Age-appropriate chores for your kids.

Age-appropriate chores for your kids.

They may complain, procrastinate, and do a poor job when given chores, but don’t give in, because chores are good for kids. They teach responsibility, the value of hard work, and how to perform simple life skills. Many college-age kids today don’t know how to do their own laundry, load a dishwasher, or change the sheets on their bed. Why? Because Mom and Dad always did everything for them, and they weren’t taught how to do chores by themselves. You want to raise self-sufficient, capable, responsible, smart kids who turn into self-sufficient, capable, responsible, smart adults, so make your children do chores.

At age 2 or 3, children can begin learning simple ways to help around the house. As children grow, they can move on to new chores that fit their abilities. And every day until they move out, your children should have chores.


The younger you start kids on chores, the better. Little kids like to help Mommy and Daddy around the house. Toddlers can help clean up toys off the floor and put them away. They can be given a feather duster to “dust” furniture. Young kids can throw dirty clothes into the hamper and help put folded clothes into their drawers.


Around ages 4 and 5, children can move on to new chores. Kids at this age are motivated by rewards, and chore charts and stickers work well to this end. In addition to the toddler chores, preschoolers can help set and clear the table and load the dishwasher. They can help match socks in the clean laundry and carry piles of clean clothes to the bedrooms. Also at this age, kids can start making their beds and cleaning their rooms with a little parental help. Feeding and watering the pets is another great chore to give kids.

Early Elementary

From ages 6 to 8, kids can add new chores to their repertoire. While they might start giving resistance to chores, you can set simple rules such as no screen time or playing outside until chores are done. In addition to the toddler and preschool chores, kids at this age can start helping in the kitchen with meal prep.

This age can help sweep, vacuum, dust, wash dishes, fold the laundry, and clean windows and mirrors. They can collect trash from around the house and take the trash out. Kids this age can help carry in the groceries and put them away. Give them chores outside like pulling weeds or raking leaves.

Older Elementary

Don’t give up when your kids complain about chores. If they’re too busy with afterschool activities, they can do chores on the weekends. Kids at this age can learn how to do the laundry, make simple meals, load and unload the dishwasher, clean toilets, change the sheets on their bed, clean out the car, and mop floors.

Middle and High School

Teaching responsibility and follow through is important at this age. No matter what resistance you encounter, middle and high school-aged kids should help out around the house and in the yard. If they don’t know how to do any of the chores listed above, they need to learn how. Kids at this age can clean the bathroom, make a meal, iron the clothes, wash the car, mow the grass, and care for younger siblings.

Allowance or No?

Should you give kids an allowance for doing their chores? Opinions vary. Chores should be expected of every member of the family whether or not they’re paid, but allowances can help motivate and reward, while teaching money management skills.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

If you can’t do this…you can’t win in life. Period

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true. I’m convinced that despite all of our individual shortcomings, we can still rise up and overcome obstacles. However, there is one thing that is vital to being successful. Before I lay it all out for you…let me ask you a few reflective questions.

When you have a bad day at work…how do you respond?

When you eat a really greasy-nasty-calorically appalling lunch…what do you eat thereafter for dinner?

When adversity strikes in ANY area of your life…what is your reaction?

Our success is largely determined by our ability to bounce back after a set back. We are all going to fail. I fail DAILY as a husband, father, friend, employer, coach…you name it. The key is creating a few “head tricks” to get your butt up off the ground as fast as possible.

For me, I have a few strategies I use to help me turn the page and move past my personal failures. Here are a few…

If you fail at meal time, starting planning for the next meal or next days worth of meals. This will mentally allow you to move on and avoid sulking over your poor choice. Move on.
If you offend someone or don’t follow through with a promise…apologize. Make it right as fast as possible and get your energy back to a positive state. 
If you miss a workout, set your clothes out for the next day and tell someone of your intentions to do things differently the next day. You can’t change the past, but you can plan for a successful future. 
Forgive yourself. Many of us battle crippling abuse from ourselves. You are human…give yourself grace and take a step forward. 
If you had a bad day…go back to your self care plan and see where you can improve.

Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep?

Are you abusing caffeine and using it as a crutch to get through the day and frying your nervous system in the process?

Are you following through on your commitment to your fitness and health?

