Posts tagged with "exercise"

Social Distancing: The Silent Heartbreaking Pandemic

By Dr. Stephen Sinatra, cardiologist, Healthy Directions

If the COVID-19 pandemic has made you stressed, you’re not alone. There’s no shortage of things to worry about—from the fear of catching the virus to activities and milestones missed, not to mention the economic toll it’s taken on us individually and collectively. All you have to do is turn on the news to see this play out in real-time.

But beneath these obvious stressors churning in your mind and blowing up your social media newsfeed, there’s also a silent stressor in our midst – one that concerns me greatly as both a cardiologist and trained psychotherapist. It’s the impact that quarantining and social distancing has had on both our emotional health and our physical health. 

In many ways, social distancing is the “silent pandemic”—and, if left unchecked, can lead to serious health issues.

We are “Hardwired” to Need Social Connections

Human connection is vital to reducing stress levels. When you spend time with others—whether it’s grabbing a beverage with a close friend or hugging a family member—your body releases dopamine. This feel-good hormone, sometimes referred to as natural morphine, boosts your mood and calms your sympathetic nervous system.

So, while social distancing is necessary for curbing the spread of the COVID-19, it has limited our ability to spend time with friends and family, which has led to an uptick in anxiety, depression and overall emotional stress.

Emotional Stress Can Directly Impact Your Health

You can’t separate your body and mind – your emotions have a very strong impact on your physical health. That’s why when I became a cardiologist, near the end of the Vietnam War, I studied to be a psychotherapist as well because I realized that many of the serious heart issues I would see in returning soldiers were related to emotional stress.

When you’re stressed, the hypothalamus (the tiny control center in your brain) stimulates your body to release cortisol, which is often referred to as the “stress hormone.” Cortisol puts your body into fight-or-flight mode by raising your blood sugar levels, heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. 

If there’s an immediate threat – like if you would need to run away from a lion – your body is ready. But when the threat is gone, your body quickly returns to normal. While this type of occasional stress response doesn’t concern me at all, the persistent stress we’re all experiencing during the pandemic is a different story. It’s as if we’re being chased by a lion continuously!

When you’re in a heightened state of stress, your cortisol levels stay elevated which can have a far-reaching effect on your health, impacting your sleep, blood pressure, heart rate and more.

Good News – You Can Protect Your Health

While there’s no magic pill that can remove all of the stress and heartache we’re experiencing during this pandemic, there are many things you can do to manage stress while safely regaining some of the human interactions we’re all craving.

1. Allow yourself to cry. We’re all living under a massive umbrella of fear right now —whether it’s fear of the virus itself, getting sick or transmitting it to others. There’s also fear of losing a job, losing a home or of not having enough food. On top of that, many of us are angry and upset by what we’ve lost and the ability to control our own lives.

Emotions like anger and sadness are the Achilles’ heel of the cardiovascular system. When you hold your emotions in, it affects you physically, leading to everything from headaches to high blood pressure. 

The solution is to permit yourself to release that stress and anger by crying. I know that for many people that can be difficult to do. I came from the generation when parents often said, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.” So, we used to shut off our emotions. It’s important to realize that crying is not a sign of weakness, but rather the opportunity to release all of that negative energy, stress and tension you’ve been holding in.

2. Breathe. Did you know breathing is related to laughing and laughing is related to crying? All three — whether you laugh deeply, cry deeply or breathe deeply — free up an overcharged sympathetic nervous system and support heart rate variability, which has a calming affect on your mood.

One of my favorite techniques is alternate nostril breathing. Begin by taking a deep breath in and out through your nose. Next, use your right thumb to close your right nostril and inhale slowly through your left nostril. Then, close both nostrils and hold your breath for a moment. Now, open your right nostril and breathe out slowly. Repeat the same exercise with your left nostril. Then, alternate back and forth between nostrils to destress.

3. Reach out to others. It’s important to remember that even when we can’t connect with others in-person, we can connect with them virtually. I refer to it as connecting at the “heart level.” Zoom, Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and other similar applications have made it easy to not only hear from family and friends but to see them as well. One of the positive reframes we can take from the coronavirus is that in many ways, technology has brought us closer together.

Our family has been connecting quite a bit on Zoom during this pandemic. My son, Drew, has been doing Zoom exercise classes with his brother-in-law — he leads the whole family through a circuit-training workout. Plus, my wife and I have had regular virtual visits with the grandchildren. During one call, my grandson Luca showed me his new cowboy boots, so I went to get mine to show to him as well!

I also encourage you to think creatively. Many people are having virtual book club meetings, playing games with others online and having socially distanced dinners with friends. I know one family that cooks together once a week. The “head chef” sends out a recipe in advance so everyone can buy the ingredients, then they all cook together online.

