Posts Tagged 'sleep'

Benefits of the Beat

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In honor of Summerfest quickly approaching us, what better way to celebrate how music brings us together than acknowledge the impact it provides for our health. Music is often disregarded as a factor that contributes to overall health and wellness, but its effect and overall message are nothing but powerful. Something as simple as sound has the capability to motivate and inspire people into living their best life. Here are a list of the benefits it has on us and why we should be constantly jamming out to our favorite beats!

Strengthens Running Performance

Working out exerts an immense amount of energy and effort! It would only make sense to reflect that in your music of choice that pumps you up for the work you are going to endure. I personally could NEVER work out without music because I find that it gives me that extra boost of motivation that I need to pull through and finish off strong!

Enhances Sleep Quality

Unfortunately, about 30% of Americans deal with insomnia. Studies showed that students who listened to relaxing music before bed significantly experienced better rest in comparison to students who listened to an audiobook or didn’t change anything from their usual routine.

Limits Food Intake

Studies done at Georgia Tech University showed that dimming the lights and softening the music while people ate led to the consumption of fewer calories and an increase of enjoyment within their meals. Set up the ambiance and make the most out of every meal experience.

Reinforce Learning and Memory

Studies showed that music reinforces your memory but depends specifically on the person, whether or not they were a musician, and what type of music is being presented. As as a result of the research, subjects who were musicians learned and retained information better with more neutral music, as opposed to subjects who were not musicians that learned better with music of their liking. I always find myself associating songs with memories that occurred during the time I listened to that song, that it can only makes sense that one triggers the other!

Makes You Smarter

A study at York University showed that a month of music lessons involving rhythm, pitch, melody and voice contributed to an 90% increase in verbal intelligence among children between the ages 4 to 6. The music training implemented within the lesson has a “transfer effect” that enriches the children’s ability to comprehend words and their meaning.

Alleviates Pain

Music treatment such as softer genres such as classical pieces, meditative music, etc. is used for various patients that is said to reduce pain.

Ability To Shift Mood

Whether you are happy or sad, music has the ability to reflect your current mood. Various beats and messages really resonate with people and their life experiences, making the love for music so universal!

 

Diana Banzon

7 Ways to Wellness

Free stock photo of landscape, nature, red, love

It is spring break! (Almost). It is almost time for us to take a much needed break from our crazy-busy lives. Whether you are enjoying a break at home with family, or going to a beautiful, warm vacation destination (I am slightly jealous), this break gives us the perfect opportunity to work on our wellness. The cool thing about wellness is that it means something different to everyone, and being well can be accomplished in so many different ways. The other neat thing about it being different for everyone, is that means everyone can do it! Everyone can be well in their own way. The trick is to find a way that works for you. I want you all to try something new over spring break, something that will fuel your wellness. If you don’t know where to start, I have a list of 10 great options ready for you.

Read a book.

And no I don’t mean any old textbook that you’re used to. Step outside of your comfort zone and pick up something completely different. Try out a new genre. You may end up loving it, and if you don’t, hey, you learned something new about yourself!

Get some sleep.

This is so important! Most people do not get enough sleep, and that is so detrimental to our overall health and well-being. You are not the only one that has struggled with getting the right amount of sleep. If you need to, seek help from your doctor, or recruit a family member to hide your phone from you at 9 pm every night!

Go outside.

Fresh air is a beautiful thing. Even if you are not planning a trip to sunny Mexico over the break, get outside. Wisconsin weather is pretty unpredictable, but in the end your body will thank you. Get outside and get some exercise!

Talk to a stranger.

Make a new friend! There are so many interesting and wonderful people in this world. You never know what is behind a stranger’s face. Everyone has the potential to offer you something useful, whether it be a simple piece of advice, a hard life lesson, or an amazing friendship.

Make art.

Be creative! Now, I may be biased since I am an artist, but you have to give it a shot! Diving into the creativity of art frees your mind and lets it wander. It lets you forget about all of your worries for a moment in time. Give it a shot, be creative!

Volunteer.

Put yourself out there and give back to your community. I am a strong believer in the power of service for everybody. Helping is a great way to lift others up and a great way to lift yourself up too. Helping feels good and it makes a difference. Be the difference!