Are you using alcohol as a crutch to relax/unwind?

Are you managing stress well in your life? Are you praying and/or discussing your stressors with people who love you?

We all get knocked down in life. Sometimes, the body blows we take are significant. But remember, winning is determined not by who gets hit the least…but rather who get up from getting popped in the mouth the fastest.

Written by Brad Tillery

If you are getting sick and tired of being knocked down and need the power of a strong community and experienced fitness professionals to help guide you towards your personal success…we would love to help.

Feel free to reach out to us at 979-575-7871 to find out how you can get connected to our community in a personal small group of 3-4 others with similar goals and aspirations at our Central (Texas & University) and South (Barron & Fitch) studios.

Understanding the symptoms of and treatment for teenage depression

Understanding the symptoms of and treatment for teenage depression.

The most common type of mental disorder among adults, depression is also common among teenagers. During a time of life when teens should be carefree, having fun with friends, and exploring life, many teenagers feel sad, hopeless, and alone. Peer pressure, academic stress, and the anxiety that accompanies puberty can contribute to a teenager’s moodiness and irritability, but some teenagers become truly depressed and require professional help to heal.

With that in mind, it’s important for parents and teachers to recognize symptoms of teenage depression, a condition that affects an estimated one in five teens.

Highly treatable, the sooner help is sought, the sooner your teen can enjoy life again.

Detecting Depression

Symptoms of depression in teenagers may be different than in adults. A teen dealing with depression may cry a lot, seem angry, be extra sensitive to criticism, withdraw from social activities, be tired all the time, have trouble sleeping, or have thoughts of suicide.

The sadness, hopelessness, and despair are often evident in a teenager’s behaviors and attitude. In an attempt to cope with their negative emotions, teenagers may act out in some common ways. Here are a few.

Some teens turn to alcohol or drug abuse to numb their pain. Others may participate in risky behaviors, bullying, or violence.

Depression may cause a lack of energy and problems concentrating, both which lead to problems at school. Grades may suffer, attendance may drop, and a teen may lose all interest in school and social activities.

Often as a cry for help, a teen may run away or make plans to run away. 
A depressed teen usually has a low self-esteem. He may feel ugly, ashamed, or unworthy.

Many teens turn to social media, gaming, or excessive phone use as a way to escape their emotions. Unfortunately, these typically only worsen the symptoms.

Depressed kids often complain about physical symptoms such as stomachaches or headaches that have no apparent cause.

How to Help

Since teenagers don’t know how to cope with their feelings of sadness and depression, they may be waiting for an adult to step in to help. This is why it’s important for adults to know what to watch for.

Keep in mind that no one of any age can just bounce back from depression, try their hardest to overcome it, or wait for it to improve on its own. True depression requires professional help and the support of family and friends.

Talk with your teenager about the symptoms you’ve noticed and why you’re concerned. Ask if there’s anything he wants to talk about. If he opens up, be ready to listen with compassion and patience. Refrain from asking too many questions or lecturing, but acknowledge his feelings and reassure him of your love and support.

As a parent, make quality time with your teen a priority. As you spend time together, work to keep lines of communication open. Encourage your teen to hang out with friends and to stay involved in extra curricular activities.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in combatting depression. Make sure your teen gets enough sleep (nine to ten hours a night), gets regular exercise, limits screen time, and eats a healthy diet.

When you’re worried your child may be depressed, but she won’t open up to you and she’s not willing to make any of the changes listed above, trust your intuition and talk with a mental health professional who has experience working with teens. Let your teen help choose a therapist. In many cases, talk therapy is enough to help treat depression, but sometimes medication may be needed in addition to counseling sessions.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

10 things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

Last year alone, there were more than 2 million new diagnoses of breast cancer around the world. Next to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women and a leading cause of cancer deaths. While men are able to get breast cancer, its occurrence is much greater in women.

The cause of breast cancer seems to be a complex combination of environmental factors, lifestyle, hormones, and your genetic makeup. Until science discovers exactly why some breast cells begin to grow abnormally and a cure is found, women of all walks of life, around the globe, will continue to battle breast cancer.

There’s no sure fire way to prevent breast cancer, but there are things women can do to lower their risk of the dreaded disease. Here are a few.