4. Harness the mood-boosting power of exercise. Exercise is one of the most powerful mood boosters there is. When you exercise, it releases stress from your muscles, reduces your levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol and boosts your body’s level of feel-good endorphins. Some studies have shown that aerobic exercise is a quicker mood elevator than an antidepressant.

What type of exercise should you do? My answer to that question is always the same — the type you’ll enjoy and keep doing day-in and day-out. Even just a 20-minute walk or dancing to your favorite songs can make a powerful difference in your stress levels and improve how you feel!

5. Spend time in nature. One positive aspect of COVID-19 is that people are spending more time outdoors. Not only is it safer from the perspective of spreading the virus but being outside has many healing benefits in and of itself. Getting outside; soaking in the fresh air; and gazing at the trees, birds and other wilderness reminds us that there’s a bigger world out there. This all helps us to reframe our perspective.

Another powerful benefit of getting outside is that if you leave technology behind and put your phone away, it allows you to relax and regroup away from the news, social media and other persistent reminders about the stress in our world. If you can, take a family member with you when you go outdoors or meet a friend for a socially distanced walk. 

If you can’t get outside, you can also “get back to nature” within yourself. You can do that with deep breathing, meditation, yoga, Qigong or Tai Chi. My son, Drew, a practicing naturopathic physician, has started each day of the pandemic by meditating for 20-minutes each morning and has found it to be a real game-changer in getting through this difficult and challenging time. Meditation not only releases stress but allows you to cope more easily with the stressors you encounter throughout the day.

6. Practice grounding. One of my cardinal principles of health is grounding, also known as earthing. It’s an amazingly simple concept that involves nothing more than reconnecting the human body with the natural energy that’s present in the ground we walk on.

The Earths’ surface contains free electrons that are continually replenished through solar radiation and lightning strikes, and your body naturally absorbs those particles when you make physical contact with the ground. These electrons help to keep your body’s innate electrical circuitry properly balanced, which lowers stress and increases calmness in the body by moderating heart rate variability, nervous system activity and stress hormone secretion. Plus, it helps to promote normal blood pressure.

If conditions allow, just go barefoot outside. Grass, sand, dirt and concrete are all conductive surfaces from which your body can draw the Earth’s electrons. If going barefoot outside isn’t realistic, a warm basement with a concrete floor will also work. Sit there, read or just relax with your bare feet resting on the ground.

7. Take ashwagandha. This powerful herb is part of a group of herbs called adaptogens that help your body adapt to stress. It works by helping to stabilize your body’s stress feedback loop, so it releases less cortisol. I’ve been taking it myself for more than 20 years, and it has made an enormous difference.

The best form of ashwagandha I’ve found is called, Sensoril. In studies, it has been shown to help people manage anxiousness due to stress, while also balancing healthy cortisol levels.

Participants in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study saw a reduction in serum cortisol levels, anxiousness, fatigue and irritability brought on by stress within two months of using Sensoril Ashwagandha. Additionally, participants experienced an improvement in sleep quality, physical mobility, mood and concentration, all of which can positively impact emotional well-being and heart health. It’s so impressive that I added it to my Omega Q Plus ULTRA supplement formula, in addition toother top-recommended nutrients to support your heart and overall health.

8. Make your health a priority. It’s much easier to cope with stress when you’re rested and eating well. Strive to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Go to bed early rather than staying up late to watch the news or peruse social media feeds – all of which can rev up your stress levels. Keep your room cool and dark and remove all electronics from your sleeping space. If you have trouble calming down, try drinking a cup of valerian tea.

It’s also important to avoid the urge to stress eat – something people have been doing a lot of during the pandemic. And there’s a real physical reason driving that urge. When your cortisol levels are high, it increases your appetite and makes you more likely to reach for sugary treats and simple carbohydrates to lift your mood. But the boost is only temporary and can leave you feeling even worse once the “sugar high” wears off.

Instead, eat foods that protect your health and boost your mood. DHA omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful mood-booster, helping to build receptors for the “feel-good hormone” serotonin. It can be found in foods like wild-caught salmon, flaxseed, nuts and seeds and DHA-fortified eggs.

Dark chocolate also contains a mood-boosting biochemical called phenylethylamine, which is the same chemical that causes the euphoric feeling we equate with love. For maximum health benefits, you want to look for organic dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. Plus, remember that a little goes a long way. I allow myself to have a small piece every few days as a heart-healthy treat.

Finally, remember that no matter how difficult this stretch of time has been, there will come a time when things adapt and get better. We’ll reconnect with our loved ones, get back to the activities we enjoy and have more freedom to plan for the future. And if we can all take this time to practice some extra self-care habits, we’ll come out the other side even better off than before.

