BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

Meditation has become a major buzzword of late. Although it has been around for thousands of years, modern day science is now giving us insight into how and why this practice is so amazing. It is also a practice I have taken up this year that has produced amazing change in my own life.
 
1)    Stress Reduction. 
With the emergence of new technology as one of the many other distractions of modern day life, focusing our brains on any one particular thing has become increasingly difficult. This often leads to the feeling of being overwhelmed. As well as this our brains have a tendency to both stress about the past and worry about the future. Both of these situations are a major cause of modern day stress. Constant meditation trains the part of your brain that is responsible for focus and helps the scattering brain to become calm.
 
2)    Prefrontal Cortex. 
Training any muscle in the body increases that muscles strength and efficiency. The more the muscle is trained, the stronger it becomes, and the better it performs. Practicing meditation is training for the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex part of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for focus, self-discipline, and impulses. It is the main creative part of the brain. Dedicated meditation improves the prefrontal cortex ability to perform all it's tasks. 
 
3)    Improved Performance. 
As stated above the prefrontal cortex is responsible for tasks such as focus and self discipline as well as creativity. When we are able to get all of these working at their optimum, highly functioning efficient performance is bound to follow. You will feel grounded and focused and regain the ability to make decisions from a calm and relaxed place. 
 
4)    Brain Health. 
Brain training will improve brain function. Brain growth, brain neuron connectivity and efficiency all contribute to a healthier brain!
 
5)    Happiness. 
This is a very interesting one. Regular meditation in no way guarantees a happy existence. But when you look at the above benefits you can start to understand how meditation can help you get to the core of true happiness. For a long time, and especially now more than ever before, modern day individuals have seek happiness in all manner of external factors. Clothes, houses, money and a multitude of other things come to mind. Yet in a time of so much abundance we seem to suffer more from a feeling of lack, depression and pursuit of happiness seems harder than ever.

Meditation, I believe, begins to set us in the right direction in that pursuit for happiness. It begins to teach us to look within and find satisfaction and peace internally. Once satisfied on the inside, all manner of conditions externally can be handled in a much more calm and understanding way. We also begin to view material objects in a much more objective light. 
 
Fazz, Qualified Fitness Trainer & health Enthusiast

 

4 WAYS TO GET A BETTER NIGHTS SLEEP

Ever wondered how much more work you could get done if you didn't have to sleep? Probably not a good idea considering most of us are already feeling the effects of not enough sleep as it is. 

Actually falling asleep tends to be a major problem for many people. Whether it is taking forever to actually nod off, or not being able to rack up enough uninterrupted sleeping hours. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this. In this blog we will be looking at a few of the best ways to fall asleep faster and deeper.
 
1) Technology
A major factor that has contributed to modern day sleep problems is technology. TV, laptops and especially phones are as common an accessory in bed with adults as comfort items are with kids. Maybe even more so. 

Unfortunately all that concentrated bright light dilates your pupils. This makes your brain think it's daytime making it harder to fall asleep and adjust to the darkness. Your brain also becomes over stimulated further making shutting down difficult. 

Ceasing the use of any technology 30mins to 1 hour before your desired sleep time will go a long way to helping you sleep better and longer.
 
2) Music
Listening to relaxing music before or while sleeping can help get your body and mind to relax and help you doze off. As stated above a switched off mind is key to transferring into a sleepy state so volume levels here are important. You want to make sure it is faint and not at a jarring level. This will awaken your senses and ends up making it harder to sleep. 
 
3) Reading/audio books
No matter all the good intentions in the world, trying to read before bed seems to prompt sleep almost every time. If sleeping is proving difficult, it might be time to use this to your advantage. Again, if audio books are your preference, a moderate volume is advised. 
 
4) Meditation
Science is now proving the power of regular mindfulness meditation. Some of these include, better focus and decision-making. Meditating before sleep can also be very beneficial for calming the mind and helping us get to a sleep state. 

In the most basic forms of meditation you aim to relax the mind and simply focus on your breathing, letting thoughts drift in and out of consciousness. It is definitely a practice that improves and gets better with time. There are several great APS that can teach you how to get started with meditation and guide you through the process.

Fazz, Qualified Fitness Trainer & Health Enthusiast

 

5 MAJOR SIGNS TO START CONSUMING PROBIOTICS

In recent years, research into gut bacteria and its importance to human health has rapidly increased. It is fantastic that we now have an increasing amount of information and data on this subject. I’m keen to ensure this information spreads as widely as possible because there are still too many people who don’t know about the amazing effects of these ‘organisms’ or the existence of “good bacteria” in the first place.

So firstly let me explain why probiotics and the good bacteria they provide are so important for us:

  • Its biggest importance is to our immune system. Having a good amount and the right balance of good bacteria is absolutely crucial to a fully functioning immune system and our overall health.
  • Brain function and digestion. The effects of adding probiotics to your diet takes up to 2 weeks. Better digestion and gut function have been known to dramatically improve energy levels and concentration.
  • Clear and glowing skin. We all want to look better and feel better and our skin takes most of the strain – a healthy gut helps keep your body in better shape and this shows on your face.

So now you have some idea of why these unseen powerhouses are so important. What are some of the signs that it may be time for you to start adding probiotics to your diet?

1. If you’ve taken antibiotics at any time in the past 5 years:
Antibiotics work by killing the bad ‘things’ in your gut. In doing so it unfortunately also annihilates the good bacteria. This then leaves you with a resolved ailment, but also your good bacteria wiped out and not able to replenish.  Repopulating your gut with probiotics during and straight after a course of antibiotics is essential to prevent this from happening.

2. Food poisoning:
Food poisoning happens when there is a shift in the equilibrium of good and bad bacteria in your gut and ultimately the bad side wins. Taking probiotics can really help to keep this balance in check and ensure your guts defense is better prepared.

3. Digest issues and disturbances:
As i mentioned above good gut bacteria plays a huge role in how we digest food. If you suffer from any digestive problem it is possible that repopulating the good bacteria by adding probiotics will go a long way to improving your overall health.

4. Mood:
90 percent of serotonin, known as your bodies “happy chemical” is made in our gut. Fixing your gut bacteria will allow for better production of serotonin and this will in turn begin to have positive effects on your mood and day to day out look in the world.

5. Weak immune:
If you constantly get sick a few times a month, or cant seem to shake an illness relatively quickly, there could be a good chance your good bacteria is not up to the levels it should be.  Optimum levels of good gut bacteria and a strong robust immune system go hand in hand
I really hope this post gives you some helpful insight and knowledge into the world of probiotics and gut health.

Fazz, Qualified Fitness Trainer & Health Enthusiast