Get Regular Screenings

The earlier breast cancer is detected, the more likely treatment will be successful. Talk with your doctor about when you should begin to get yearly mammograms and clinical breast exams. Some medical organizations recommend women start getting mammograms at age 40, others recommend age 45 or 50. High-risk women may need a baseline mammogram at an earlier age.

Do Self-Exams

It’s important for women to be familiar with the way their breasts feel so they can recognize any changes or lumps. Once a month, women should perform a breast self-exam. Call your doctor if you notice any new or unusual changes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. Postmenopausal weight gain is especially dangerous. If you’re overweight, take the necessary steps to lose weight. Get more exercise and reduce the number of calories you consume.

Drink Less Alcohol

Your risk of breast cancer goes up the more alcohol you drink. Current recommendations encourage women to drink no more than one drink a day. One drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Get More Exercise

Living an active lifestyle reduces your risk of breast cancer. Besides being active throughout your day, plan to get at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise five days a week. Include cardio as well as strength training exercises in your routine.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases your risk of developing various types of cancer, including breast cancer. Women can reduce their risk of all kinds of diseases by not smoking. So either put down the cigarettes today or if you don’t smoke, don’t start.


Women who breastfeed their babies are doing not only their babies a favor but also their breasts. For some reason, breastfeeding seems to have a protective effect on the breasts.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a Mediterranean diet lowers your risk of breast cancer. This healthy eating plan includes mostly plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil. Fish, rather than red meat, is a main source of protein.

Limit Hormone Therapy

Hormone therapy for postmenopausal women has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. With that in mind, hormone therapy should be used to relieve the unpleasant symptoms that accompany menopause only in rare cases. If hormones are used, go with the lowest possible dose for a limited amount of time.

Chemoprevention or Surgery

Other preventative measures may be recommended for women with a very high risk for breast cancer. This includes women with a family history of the disease and a precancerous breast condition. Chemoprevention medications block the effects of estrogen and may reduce a woman’s risk of cancer. Surgery to remove the breasts and avoid cancer is a last resort option, but some women have taken this extreme step.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Do these 7 exercises to improve your posture

Proper posture doesn’t just make you look taller and more self-assured. It also reduces low back pain, boosts energy levels, builds lung capacity, improves digestion, and relieves neck and shoulder tension.

When you hold your body upright, your spine is in a neutral position and there’s less strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your body. Unfortunately, good posture doesn’t always come naturally. You have to train your body and build strong muscles to hold you upright.

In order to improve your posture, plan to incorporate the following exercises and stretches into your regular workout routine.


Good posture is easier when you have strong muscles supporting your spine. The plank is an exercise that helps strengthen your core and back. For a plank, get on all fours on the floor. Straighten your legs and arms and raise your body up so it’s in a straight line. Keep your head in line with your heels and look down at the ground. Hold this pose for up to a minute. To make a plank slightly easier, bend your arms and hold your body up on your toes and forearms.


The bridge is an exercise to strengthen your lower back, abdominals, and glutes. Lie on your back and bend your knees so your feet rest flat on the floor. Keep your arms down by your sides. From here, tighten your core and glutes, keep your shoulders and arms on the floor, and lift your hips and torso off the floor. Hold this position, slowly lower your glutes back to the floor, and repeat.

Neck Stretches

Relieve tight neck muscles and improve your posture with neck stretches. While standing, slowly lower your chin toward your chest. Then lift your head and let it slowly fall back as your chin lifts in the air. Raise your head and slowly lower your right ear toward your right shoulder and then your left ear toward your left shoulder.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a simple stretch that helps lengthen your spine, hamstrings, and glutes, relieving tension in your back and neck. Get on the floor, tuck your legs under you, and sit on your feet. Your big toes should be together and your heels pointing out toward either side. Now bend your upper body forward and bring your forehead down to the floor. Press your hips downward and extend your hands above your head or down by your sides. Hold this pose and relax as you feel the stretch.

Downward Facing Dog

Include the downward facing dog Yoga pose in your stretching routine to help strengthen and align your back muscles and improve posture. Get on the floor on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Support your body on your hands and toes and slowly lift your hips toward the ceiling. Slowly straighten your legs and press into your palms and heels until your body is in an upside down V shape.