Bio: Dr. Stephen Sinatra is one of the most highly respected and sought-after cardiologists whose integrative approach to treating cardiovascular disease has revitalized patients with even the most advanced forms of illness. He has more than 40 years of clinical practice, research and study, starting his career as an attending physician at Manchester Memorial Hospital in Connecticut. Here, he then went on to serve as chief of cardiology, director of medical education, director of echocardiography, director of cardiac rehabilitation and director of the weight-reducing program. He is known as one of America’s top integrative cardiologists, combining conventional medical treatments for heart disease with complementary nutritional, anti-aging and psychological therapies. He is an author, speaker and adviser for the research and development of nutritional supplements with Healthy Directions. Sinatra is a best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including, “Heartbreak and Heart Disease,” “The Great Cholesterol Myth,” “Reversing Heart Disease Now,” “The CoQ10 Phenomenon,” “Heart Sense for Women,” “The Sinatra Solution,” and “Metabolic Cardiology.”

Sparbar boxing illustration for 360 Magazine by Kaelen Felix

Sparbar Home Boxing Workouts

2020 and the coronavirus pandemic brought us a work-from-home boom. The pandemic has undoubtedly spurred the working-out-from-home lifestyle. And just when your boss drives you nuts over the daily Zoom calls and general WFH stress, you can find yourself punching the sh*t out of your Sparbar.

The Sparbar is a human-sized, height-adjustable fitness device that works as your boxing coach. It comes with a horizontal punching bar with target markings that will rotate 360° to punch back. With the Sparbar, people can easily find themselves boxing at home. In recent years, there has been a growing hype around boxing exercises and now Sparbar offers these intense exercises at home.

Users can simultaneously learn defensive skills while having fun at the convenience of your home. More specifically, Sparbar teaches core offensive and defensive skills, hand-eye coordination, footwork, balance, speed, stamina, accuracy, timing and power.Sparbar became the most trending home gym experience during lockdown with sky rocketing sales, even celebrities like Kevin Hart and Anthony Joshua are training with this innovative fitness practice.

“Boxing is one of the best sports in the world, and what we find is that more and more people are moving into boxing to find that mental and physical connection in a workout,“ says London-based founder Jasvinder “Jazz” Gill.

Sparbar is not only revolutionizing combat sports, but makes boxing as a sport accessible to everyone. Learn more about elevating your workouts at https://sparbar.com/.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Students

Every individual wants to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, when people start thinking about eating well, staying fit, and getting time for themselves, this seems impossible.

For students, juggling between classes, academic writing assignments, studying, and curricular activities takes away all their time. Not only do they have assignment deadlines to beat but also exams to prepare for. And since the primary goal is to boost their grades and maintain an outstanding academic performance, most students are bound to forget about all the things they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Well, you should not let your studies or assignments hinder you from leading and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can always visit the website of a reputable and trustworthy paper writing service and pay for a college essay.

Leading a healthier lifestyle is not that intimidating and burdensome as many people presume it to be. As long as you make some small incremental adjustments, you are good to go. So, to be as healthy as an ox, and enjoy your lifestyle, follow the below daily health tips for students. 

Making healthy food choices

A healthy meal may not sound that exhilarating. However, it can help you keep fit and live your life to the fullest. Many students choose to consume junk foods either because they have too many responsibilities to handle or are lazy to cook. Well, if you are one of them, you should refrain from embracing such a habit. If you have too many tasks to work on, hire a professional writer from a reliable service and ask them to write an essay for you. This will give you enough time to complete your other assignments and get time to prepare a healthy meal. 

Eating in a poor manner results in fatigue, poor concentration, laziness, as well as frustration. Thus, if you want to perform well in your academics and feel fresh and energetic during the day, you need to eat right. Additionally, you should not skip meals. Remember to include fruits in your diet as well. And if you wish to prepare a particular meal and do not know how to go about it, ask a friend for help or check out tutorials on YouTube. 

Getting plenty of physical activity

Doing plenty of exercises aids in maintaining a healthy body as well as a sharp mind. The majority of students find it hard to stick to an exercise routine due to lack of time or monetary funds. But, this should not deter you from getting enough physical activity. As one of the most integral lifestyle tips, you need to stay active at all times. This does not mean that you should work out on a day-to-day basis. You can walk or ride a bike to class rather than take a bus or drive. 

Various learning institutions have outstanding and remarkable fitness facilities. You can visit the gym at your school before, between, or after classes. And if you have a tight schedule, consider doing your physical exercises in your dorm room. You can access a variety of fitness and work out tutorials on the internet. Regular exercise helps boost your muscle strength, improve mood, and control body weight. 

