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Obesity Linked to Lack of Sleep in Childhood

by: Stefan Simonovic

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

We all lead busy lives and have trouble finding the time for some shuteye. It takes a lot of sacrifice to raise a family, build a career, have a fulfilling social or romantic life, BBW dating included, and have some ‘me time’ that doesn’t involve a trip to the dentist.

When it comes to raising children, building healthy habits and teaching them the importance of routine is paramount for raising healthy adults who make the right choices when it comes to their well-being. Today, we look at the obvious association between sleeping habits in children and the subsequent effects on their weight later on in life.

Sleep Disruption and Excess Weight

Obesity is prevalent in the US across all age groups, and when it comes to children, 17% of them are considered obese. A lack of sleep and obesity have long been linked although the association isn’t perfectly clear. What is clear, however, is that one-third of 2 to 3-year-old children sleep less than it’s recommended, and only 20 percent of teenagers get the right amount of sleep on a school night, which is 9 hours at their age. It is not just the sleep duration that has been linked to obesity in the youngest population, but factors such as sleep patterns and sleep timing play a significant role also.

Bedtimes after 9:00 PM have been found to magnify the risk of obesity in childhood. In recent years, later bedtimes have been strongly associated with more screen time in school-age children, meaning the desire to stay connected on social media or watch television in the evening lead to children falling asleep later. It is suggested that late bedtime alone may be a contributing factor when it comes to obesity risk.

Studies have also shown that if sleep timing varies greatly between a weekday and a weekend, especially if combined with shorter sleep duration, the risk of obesity and poor metabolic health in children increases. School-age children and adolescents who go to bed late and get up late are more likely to be overweight, have more screen time, and are less physically active than their peers who go to bed early and rise early.

Although the association between sleep duration and weight gain isn’t perfectly clear, especially not in children, there is no denying the fact that it exists. In adults, short sleep duration leads to a higher BMI because of hormonal changes associated with appetite regulation, particularly leptin and ghrelin, but results from research that looks at children are conflicting. Chronotype, whether someone is an early bird or a night owl, is another factor that is worth mentioning when we examine the lack of sleep-obesity association, but links between chronotype and excess weight in children and adolescents need to be studied further.

Other Adverse Effects of Sleep Problems

Increased calorie intake is just the tip of the iceberg. Insufficient sleep also contributes to behavioral and learning problems in children, and parents simply need to put sleep higher up on the list of priorities. Our children’s schedules are more packed than ever, but until they reach their teens going to bed after 9PM puts them at risk of developing behavioral problems in addition to being obese. This means that all activities, including the sedentary ones, such as screen time, should be finished before 9.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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How to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness Fast

by: Stefan Simonovic

[Source: Flickr]

If you’re one of those people who prefer working out over sitting behind a desk while browsing through BBW dating sites, then you most likely know just how many obstacles are set in front of you on the path of achieving your goal.

From plateaus to exercise injuries, there is a multitude of problems one can come across while working out. However, none of them are as common as muscle soreness, which all gym-goers experience quite often. In that name, here are a few tips and tricks on how to alleviate the pain caused by sore muscles.

1. Cooldown Stretching

Even though it should be a crucial part of both the pre- and post-workout routine, there are still many people out there who ignore the importance of cooldown stretching. This is a huge mistake because stretching for five minutes after your exercise session can lower muscle soreness by a whopping 70%.

This is especially important for persons that aren’t that flexible. Our flexibility largely depends on the length of our muscle fiber – the shorter it is, the less flexible we are and the more muscle soreness we’ll feel after every workout.

If you stretch before (dynamic stretch) and after (static stretch) your training, however, you’ll extend the length of your muscle fiber and therefore it’ll be easier to perform certain moves while you won’t feel as much soreness in your muscles as you usually do.

2. Massage

Muscle soreness – as well as cramps – is also caused by the amount of lactic acid that gets accumulated in our muscle tissue while we work out. To counter this, make sure you massage the spots you feel the most soreness in.

Lactic acid is a compound naturally produced by the human body. Without getting too much into it, let’s just say that too much lactic acid can cause your muscles to involuntarily contract, which is why we feel soreness and sometimes even get cramps.

This can easily be prevented by a good massage. An hour or two after you’re done working out, set aside about 30 minutes to put pressure on the muscles that usually cause you the most soreness. Press them down with your fingers to help release the lactic acid before it starts reacting and causing a problem for your muscles.

3. Recovery Eating

Finally, one can alleviate muscle soreness through food. By eating the right stuff, you’ll help your muscles feed and grow instead of being sore or cramping up.

Increase the intake of amino acids and protein after each workout. If your workout plan is a serious one, you’ll need a lot of protein to help your muscles recover after each session. Either go for foods that have substantial quantities of protein or ensure that you take protein supplements with your meals.