Shoulder Rolls

Relieve tension in your neck and shoulders by doing 5 to 10 shoulder rolls each day. Sit or stand with your hands down by your sides, raise your shoulders up toward your ears and hold for a few seconds. Then, roll your shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades together, and then lower your shoulders to their starting position.

Seated Twist

Do a seated twist to stretch your back while sitting at your desk. Hold your desk or right arm of your chair and twist your upper body toward the right. After a couple of seconds, return to forward facing. Now, twist to the left and hold. Repeat.

Six Reasons to Get Off Your Bum

Six reasons why you need to sit less and move more.

Sitting while you eat, commute, work, and watch television. If you’re like most people, the majority of your day is spent sitting down. Even if you’re committed to your half-hour workout each day, if you’re sedentary the rest of the day, the health benefits of your workouts are mostly eliminated.

What are the dangers of sitting too much and how can you move more? Keep reading to find out.

1. Leads to Weight Gain

This one goes without saying. The more you sit around, the more weight you’re likely to gain. Sitting requires far less energy than standing or moving. It also slows your metabolism, which means you burn fewer calories while at rest. People who sit most of the day are at a greater risk for obesity, even if they exercise on a daily basis.

2. Harms Your Heart

An active lifestyle keeps your heart muscle strong. Without much movement, your heart weakens and your risk factors for heart disease increase. In fact, if you sit around all day, your risk for heart disease doubles.

3. Affects Your Brain

Exercise increases the amount of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood that reaches the brain. No wonder people who lead sedentary lifestyles are at a greater risk for dementia later in life. This is partly due to the fact that sitting puts you at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease, all of which increase your chances of developing dementia.

4. Hurts Your Back

Sitting for a long period of time places stress and pressure on your neck, spine, and back muscles. Sit with poor posture and the pressure is even worse. Over time, damage to your spine and back can develop. If your job requires you to sit all day, use a chair that provides ergonomic support.

5. Puts You at Risk for Diabetes

The reason is unclear, but people who sit all day are more likely to get diabetes. Without much movement in your day, your body begins to react differently to insulin, the hormone that helps you use sugar for energy. When you fail to respond to insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, resulting in high blood sugar.

6. Increases Your Chances of DVT

The longer you sit, the slower your body’s blood moves through your veins, and the more likely a blood clot called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) may form in your body. Usually occurring in your leg, DVT can cause serious health problems and even death if the clot dislodges and moves to your lungs. DVT is one reason why it’s recommended that you get up and move around on long airplane flights.

So…Get Moving!

While regular exercise is extremely important, it doesn’t always make up for an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Make it your goal to move more throughout the day, not just while you’re at the gym.

Set an alarm every 20 minutes or use an activity monitor app on your mobile device that alerts you of prolonged inactivity. At regular intervals get up and move around. Take a short walk or do jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, or lunges.

Wear a pedometer or use a pedometer app to motivate you to get more steps during the day. Work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. Walk around while you’re talking on your phone and during your lunch break, and then take the dog for a walk in the evening.

Every step counts, so start counting.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Fitness Jobs in Bryan/College Station/Personal Training Jobs in College Station

Our two studios are GROWING and we are looking to add a few new teammates to our ROCKSTAR BCS Fitness Staff.


Character Traits: Friendly, welcoming, hospitable, energetic, outgoing, positive, team oriented, hard working, diligent.

Compensation/Expectations: Part-time 10-20 hours per week, hourly pay. Not a seasonal position.

Descriptions: Create a unique and world class experience for all BCS Fitness members as soon as they walk in the studio! Greeting, creating conversation, and tending to the needs of our clients before and after their training session is the Director of First Impressions primary responsibility. DFI will also hop in small group training sessions from time to time to provide additional support on days when a new member begins their journey to insure they have an incredible training experience.

Requirements: See character traits above.

Apply by sending cover letter and resume to us at


Character Traits: Positive, teacher, welcoming, outgoing, team oriented, attentive to fine detail, passion for helping people through fitness, energetic, humble, teachable.

Compensation/Expectations: Part time 10-20 hours per week, hourly pay. Not a seasonal position

Description: Serve our members alongside our full time Fitness Professionals “in the trenches” on the training floor gaining valuable fitness experience with a diverse group of the world’s best clients!