Staying hydrated

The human body is made up of more than seventy percent of liquid water. It is responsible for the overall functions of the body. To keep and maintain proper hydration levels, you should drink plenty of water (about 6 – 8 glasses) a day. With the various schools’ activities that you need to attend to and manage, you may choose to take coffee to help you keep awake, tea or soda to re-energize yourself. Well, doing so is not bad. However, this is not an efficient technique to warranty healthy living in college. Instead of relying on such drinks, choose to drink water. 

Consuming plenty of water helps in improving your concentration levels. Additionally, it helps prevent overeating hence weight reduction. Moreover, staying hydrated charges the body so that you can feel merry and chirpy throughout the day. So, carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go. 

Getting enough sleep

It may be tempting to stay awake till late in the night to complete your research paper project, hand out with friends, or finish a movie. But, you should not embrace such a habit. Depriving yourself of sleep cannot only reduce your brain function but can also lead to fatigue. Additionally, it can cause headaches, as well as weight issues.

Getting enough sleep is one of the health tips for students that you should practice. As a student, you need to sleep for about 8 hours to stay healthy. Also, sleeping or napping during the day can help you feel rested. So, learn to work on your assignments early enough. Or, you can sleep early and get up very early in the morning and work on them. This way, you will not only have had enough rest, but you will also get up feeling fresh and energetic to work on your projects and go about your day. 

Keeping a journal to avoid study stress

College life is, without a doubt, overwhelming. With the heaps of academic writing assignments to manage, extracurricular activities to take part in, budget to maintain, and social life to maintain, it can be challenging to lead a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, you will be more anxious and stressed most of the time. But, with the tips and techniques above, you can avoid facing tense and stressful situations. Nonetheless, journaling is a powerful technique for stress management. Not only does it help clarify your thoughts and feelings, but it also tunes on positive vibes. 

Furthermore, when you journal, you can boost your academic writing skills and enhance your creativity. Thus, you can work on your academic projects with ease and faster, thereby giving you more time for other crucial obligations. But, if you have any complex to handle assignments, you can always enlist a specialist from ResumeThatWorks

In conclusion, the best advice you can get to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to assert yourself. Letting other individuals make uncomfortable health decisions for you renders them powerful. Hence, you will not choose what you want to do or eat without consulting them. So, decide how you want to lead your life and what you should consume. But, you need to keep it healthy if you want to live your life to the fullest. And the above are some healthy lifestyle tips for college students that you can use.

Five Effective Workouts for Students

According to experts, there is no magic to exercise. What you put in determines what you get out of it. But, this does not imply that you should work out for several hours a day. It only means that you should work smart.

Furthermore, specialists approve that not all exercises have an equal creation. Some exercises are more effective than others regardless of if they target various muscle groups. These exercises are apposite for a vast array of fitness levels. Additionally, they can help you burn calories in a more effective manner.

But, as a student, how can you manage your assignments, deliver them on time, and get to exercise? Well, this should not trouble. Several professional authors write essays for cash. You can hire any of them to help with your projects and get to exercise.

Nonetheless, many students do not know the effective exercises they need to do. Some head back home to the couch or bed after walking by treadmills, weight machines, and stationary bikes. Well, some of the ideal physical exercises for your body do not need you to head to the gym or get fit enough to take part in a marathon.

These workouts can work out miracles in your health. Not only will you keep your weight in control but also ward off memory loss. Additionally, you can increase your balance and motion range and protect your joints and strengthen your bones, among other things. So, what are some of the best workouts for students you can do irrespective of your age and fitness level? Well, below are some activities you can do to get in shape and reduce the risk of diseases.

Running

Exercise programs ought to encompass cardiovascular exercises that strengthen the heart and burn calories. And, running is something that you can do at any time and any place with no tools but just a good pair of shoes. Any individual can benefit from running. You can trim, keep your blood pressure in check, reduce your risk for various ailments, and lift your mood, among other benefits.

Various studies show that running is an efficient exercise in that it helps improve memory as well as resist memory loss related to age. So, start your day with a 10 – 20-minute run. Over time, you can begin running long distances and fast until you run for about 1 or 2 hours on most days. 

Interval training

If you are a walker, exercise veteran, aerobic dancer, or a beginner, you should supplement interval training to your cardiovascular workout. This is a great workout technique as it helps increase your fitness levels and help you keep your weight in check. Changing your pace during the training exercise kindles the aerobic system to acclimatize. You can burn more calories if the aerobic system has more power. 

To increase the aerobic system’s power, push the pace or intensity for one or two minutes. Then, back off for some minutes (around 2 – 10). But, this will depend on the duration of your total workout as well as the necessary recovery time. And you can continue doing this as you work out. 

