Archive for June, 2018

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Simple Pork Stew

June 28, 2018


Four Ways Sleep Supports Healthy Aging

June 19, 2018

Good sleep
We know that getting a good night’s rest helps us feel better in the morning, but what may be even more important is how consistent sleep habits might predict future health. From smoother, glowing skin to a sharper mind and a healthier heart, mounting research shows that quality rest can help us all age a little more gracefully. Here’s how.

Regular Sleep Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Those planning on powering through early adulthood and middle age with little sleep and resting in old age might want to take particular notice. One recent review from Baylor University examining decades of data, suggests that getting good sleep in middle age and young adulthood protects against age-related cognitive decline during senior years.

Deep sleep plays an important role in memory, and research shows that missing out on rest can contribute to a build up of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In middle to older age, continuing to practice good habits is further associatedwith healthy brain function and reducing risk of dementia.

Deep Sleep Protects Skin Against Damage and Aging

During sleep, our bodies repair and renew at a cellular level. For example, growth hormone peaks during deep sleep, which plays an important role in aging and metabolism. Even a single night of sleep deprivation can affect how attractive and healthy we appear to other people.

A study conducted by Estee Lauder and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, found that middle-aged women with poor sleep habits showed more advanced signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, unevenness, and saggy skin compared to good sleepers. Poor sleepers also showed slower recovery from damage and had less confidence in their own looks.

Restful Sleep Lowers Risk of Obesity

Staying fit is about more than just appearances; maintaining a healthy weight reduces risks of conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. Healthy sleep is believed to affect weight in a couple of different ways: a lack of it affects metabolism mechanisms, increases hunger and overall calorie intake, and increases fatigue. Being well-rested makes it easier to choose healthier foods and stick to workout routines, which can make a big difference over the long term. Studies have found that people with poor sleep habits, including too little rest and irregular schedules, are more prone to gaining weight as they age.

Good Sleep Protects Your Heart

Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality both men and women in the United States. Along with an active lifestyle and balanced diet, sleep plays an important role in minimizing risk. Good sleep habits are associated with lower cholesterol, healthier blood pressure, healthier weight, reduced diabetes risk, and other positive lifestyle habits (like exercise and eating well)—all of which encompass the leading risk factors for developing heart disease.

Studies have found that short-term sleep deprivation increases blood pressure and inflammation while affecting hormones and gene expression. When a lack of rest becomes habitual, these changes can affect health. One large study of middle-age female nurses found that both sleeping too little and too much was linked with higher risks of developing heart disease over a 10-year period compared with normal sleepers.

Heart disease does not solely affect the elderly; everyone is at risk, including teenagers. Research shows that teens who don’t get enough rest have higher cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight, which makes them high risk for heart disease later in life.


Studies Show Group Fitness Classes Make For a Better Life!

June 12, 2018

If you’re always going lone wolf at the gym, you might want to switch things up. A recent study from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine found that people who took regular workout classes reported less stress and higher quality of life than those who work out solo. (To be fair, there are both pros and cons to working out alone.)

For the study, researchers split medical students into three groups that each adopted different fitness regimens for 12 weeks. Group one took at least one workout class per week (and could do additional exercise if they wanted). Group two worked out alone or with one or two partners at least twice a week. Group three didn’t work out at all. Every four weeks, the students answered survey questions about their stress levels and quality of life.

The results will make you feel way better about splurging on that pack of boutique fitness classes: The group exercisers reported significantly lower stress levels and increased physical, mental, and emotional quality of life, while the non-class exercisers only showed an increase in quality of life. The non-exercise group didn’t show a significant change in any of the four measurements.

While, yeah, group exercise had the added benefit of reducing stress, it’s important to note that all the exercisers experienced a quality-of-life boost. (Not surprising, considering exercise comes with all of these mental health benefits.)

“The most important thing is to exercise in general,” says Mark D. Schuenke, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and coauthor of the study. “But the social and supportive aspects of group exercise might encourage people to push themselves harder, helping them derive more benefit from exercise.” Plus, “the emotional benefit of the support experienced in a group fitness class could carry over throughout the rest of the day.” (Seriously. There are huge benefits from doing just one workout.)

It’s worth mentioning that the study participants self-selected their groups, which may have had an effect on the results. Plus, the class exercisers reported a lower quality of life at the start of the study, meaning they had more room for improvement. But that insight translates into some practical advice: If you’re having a crap day, a group exercise class might be the perfect thing to take your quality of life from bleh to bangin’.

So next time you’re tempted to go schlep away on the elliptical or lift weights totally solo, consider signing up for that boxing class instead. And don’t feel too guilty about that $35/class charge—there’s research backing you up, after all!

Find a class here in our Winter 2018 timetable:

Article sourced here:

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Low Carb Gnocchi

June 7, 2018


Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – June 2018

June 3, 2018