Requirements: Interest in becoming a certified performance coach. Some university level course work in KINE/HLTH a plus but not required. See character traits above.

Apply be sending resume and cover letter to

Full Time Performance Coach

Character Traits: Positive, leader, teacher, welcoming, outgoing, team oriented, attentive to fine detail, passion for helping people through fitness, energetic, humble, teachable.

Compensation/Expectations: Full time 35-40 hours per week based on experience.

Description: Serve our members as a full time Fitness Professionals “in the trenches” on the training floor gaining valuable fitness experience with a diverse group of the world’s best clients!

Requirements: Certified performance coach with previous experience in the fitness industry. Some university level course work in KINE/HLTH a plus but not required. See character traits above.

Apply be sending resume and cover letter to

Creating your “Anti” To Do List

You’ve  probably been told before how important it is to create a weekly “to-do” list. What if I told you that great things can come from making a “to don’t do” list instead?

Before your next day or week begins, start by making a “to-don’t do “ list. You might consider things that can drain your time like…

  1. Habitually checking your social media or email every 10-15 minutes (Guilty!)

2. Spending lots of time on projects or task that someone else could be doing that rob you of investing in things you enjoy and are uniquely created for.  

Parents, do you have a few able bodied children at home between the ages of 5 and 18 years? Put them to work cleaning, doing laundry, preparing a meal here and there, etc. It will help build a work ethic in them AND free you up to do more important tasks.

3. Excessive time in front of a screen or TV. Watching your favorite show or a movie on Netflix is a great way to unwind…but if you are watching more than 2-3 hours of TV a week you might be unintentionally reducing the white space in your life.

These are just a few examples of just a few of the things that busy folks in a busy life stage can add to their “to don’t do” list to help provide greater margin in life and free up more time for things that are really important (i.e. self care and spending time with the people you love doing the things that make your soul sing!)

It may seem strange a first…but give the “to don’t do” list a try and see what happens. I’m SUPER confident it will be a game changer for you!

You can find healthy options on a fast food menu. You’ve just got to look.

It may sound like an oxymoron, but you can find healthy options on a fast food menu. You’ve just got to look.

Just a few years ago, it was hard to find diet-friendly options at a fast-food establishment. Back then, options were narrow and included hamburgers, fried chicken, French fries, chicken fingers, and pizza. Recently, however, many fast-food chains realized people are interested in more than fast, quick food. The public wants options that taste great but are lower in calories, unhealthy fats, sodium, and added sugars. And now, these options are available!

Of course, you still have to be picky about what you order. Unhealthy meals continue to make up the majority of fast food menus. But there are usually a few healthy options to choose from that will fill your belly without causing it to overflow.

The next time you’re grabbing fast food, consider ordering one of the following options to stay on the healthy path.

Grilled Chicken

You’ll always do better to order your entre and sides grilled instead of fried. So skip the fried chicken and go for grilled nuggets, grilled chicken strips, a grilled chicken sandwich, or a grilled chicken wrap. Order your sandwich or wrap with plenty of lettuce, tomato, and onion on a whole-grain bun or tortilla, and do away with white bread, mayonnaise, and extra sauces. While you’re at it, ask if you can trade in those calorie-heavy French fries for a fruit cup.

Veggie Pizza

Yes, pizza can be part of a healthy diet! When done the right way, pizza can be a great option. To make sure your pizza gives you the flavor you want without the bad stuff, skip the added cheese and the high-calorie processed meats. Instead, pile your pizza with as many veggies as you can—tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and olives. Instead of eating two or three slices, eat just one and order a side salad to fill you up.


Most fast-food establishments now offer a variety of salads as an entre or side. Salads made with a variety of fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to stay on your diet, but they can also be your diet downfall if filled with high-calorie toppings and dressings. With that in mind, avoid salads made with croutons, crunchy noodles, fried chicken, cheese, bacon, and creamy dressings. If the salad is your main course, be sure to include a source of protein in your salad. Go-to options include grilled chicken, steak, hardboiled egg, and a few nuts.