Lunges

Lunges work all the important lower body muscles: hamstrings, gluteals, and quadriceps. They are one of the greatest exercising techniques as they mimic life, that is walking but in an exaggerated manner. Also, they are more unconventional than squats as they help increase your balance. You can do them at any time without worrying about your studies or assignments. You can always ask for assistance with your tasks from EduJungles and not fret over your grades. 

To do lunges right, consider the following steps;- Move a step forward.- Maintain your spine in a neutral position. – Twist your front knee to an approximate of 90 degrees. While at it, focus on keeping your weight on the back toes.- Drop your back leg knee towards the floor. (You need to presume you are sitting on your back foot). 

For the lunges to be more functional, consider stepping backward and outwards to each side. 

Push-ups

If done in the correct way, push-ups are the best exercise you can use to strengthen your triceps, core trunk muscles, and chest. Furthermore, you can do push-ups at any fitness level. If you are a beginner, you can commence by pushing from the height of the kitchen counter. After, you can work your way to a chair or desk with bent knees. Last, you can conclude with the floor but on your toes. 

And to do a great push up, follow the steps below;- Place your hands a bit wider than the shoulder width from a face-down position.- With your knees and toes on the floor, try creating a flawless diagonal with your body from the shoulders to your toes. – Keep the abdominals and glutes engaged. – Pull down and lift your body by bowing and straightening your elbows. While at it, ensure your torso is stable at all times. 

Bent-over row

The bent-over row works all the core muscles of the upper back and the biceps. To do it right, consider the steps below;- Place your feet shoulder-width apart. – Bend the knees and stretch forward at the hips.- Incline your pelvis a bit forward.- Involve the abdominals and extend your upper spine to supplement support. – Hold dumbbells beneath your shoulders with your hands about shoulder-wide apart.- Move your elbows and lift both hands towards your body sides. – Pause. Then, lower your hands to the starting position at aslow pace. (If you are a beginner, conduct this exercise without any weights).

This exercise can leave you feeling re-energized and ready to tackle the day’s activities. But, if you have some difficult-to-approach assignments, feel free to ask for help from a cheap writing service

In conclusion, if you are not passionate about working out but only want to do it for your clothes to fit well or improve your health, visiting the gym can be one of the most overwhelming and intimidating scenes. On most occasions, you will start asking yourself what the perfect exercises for you are or when you will find the time. Well, that should not trouble you. As a student, there are various exercises you can do without visiting the gym. And while at it, you will not only get to boost your health but also lose weight. So, if you are wondering what some of the best exercises you can do are, consider the above healthy workouts for a student.

Soccer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success

The U.S. Soccer Foundation adapted and launched its signature Soccer for Success program to fit ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.

The Foundation spent the past few months listening to its partners to best support the needs of soccer communities. By adapting its Soccer for Success curriculum, partners can run the program across a variety of settings. In lieu of the traditional in-person trainings, they are providing an online training that is specifically designed to prepare coach-mentors to deliver the program across these new settings. The 12-week curriculum consists of:

  • Thirty-six pre-recorded video sessions that can be sent directly to participants and their families to complete at a time that works best for them. The sessions are around 15-20 minutes in length, can be done at home with little space and equipment, and incorporate health and wellness tips and information.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 45-minute virtual sessions (in real time) with their participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six practice session plans that provide coach-mentors with guidance on how to run 60-minute, in-person socially distanced sessions with participants. The practice sessions include both soccer activities and health and wellness teaching points.
  • Thirty-six traditional in-person practice and game day sessions.

This formatting gives our partners the flexibility to run Soccer for Success three days a week for a typical 12-week season in the way that works best for them and their community at any given time, said Sarah Pickens, U.S. Soccer Foundation Associate Vice President of Programs. 

In some places, space constraints may limit the number of in-person socially distanced participants allowed at one time. Fortunately, with this program, partners can alternate days that players can come in person, while still providing virtual lessons to any other students enrolled in the program. No matter what stage a given community is in, children have a way to participate in each session. This approach also anticipates the very real scenario that things will continue to change rapidly. Therefore, even if COVID-19 guidelines change, partners can still run programming virtually or through distribution of pre-recorded sessions without missing a beat.

Pickens added, This helps children have some sense of consistency, keeps them active, and keeps them connected to each other in a positive and fun way. The bottom line is that Soccer for Success keeps kids healthy in body and mind. In our current reality, this is more important than ever. 

About U.S. Soccer Foundation

The U.S. Soccer Foundation programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Follow U.S. Soccer Foundation: Website | Twitter | Facebook

3 Great Ways to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy After Retiring

When you retire, your whole life changes. Or, at least that’s how it feels. For most of us, our careers are a huge part of our entire identity, and you will probably feel a lot different once you hang it up.