Relax.

This may be the most important one of all. Actually allow yourself to take a break. Everything these days is always GO, GO, GO. And while it keeps our lives exciting, it can be exhausting. So please, allow yourself some much needed relaxation.

 

I hope all of you have a wonderful break, and please, please, please, try something new from this list! I would love to see you all do something to kick start your wellness over the next couple weeks.

Alicia Diedrich

Creating consistency

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We’re almost at the time of the year where we are going to be thrown into a completely different schedule as the semester begins. While a huge change can really mess with our bodies and minds, there are a few things we can do now to prepare ourselves for that schedule change.

An essential part to staying healthy and happy is getting your body on a consistent schedule. I really am the last person that should talk about consistent schedules. I am a student and a bartender, which means a lot of early mornings and many late nights. But because of this, having a routine is one of the things I want the most in my life right now. I would love to be able to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday. I know just how much my erratic sleeping and eating schedule can mess with me. However, there are still a few things we can all do to help our body establish some consistency.

There is one simple technique I hear about constantly: start off your morning with a full glass of water. Now, I definitely need to improve on this myself, but I am a firm believer that this really does make a huge difference in kick starting the mornings. Water is the best thing for our bodies, and since we need so much in a day, starting off the day with one glass is an easy way to get a head start. After a refreshing glass of water, it’s important to nourish our bodies with a healthy breakfast. Think protein and produce. Eggs, veggies and fruit make up the perfect, delicious breakfast. And after breakfast, I advise to always leave the house with a full water bottle. Ever since I started doing this, I have significantly increased my water intake, and it has helped me to avoid not-so-good-for-me drinks like soda and other sugar filled drinks. Adding these simple tasks into your morning will get you off to a great start for a morning routine.

Keeping a consistent nighttime routine is also essential to keeping our bodies in check. When you think about a night routine, try to think relaxing and winding down. For me this means a shower, lighting a candle, maybe reading a book, and of course, more water! Those are only a few of the things you could add to your nightly routine to help you wind down and get ready for a good night’s rest, so create a routine that works for you.

No matter what, establishing some consistency for your body will help you feel more rested and at ease. Start introducing yourself to a routine now so that by the time fall semester rolls around, we are already all set to take on our new schedules and challenges.

Alicia Diedrich

Sweet dreams – the importance of sleep

We’ve all heard it before: sleep is important for your health and well-being. But for some reason, sleep seems to be one of the first things to take a back burner when life gets crazy. You just have to finish grading those papers, answering those emails, or maybe even just watching one more episode of your latest Netflix craze. I will admit that I too do these things. But I will also admit that because of that, I learned a hard lesson about putting my health and well-being before anything else. My freshman year of college, there was one week where EVERYTHING was due. I stayed up late working on my homework the whole week. But, that’s when classes got even more difficult because I got the flu. I was miserable the whole next week and had to miss a few classes. Bottom line is, is staying up late to finish something really worth it if it will later affect the same thing?

My answer is no. From then on, I have always completed as much homework as I possibly could within a reasonable time. I would rather take extra time on a project than turn it in in my sleep-deprived state, because it probably wasn’t done to the best of my abilities in the first place. Anything you have to do will still be there in the morning. My best tip is to learn how to practice good time management skills so you can get the beauty rest you really need.

If my personal story doesn’t convince you, then maybe some science will. According to the National Institutes of Health, a consistent loss of sleep can lead to struggling with memory, concentration, and slowed reaction time. These things are detrimental to personal and professional lives, not to mention getting into the driver’s seat of a car, or other dangerous activities. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of accidents in the car, or just in everyday life tasks. These are only the beginning effects that sleep loss has on the body. Over time, prolonged sleep loss can lead to hostility, alcohol use, use of medications to stay awake, weight problems, poor decision making, and more

So really, just put down the work, the book, or the remote and get some shut eye. You will be a happier, healthier person both psychologically, and physiologically. And if you are having trouble sleeping all the time, you aren’t alone. There are over 40 million Americans suffering from over 70 different sleep disorders, so don’t be afraid to seek help from a doctor. Wishing you sweet dreams and a good night’s rest.

Alicia Diedrich

What can yoga do for you?