Burrito Bowls

At fast-food chains with a southwest menu, you’ll likely find burrito bowls. Made to order, you can fill your bowl with grilled meat, black or pinto beans, and all sorts of vegetables. To go light on the calories, omit the white rice, cheese, and sour cream. And while you may be tempted to chow down on chips and cheese dip, do yourself a favor and fill up on the burrito bowl instead.


Unless you’re on a carb-restrictive diet, deli-style sandwiches can be a healthy fast-food option. Order your sandwich with deli meat and cheese on whole-wheat bread and piled with extra veggies, without any mayonnaise or sauce. For a side, order a side of fruit and leave the chips for someone else.


It’s easy to forget about the liquid calories you consume when eating out. Large sodas, sweet tea, and even lemonades add up the calories extremely fast. Be particularly wary of milk shakes. A large can easily run you over 1,000 calories! And getting drink refills or taking a cup to-go only increases your calorie total. If your goal is to order healthy fast food, then your best beverage bets are ice water or unsweetened ice tea.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

When McDonalds first opened, the large fountain drink was 7 ounces. Today, the child’s size is 12 ounces and the large drinks are 30 ounces.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Ever wondered what goes on when you’re catching Zs?

Ever wondered what goes on when you’re catching Zs? Wonder no more.

If you’ve ever missed a night of sleep because stayed up all night or spent the night tossing and turning, you know how important those peaceful hours of shuteye are to you. Without sufficient quality sleep, it becomes difficult to focus, you’re more likely to eat foods you try to avoid, and you’re more likely to get frustrated with others and life in general.

But what is about sleep that can cause you such issues when you don’t get enough? Read on to find out what exactly goes on when you’re fast asleep.

You Get a Memory Boost

Struggling to keep facts and figures straight in your head? Maybe you need to stop studying and hit the hay. Researchers suspect that half of your time sleeping is used by your brain to tuck long-term memories deep into your brain, where they’ll be ready whenever you need them. So sleep well and sleep often for better retention.Sleep, and enough of it, is the prime necessity. Enough exercise, and enough good food and sleep, are other necessities. But sleep—good sleep, and enough of it—this is a necessity without which you cannot have the exercise of use, nor the food. – Edward Everett Hale

You See Things More Clearly

If you’ve ever awoken with the answer to a complicated problem, you’re not alone. That’s because when you’re sleeping, your brain filters through all the information it’s come across lately and determines which bits and pieces are important and which aren’t. Your amazing brain then tosses the useless stuff and leaves you with what you need to make a good decision. However, this perk requires REM sleep, so if you’re not sleeping enough or getting sufficient REM sleep, your post-sleep problem-solving skills may plummet.

Your Brain Gets Rest

While a good amount of sleep time is committed to helping you process information and turn short-term memories into long-term ones, your brain doesn’t go full throttle all night. In fact, when you first fall asleep and at other times, your brain takes a break. During this time, brain waves slow, as do your breathing, eye movement, and heartbeat.

Your Body Cools Down

Shortly before you go to bed each night, you may notice you feel cold. That’s your body’s way of preparing you for sleep. For some reason, a cooler environment improves your sleep quality, and your body helps by cooling down for you. Assuming you wake up around the same time each day, your body will be its coolest approximately two hours before your normal wake time.

Your Blood Pressure Drops

Because your heart rate is lower for most of your sleeping hours, it makes sense that other connected organs and systems are affected as well. Except when in REM, sleep allows your heart and blood vessels to get some R&R with the rest of your body. This rest serves to restore exhausted vessels and prepare them for another day of hard work.

Your Hormones Adjust

Looking for the fastest way to fight stress? Get some shut-eye. Though other techniques, such as regular exercise, practicing deep breathing, and keeping your priorities in order are important ways to ward off stress, sleep also helps your body put stress in its place. That’s because sleep is accompanied with a drop in the hormone cortisol, which is connected to stress. But stress hormones aren’t the only hormones that change during your nighttime routine. Growth hormones kick into gear during sleep, which may explain why your little ones look bigger after waking up from a good night of sleep.

You Fight Infection

Seems odd, but your body doesn’t just fight infection when you’re asleep. While asleep, your body begins to release chemicals that boost your immune system. These chemicals are passed around your body through your blood system, helping you to enjoy better health when awake.

© 2009-2010 Empire Systems, Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. 
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.