That can be good and bad. For some, it is fully and undeniably a great feeling on day one. A dream come true. For others, the transition is difficult. And that can lead to some negative effects — both mentally and physically.

The best way to make sure you can adapt quickly and avoid any severe downside is by staying active and staying healthy. The more you can do to remain physically, mentally, and emotionally fit, the better it all will go.
The following represent three great ways to maintain your physical and mental health after retiring.

1. Pick Up Something New

By the time you hit retirement age, you are probably pretty set in your ways. The last thing that might seem like a good idea is even more change. But it really can help. It doesn’t have to be something major. Replacing the hours you normally spend at work with something else, however, will do you a lot of good. Join a new club, pick up a new hobby, or get involved in your community in a new way. It can really help you adjust — you won’t be just losing something but adding something as well.

2. Embrace the Water

One of the difficult parts about getting older is that it’s harder to exercise and stay in shape. Even people who have always been fit and love to run or play sports have trouble maintaining their routines because it can be so hard on the joints. The solution? Jump in the pool! There’s a reason that even pro athletes rehab in the water. You can continue using you body and strengthening your muscles — plus your lungs and heart — without risking injury.

3. Get Top Coverage

Of course, no matter how fit you stay, there will always be some health concerns. That’s just inevitable as people age. So you need to make sure you have the best possible healthcare coverage. For most seniors, this means going with some type of Medicare Advantage plan. This allows you to expand upon the coverage of the traditional program at a very affordable rate. There are many different types, but it’s hard to go wrong with a Medicare Advantage PPO plan that includes benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. Make sure you have access to all the medical care you need.

Staying Mentally and Physically Fit

After you retire, there will be an adjustment period. But you can minimize the negative parts of this transition by implementing the right strategies. The goal for everything should be staying healthy — and improving your health. 

After all, you don’t have to grind away at a 9-to-5 anymore. You might even be able to strengthen your body and sharpen your mind with more free time and more energy to devote to yourself.

Start by replacing your work hours with some new hobbies. Stay fit with low-impact activities like swimming. And make sure you have the best healthcare coverage possible. This alone will help so much. You can embrace retirement head on and start loving your life more and more every day.

Running illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Best Workout Clothing Brands

Since COVID-19, many people have picked up new hobbies. While some people have honed the perfect sourdough bread recipe or crafted the ideal tie-dye technique, others have learned to love fitness. Now, with masks and social-distancing rules, people can venture out of their homes to enjoy outdoor exercise or even strict gym usage. And while your worn t-shirts and pajama shorts may have cut it in your living room it may be time to consider an upgrade to your workout outfits. Here are some of our favorite athletic clothing lines that are ideal for people looking to safely practice their quarantine-hobby outside of their home.

For shoppers who value unique styles:

Beach Riot

Beach Riot supplies bra tops, leggings, and shorts that you can feel confident that no one else on your running trail will adorn. With popping prints and unique silhouettes ranging from snakeskin, to palm trees, to tie-dye, Beach Riot offers bright prints to their bra and legging pairings. Best of all, you can get these adorable and functional styles for $78 – $98. Also, the brand even sells masks in some of their fantastic prints so shoppers can be dressed head-to-toe in brilliant patterns.

For shoppers who want guaranteed comfortable:

Champion

Champion may be known for their hoodies, but Champion offers the comfort and stylish taste that we all know and love in athletic-wear. With colorful sports bras, bike shorts, and mesh tanks, Champion Workout caters to all of your exercise needs.  Also, Champion is the perfect shop if you are looking for clothing to wear post-workout; in particular, Champion’s collaboration with MTV has some of our favorite comfy and cute clothing. After the successful spring exercise collection, Champion Workout returns for the fall season with new prints, popping colors, and fresh styles.

For shoppers who prioritize sustainable outfits:

Girlfriend Collective

In a world full of fast-fashion, Girlfriend Collective is a rare find of fashionable, ethical, and moderately priced athleisure. Girlfriend Collective offers buttery soft leggings, sports bras, and bike shorts while supporting ethical and sustainable fashion practices.

If you are looking to practice your shavasana in an outdoor yoga session, Girlfriend Collective will help put your mind at ease because each product is made from recycled materials. For example, the compressive leggings and bras are made from recycled plastic bottles (fun fact: 25 bottles go into each pair of leggings!). Other products, such as their t-shirts, are made from cupro, a fiber that is the waste from cotton industry production. Therefore, their cupro tanks and tees are zero-waste because they are made from other products cotton waste!

Conclusion

As the world eases into a new type of normal, it is important for us all to safely enter this new phase of life. This means taking what we have all learned while in quarantine – whether it be workout routines, recipes, or racial injustices – and applying this knowledge outside of our homes. Get excited about continuing your workout routine by adorning some new athletic-wear (and a mask, of course!) while following CDC guidelines. Be sure to check out these brands and let us know what other athleisure brands you’re loving.