13268372_10209956273091979_8407451824157635338_oNow that the fresh warm air of summer is surrounding us in Milwaukee, it is time to take advantage of the weather. The Marquette University Employee Wellness Program wants to help you out with that. We have created a summer-long outdoors yoga class right here on Marquette’s campus.

Yoga is a type of meditating physical activity that helps an individual strengthen balance and unity between the body, the mind and the spirit. Through poses and other postures, yoga has lots of mental, physical and spiritual benefits to offer. The best part of yoga is that it is basically an exercise of focused relaxation.

With a professional yoga instructor leading our classes, you would be surprised by the different long and short-term benefits that you will experience through this weekly practice.

Although yoga has handfuls of different benefits to reap, these are some of the pluses that I don’t think can go unmentioned.

Sleep better – Yoga allows you to hit the hay without the tension and stress from the day. Even a morning yoga session can help you sleep better the following night. The practice helps you clear your mind, manage stress and be able to all-over just relax more effectively. So if restlessness is a major issue in your life, make it a thing of the past wit some weekly yoga.

Calm stress through breathing – When the craziness of life hits the fan, it is easy to be so caught up in the intense moment that we let stress overtake our bodies. This wears us out and, honestly, I’ve never heard anyone say that stress feels good. Yoga has a unique way of teaching us how to focus on our breathing to stay calm and focused. Keeping up with focused breathing can help release tension in your muscles and also allow you to work more effectively.

Negate soreness – A good stretch helps loosen the body’s muscles and tendons. If you are sure to stretch often, especially through yoga, your daily activities and exercises can become less of a chore because they won’t have you feeling sore days on end.

Prevent injury – The number one way to get a muscle injury is going pulling or straining a muscle. These injuries are also really time-consuming to recover from and can put any active person on the bench for weeks. Yoga offers simple but multi-functional stretching techniques that allow your body to move with the exercise you are performing, rather than tearing at tight muscles. Yoga can also prolong the life of your joints by helping to loosen and stretch the tendons that hold your bones together. This helps you move more easily and with less resistance.

Clearly yoga really does not have much of a down side. To get involved in MU’s outdoors summer yoga classes, sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/outdoor-summer-yoga-registration-tickets-25680448914

Registration is open after the classes start still. All you have to do is contact Kristin Kipp at kristin.kipp@marquette.edu. The classes run every Wednesday from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting June 22 in the green space by the Joan of Arch Chapel on Marquette’s campus. The last class will be held on August 10.

Spring breaking the healthy way

I have a feeling that you might be just as stoked as I am about spring break coming up next week. Whether you’re hitting the road like me, adventuring with the family or spending your time relaxing at home, being safe and healthy should still be a priority. Here are a few ways to continue living in wellness even on break.

Get up and out. Even if you’re here at home, don’t get caught bumming around all day everyday. Yes, relaxing is nice, but take the time to get a good walk in, ride your bike or go for a quick run. Even a day-trip wandering through the local museums will guarantee a better, more productive day than stuffing your face with Cheetos and binge-watching “Friends,” (debatably).

You know what’s cooler than being really, really tan? Not developing melanoma. Blah blah blah, here comes the the sunscreen lecture again. But really, people, this is a serious thing. The sun’s rays are scientifically proven to cause damage to your skin that can lead to cancer. So please, enjoy the day on the beach, reading a book in the sunshine, but soak up some suntan lotion along with that Vitamin D. It could save you tons of trips to the doctor’s later in life, not to mention – sunburn really hurts!

Hold yourself to your eating habits. Even though spring break is a little bit like a real-life-hiatus, being sure to continue fueling your body well is important. Especially if you are on vacation, it can be easy to eat junky, not-so-good-for-you food. Avoid this by preplanning meals and bringing along healthy snacks, like sliced peppers, carrots, granola or pasta salads.

Catch the Zzzzs. Finally, this is your chance to catch up on that sleep you might be missing from the past week’s midterm rush. Erase those dark circles under your eyes with bountiful naps, sleeping in and early bedtimes. Certainly use the days off to adventure and enjoy time with family and friends, but don’t forget to rest up to finish out the rest of the week (and the school year) strong!


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