As far as amino acids go, they play a big role in body recovery since they’re used by your muscles, connective tissue and pretty much every other cell in your body. To help your body after getting exhausted, just let it have some much-needed amino acid goodness.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

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Fitness and Body Image Myths

by: Stefan Simonovic

Source: Flickr

No, you don’t need to look like the guy in the photo to get into biker dating. And yes, being obsessed with fitness can lead to your overall unhappiness. In this modern world we live in there are so many things negatively affecting our self-confidence that countless books, research papers, and articles have been written on the topic. Striving for perfection leads to misery in any sphere of life, plain and simple, and today we take a look at the body image myths that have no business being on anyone’s mind.

Myth #1: It’s best to accept myself the way I am

This is a very tricky body image myth because in certain cases, yes, accepting that you’re a size 12 and were meant to be a size 12, not a size 2, can be very helpful instead of trying to turn yourself into something you’re not. On the other hand, there are other issues with this ‘acceptance’ that should be questioned or downright changed, such as a personal addiction to sugar, junk food or heavy alcohol consumption. It’s perfectly fine to be a size 12, but it’s not fine to eat unhealthy food and rationalize it by accepting to be plus-size. Eating healthy and regularly working out should be a priority no matter what your body issues are because some negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle are no longer reversible past a certain point in life.

Myth #2: It’s not what I look like that counts, but who I am as a person

Beware of another very problematic body image myth. Believing that the outside doesn’t count as long as you’ve got a beautiful inside can lead to neglecting not only your physical appearance but your physical health above anything else. Sure, it’s far more important to be a good person than to be hot, but that doesn’t mean you should let yourself go physically. Being in shape and eating healthy has nothing to do with what you look like on the outside or what size you’re wearing, and nobody should confuse the two. Self-development is crucial for happiness, but being physically active and having a proper diet means you get to stay healthy for longer. Healthy body, healthy mind, right?

Myth #3: I’m consumed with healthy eating and don’t need to worry about anything else

This is the other end of the spectrum or the other extreme that people can go to. Focusing too much on exercise and eating healthy all the time can turn into an obsession or worshiping your body. It’s a social insanity that we’ve seen way too many times that not only can be spiritually destructive and account for much of the unhappiness we see everywhere, but it can also be unhealthy for the body. Kudos to those who’re in good shape, don’t skip leg day at the gym, and get up at 6 every other morning to go for a jog, but your body needs time to heal after every workout, and not giving it that time can result in injury or too much wear and tear over the years.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

Read more ...

A Short Guide to Intermittent Fasting

by: Stefan Simonovic

Source: Flickr

Nowadays, we can witness countless things going on around the world via the Internet, from political and economic changes on a global scale to less significant ones like Buzzfeed losing popularity as opposed to transgender dating trend which is currently on the rise, for example.

On the other hand, there are a lot of different diets online as well, all seemingly designed to help you lose weight, become healthier and maintain an optimal state of body and mind. With that said, we want to introduce you to the recent trend of intermittent fasting and how to properly utilize it to your benefit.

More than just a Fad

There are many diets that make sense nowadays. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fad eating plans that try to sell the idea of losing excess weight within ridiculously short amounts of time, too. Luckily, intermittent fasting is anything like that.

Namely, the IF eating plan is unique in a couple of ways. First, it’s not your regular diet that tells you exactly how much of which food you’re supposed to consume on each day. A person who is intermittently fasting isn’t restricting themselves in terms of which foods they have to eliminate completely from their diet. Instead, they’re just eating foods in a pre-determined manner.

Basically, IF means continuously switching between fasting and regular eating. Most people choose the path of fasting 24 hours twice per week, but you can choose any interval that may suit your needs better.

Interestingly enough, there’s actual science behind this. It has proven that our ancestors, who mostly hunted or gathered their food, didn’t have what to eat sometimes, which forced them into intermittent fasting whether they liked it or not. After some time, those same humans started developing a larger tolerance to hunger, which allowed them to last longer without food and made them physically healthier in the process.

Choose Your Way

As we've said before, there is more than one method of applying intermittent fasting to your eating plan. Since it’s more of an eating pattern than a diet, it offers a lot more freedom than some other modern diets out there.

The 16/8 method is the most basic way of utilizing IF. You should skip breakfast, eat only 8 hours after waking up, and then fast for the next 16 hours. This is repeated on a daily basis and is easiest to follow since it pretty much becomes routine after day three.

We have already mentioned the “fast for 24 hours twice per week” method above. This is the most popular one, as it doesn’t really require too much fasting – you should skip dinner twice a week and you’ll be good.

Lastly, we have the 5:2 method that promotes consuming 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days in a single week, while you can eat normally for the rest of that same week.

About the author:

Stefan is a writer and a blogger in his spare time. He also works for First Beat Media, a company that mainly focuses on the online dating niche and similar services.

Read more ...

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