Storm illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

This Is How to Sleep Through the Night

Do you have trouble sleeping at night and looking for advice? A lack of sleep each night can increase your risk of serious health problems. 
Some of these might include stomach problems, lack of energy, weight gain, and depression. There are tips that you need to follow to avoid these health conditions and for you to improve the quality of your sleep.
Here’s how to sleep through the night and to wake up feeling energized and rejuvenated.

Relax Your Body With Exercise

Did you know that regular exercise can prepare your body for quality sleep? Physical activity can help you to sleep through the night without disruptions. 

Moderate workout sessions can decrease the length of time it takes for you to fall asleep. Exercise also helps to relax your mind and body, which makes it easier for you to fall asleep.

Exercise is known to reduce muscle tension in the body, reduce stress, and to increase the production of endorphins, which are the ‘feel-good’ hormones. You don’t have to perform a strenuous or challenging workout to get substantial benefits.

You can dedicate thirty minutes of exercise sessions to improve the quality of your sleep. For example, your exercise routine may consist of jogging, brisk walking, swimming laps, washing your car, sweeping, or other simple chores around the house.

Try to avoid physical activities for at least three hours before going to bed. This is a precaution that you can take to give your body enough time to cool off from your workout and to prepare for sleep.

For long-term results, you need to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and stick with it. This is one of the easiest ways for you to overcome your sleeping problems.

Use a Leg Pillow

Are you a side sleeper? Your pillow can be a critical component of your sleep health. Placing a pillow between your legs is an effective technique that increases the quality of your sleep.

When you place a pillow between your legs, you’re helping to eliminate stress on your hips, prevent lower back and leg pains, improve blood circulation, and to improve spine alignment.

This technique might also be useful if you suffer from breathing conditions such as sleep apnea. Positioning a pillow between your legs may help to alleviate this condition.

Using a pillow might seem simple, but it can be very effective for you to sleep peacefully during the night. This is a comfortable sleeping position that you can utilize to enhance your sleep. 

Read this article to learn more valuable information about sleeping with a pillow between your legs.
Make Your Bedroom Comfortable
Be sure to optimize the comfort level of your bedroom so that you can get quality sleep. There might be issues in your bedroom that you’re not even aware of.

For better sleep, you might need to adjust your lighting, so that it’s not too harsh to disrupt your sleep. You can also keep your bedroom completely dark when you’re sleeping.

You might need to remove your television set from your bedroom and move it to another room. Watching television before you fall asleep might prevent you from getting enough sleep during the night.

So, you need to turn off your television screen or remove it from your room.

The electronics in your bedroom could also interfere with the quality of your sleep. Your radio, tablet, laptop, cell phone, and other items in your bedroom can be problematic.
So, it is beneficial for you to remove your electronics from your bedroom. 

Another important bedroom makeover is to change your mattress. Be sure to get rid of your old, lumpy mattress. Replacing your old mattress can be an effective way for you to get the quality sleep that you deserve. 
These are simple tweaks that you can use to turn your bedroom into a better sleeping environment. 

Avoid Smoking

Less smoking might help you to sleep better. Smoking is detrimental to your health, but it can also cause you to have sleeping problems. It might cause sleep apnea, snoring, and a host of other sleep-related issues.
Nicotine found in cigarettes could be the main reason why you’re unable to get a full night’s sleep. This is a chemical that is known to be responsible for insomnia and other issues.

When you’re trying to fall asleep, your nicotine cravings might be too intense, especially if you’re in the habit of smoking before bedtime.
Too much smoking tends to disrupt the patterns of your normal sleep cycle and might keep you awake for most of the night. Due to these problems, you should consider quitting your smoking habits. 

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is a common stimulant that might prevent you from falling asleep. Once it enters your bloodstream, it might cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbance.

Try to avoid caffeine intake to improve your sleep. You need to avoid drinking coffee, tea, and soft drinks before bedtime. These are essential steps for you to sleep better. 

Follow a Guide to Learn How to Sleep Through the Night

When you learn how to sleep through the night, it will be easier for you to adapt to a strategy that improves your sleeping patterns. Instead of waking up in the middle of the night, you have the chance to get the beauty sleep that you deserve.

Do you want to discover more helpful tips? If you want to read more useful articles, you can check out the rest of our website.

Rita Azar illustrates a story by Kupah James in 360 MAGAZINE.

Top 10 Virtual Trainers

By Kupah James

Squad, with most gyms out of commission, it can be difficult keeping with those gains. Below, are 10 Virtual Trainers for you to explore. Try one of them or all of them, since they all have something unique to offer.

