner or experienced, you can challenge yourself at a pace you are comfortable with.


Stretching 6 min – I’m sure we all know how important it is to stretch and make sure the muscles are loose and prepared to get into the workout.  So this is the time for you to gather yourself after an intense “warmup.”

Heavy Bag Rounds 25 min – Now on to the fun part where you get to be in your own zone and release a lot of tension on the bags. 

There are usually six 3 min rounds where you go through a serious of different combos for each round.  Now if you’re thinking to yourself, oh man, I have no idea what I’m doing.  Don’t worry, you should be given a personal instructor for your first day to go through the basics of the combos while the main instructor will teach more advanced combos to members who have been there longer. 

One of the best parts about this part of the class is the fact that you don’t have to worry about people judging you on the bags as everyone is so focused on doing their own thing.

Partner Drills 5 min –  This part of the workout is where you get to partner up with someone and get focus on accuracy and coordination.  Instead of doing combos on the heavy bag, your target will be the gloves of your partner.  This will allow you to really focus on your accuracy and also have fun with you partner a bit.

Partner Conditioning 5 min – In this drill, you will still be partnered up where one partner may do wall sits while the other partner is doing combos on the heavy bag.  Then you will be asked to switch and do the other respective exercise.  With this part of the workout, there are various routines of different exercises you may be asked to do, so definitely be ready.

Cool Down & Stretch – This is where you get to cool down and relax your muscles for all the hard work you put into class.


For most people, losing weight is the main goal for wanting to join a kickboxing studio since you can burn so many calories during the workout.  But what some may not know is that kickboxing is a great way to also Burn Fat! 

What separates kickboxing from your normal routine at the gym, which may include a lot of cardio on the treadmill, is that you get the cardio and the resistance training all in one workout.  You see, too much cardio can break down muscle, so if one of your goals is to get that nice toned defined look, then you are defeating the purpose by doing so much cardio. 

With kickboxing, you get both the cardio and resistance training with all the body movements.  From the warmup where you are doing all body weight exercises to the heavy bag rounds where resistance is given with every punch and kick, you are burn a bunch of calories throughout the body. 

At the same time, you are getting that heart rate up which helps with the fat burning process.  So with all this, you are getting a more efficient workout when it comes to burning fat and building muscle.


Most places will provide you everything you need to participate in the workout, but make sure to ask just in case.  You should be given gloves to protect your knuckles when punching the bag.  Hand wraps may also be used to to help support the wrist and knuckles, but usually these are worn by more experienced kickboxers. 

Be prepared to workout in either barefoot or socks as some studios do not allow sneakers or shoes on the mats.  Make sure to wear comfortable clothing as you will sweat a lot during your workout.  Other than that, make sure to bring your effort and a great attitude and I’m sure you will get the workout of your life!