Walking is very beneficial to many aspects of our health and well-being. Regarding sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women.
Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern. Walking can also help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.
Exercise such as walking may also be one of the most effective ways to reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and heart symptoms, according to a study from the Annals (Journal) of Behavioral Medicine.
For those of us who work in an office, its important to stand up and stretch and take breaks to walk around at least once an hour to keep things moving and healthy in the body. These walking breaks are important for muscle and bone health, as well as for the heart and other organs. Better yet, go outside and get a new view of things before settling back down to work in the front of the computer!
Check out the chart below for the twelve best benefits of walking. Go out and have some fun with your walks. Walk with friends. Try to go out on different routes and see different things. You’ll be glad you did!
Best of health,
Maker of the Effective Natural Sleep Aid Sleep Minerals II
This health information is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
What if a research study was conducted with actual real human beings (not animals) that demonstrated a mere one to two minutes a day of exercise could result in better, stronger bones? Well, there is one.
With increasing age, our bones become weaker and less dense, particularly in women after menopause due to the decline in estrogen and calcium in the body. More and more studies are finding that physical movement and activity can counteract the effects of weaker bones and any tendency toward bone fractures.
Epidemiology is the study of how often various diseases occur and also what possible ways or methods might exist to control or eradicate them. The most recent study on the topic of bone health was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The burning question in the researcher’s minds was this: How do we discover what type of exercise, what quantity of exercise, and what intensity, would provide the most positive, beneficial impact on bone strength.
For the study, both pre and post-menopausal women wore small wrist monitors for a week that measured and recorded the intensity of their physical movements. It was particularly important to the researchers to be able to record very short amounts of activity. They looked at data for more than 2,500 women, and compared their activity levels with bone health, which was measured by an ultrasound scan of heel bone.
The outcome? A mere one to two minutes of flat-out, intense exercise resulted in an increase in bone strength. This translates to a minute or two of slow jogging for a post-menopausal woman or a minute or two of running for a pre-menopausal woman in order to achieve a 4% increase in bone health. Women who did more than two minutes had a 6% increase. (Please see further recommendations below on how to safely transition into more intense exercise).
The lead author of the study, Dr Victoria Stiles of the University of Exeter in the UK, said: “We wanted to make every second count in our analysis, because short snippets of high-intensity activity are more beneficial to bone health than longer, continuous periods. We were careful not to ignore short bursts of activity throughout the day.”
Dr. Stiles makes a suggestion for people who are interested in upping their levels of daily exercise. She said: “The UK’s National Osteoporosis Society recommends increasing your walking activity first. Further on, we would suggest adding a few running steps to the walk, a bit like you might do if you were running to catch a bus.”
Another proven way to increase bone health is to include more calcium-rich foods in the diet. Olive oil, leafy greens, almonds, raw cheeses, yogurt, broccoli and carrots are good choices. Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplements are also beneficial. Not only do these minerals strengthen bone and muscle health, but they are proven to calm sleeplessness and insomnia as well.
One study published in the European Neurology Journal found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.
William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”
One calcium-based supplement shown to be effective for insomnia is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This formula contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for menopause insomnia, heart health, restless leg syndrome and bone strength. It also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Sadie D. from the Netherlands says: “I am ever so grateful that I discovered Sleep Minerals II after suffering with premenopause and now the real menopause insomnia. I felt like I was slowly losing my mind due to the continual lack of sleep. I can’t express the relief of getting a good night’s sleep and being able to function properly.”
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.”
The main message is that a combination of exercise and calcium tend to ignite into a dynamic duo that can bring great boosts to bone health, healthy sleep and good overall health.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Research scientists are discovering more and more ways to help people relieve insomnia and sleep better with simple nutrition and lifestyle improvements
Almost six out of ten Americans experience insomnia and sleep problems at least a few nights a week, as reported in a recent study done by the National Sleep Foundation. Insomnia is defined as “An inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when the problem continues over time.”
In an effort to combat this, as many as twenty-five percent of the people in the U.S. turn to sleep drugs. Because most people would prefer to avoid the side effects and addiction of sleep medications, research scientists have been busy studying nutritional and lifestyle approaches to getting better sleep.
Tip # 1 – We live in an electronics-oriented world, from computers, to cell phones, to texting, to reading books on tablets. These tools help increase our efficiency and ability to work and learn and communicate, but when it comes to getting good sound sleep, they can interfere.
One study from a university in New York found that exposure to light from electronic displays can suppress melatonin by about twenty two percent. Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain that helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. It is present in higher amounts at night. The researchers recommend shutting off all electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime and doing some relaxing things before bed.
Tip # 2 – Regarding sounder, deeper sleep resulting from taking walks, studies at the University of Arizona have found that walking more than six blocks a day at a normal pace significantly improves sleep at night for women. Scientists suspect that walking helps to set our biological clock into a consistent sleep pattern. Walking can help increase “endorphins”, which are protein-like chemicals made in the brain that can have a relaxing effect, a pain-relieving effect, and can also reduce stress and increase well-being.
Tip # 3 – Sometimes hunger can strike at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and keep one awake. If this occurs, eat something with high protein such as turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid (a component of protein) that has a calming effect. According to Ray Sahelian, M.D., “Tryptophan ….can be converted at night into melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.”
As a note, concentrated tryptophan capsules are not recommended as they can create grogginess in the morning and take some time to wear off. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, oats, beans, lentils, and eggs.
Tip # 4 – When taking natural sleep aids, it’s good to remember that each person is a unique individual and doing some experimenting with the dosage can be instrumental in achieving success. At first, err on the side of taking too little rather than too much. Another thing to keep in mind is that natural aids are not drugs and they may not work immediately with the first dose or even the first few doses. It can take up to a couple weeks to see results.
James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.” In one study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. In the study, taking calcium restored normal sleep patterns.
One example of a mineral-based sleep remedy is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference. I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot. I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours. This has been a great improvement.”
In summary, take the tips of recent research studies and take a walk each day, put the computers and cell phones away an hour before bedtime and do something relaxing, keep a high-tryprophan snack next to your bed at night, and use an effective form of calcium and magnesium before bed for a deeper, longer night’s sleep.