Kupah James – Celebrity Trainer, Creator of Bodyweight BootKAMP, ZOOM Klasses Tuesday – Friday. All classes are total body welcoming all levels. No equipment is necessary!

Heath House Fitness Studio, Originating from Kansas, Operating out of West Hollywood, HiiT, Full Body, Muscle Specific. Live and On-Demand Classes.

VFL is hosting a variety of Virtual classes throughout the week from various experienced trainers

Nichelle Hines – Actor, Dog Mom, Activist, Nichelle has created a wonderful brand surrounding Health and Fitness

Chloe Levray – Specializes in Sports Medicine, + Precision Nutrition Coach, Animal Flow

Adrianne Nina – Functional Breath Work, Natal, and Nutrition, Virtual Private Training

Evan Ruiz – Pre/Postnatal certified, Online Virtual Coach, Specializing in Hip Movement + Strength

Y7 Studio – Sweat Dripping, Beat bumping, Candle Lit YOGA… Namaste, NY, LA, Chicago

Monique Bell – NASM Personal Trainer, Fitness Ambassador, Team Edge 1 Athlete, Health House

Kim Glass – Olympic Medalist, Fitness Trainer, Coach, Model, Motivational Speaker

Mina Tocalini illustration for 360 MAGAZINE HEALTH SECTION.

Reduce Covid Stress

 The millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought globally are creating stress over everything from personal health to employment, lifestyle, and finances. Given these difficult circumstances, it’s more important than ever for people to know about coping mechanisms to better manage stress, protect their immune system, and increase their chances of staying healthy, says Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS, author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living.

“COVID is maximizing stress for so many people,” Dr. Patel says. “It has a far-reaching impact into every part of our lives, and if we don’t manage the stress, it severely affects our bodily systems – causing burned-out adrenals, high cortisol, and thyroid issues, to name a few consequences of high-stress levels. Thus, the immune system is lowered, and we are more vulnerable to illness.

“This era we are living in is very traumatic, and it’s very concerning. In dentistry, gum disease, sleep disturbances or apnea, and teeth breakage can all be evidence of stress. Poor oral health, as studies show, can be a gateway to medical issues. People often don’t identify how much stress they’re under, and how it’s affecting them physically, until they actually get sick.”

Dr. Patel has the following suggestions people can incorporate into their daily lives to better deal with stress. 

5 Ways To Cope And Protect Your Health:

  1. Adhere to a healthy diet. While in quarantine or a new normal in which people are spending the vast majority of their time at home, having healthy foods at home and not over-snacking are vital considerations. “We must be more mindful of the foods we put in our bodies,” Dr. Patel says. “Eat as many greens and whole foods as possible. Avoid dairy products as they increase mucus production in the sinus and the chest, leading to lots of sneezing and congestion. The coronavirus enters the nose and makes a home in the sinus, and to increase immunity, it’s important that the sinus and chest are not inflamed. Food prep makes it easier to eat healthy while working from home. Prepare salads and other healthy meals in advance.”
  2. Don’t over-indulge in drinking. “For some people, drinking is the only source of enjoyment during the pandemic,” Dr. Patel says. “And we see people who are isolating having Zoom calls with friends while drinking wine. The problem is that one glass turns into two or more, and with the sugar content of wine, you may wake up during the night. This disturbs sleep, and sleep is when the immune system regenerates. Restorative sleep is essential to our health.”
  3. Take vitamin supplements. “Often, those with adrenal fatigue don’t take in enough essential nutrients as stress increases their body’s nutritional demands,” Dr. Patel says. “To address adrenal and cortisol burnout, take multivitamins in order to get trace minerals.”
  4. Develop a morning ritual. “Deep breathing exercises can be calming and get you out of the hyper state,” Dr. Patel says. “You want to get rid of the ‘fight or flight’ mode and enter the ‘rest and digest’ state of mind.”
  5. Find a stress management activity that works for you. Many people don’t like to exercise, but Dr. Patel notes exercise doesn’t have to be rigorous to be effective. “A type of exercise one enjoys doing at home like walking, running, or yoga goes a long way toward releasing stress hormones,” she says. “And for those who like intense workouts, it’s all good in terms of reducing stress. Another good stress management technique is using biofeedback mechanisms like alpha state meditations to increase immunity.”

“The disruption of daily life by COVID-19 has caused us to rethink many things that we do,” Dr. Patel says. “How we deal with stress needs to be a priority now, and it’s not overly difficult if you develop good daily habits.”

Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS operates a practice called Green Dentistry in San Francisco and is the author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. A graduate of the University of California’s School of Dentistry, she is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. Dr. Patel focuses on helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health.

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