Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sleeping, Stretching, and Ways to Enjoy Summer Tomatoes.

In today's BWD: Getting the sleep you need; keeping a flexible foundation: and what to do with all them "maters." May it bless you.

Sleep can be kind of a hassle. Nothing seems to get accomplished when you're asleep. Sleep takes up a whole room in most of our homes. It creates tons of laundry, can sometimes scare the daylights out of you, and some of us can never seem to get enough of it. According to the documentary Sleepless in America, from National Geographic, 40 % of adults and 70% of adolescents are sleep deprived. The consequences of sleep loss are all bad. Without sleep, our reactions slow, our thoughts cloud, memory weakens, emotions become more erratic, and our immune system grows less able to protect us. In almost every sense of the word, losing sleep makes you sick.

What to do to get better sleep? In an article on his web site,, Dr. Joseph Mercola has pulled some great ideas together, including:
  • Avoid TV and Computer screens for an hour before bedtime
  • Get out in the sunshine during the day
  • Keep your bedroom dark
  • Take a hot bath 90 - 120 minutes before bedtime
I'm always preaching that if exercise makes you weak, then sleep makes you strong. Only when you are sleeping does your body have the time and resources to rebuild the damage that your day's activities and stresses have done to your mind, body, and spirit. And of course, sooner or later every preacher has to listen to his own advice.

Last week, after complaining to my doctor about the fatigue that has persisted since my cancer treatment ended, I had a sleep study done. I wasn't sure what to expect, but found it to be interesting and strangely relaxing. Here is my blog about Pennsy's Night in the Sleep Lab. If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep, or if your partner has to wear hearing protection because of your snoring, you might want to look into this procedure.

Flexible legs can be the difference between agility and agony. What's the use of working to get strong muscles if they aren't flexible enough to do the things you want to do? To paraphrase Dr Joseph Pilates, if you are stiff at 30, you are old; if you are flexible at 60, you are young. Stretching is a simple, but crucial part of any wellness plan, no matter what your age or level of activity.

Here is an easy to remember, 4 minute Lower Body Stretching Routine from, SparkPeople that will help keep your legs and hips limber and ready to take on whatever your day has in store.

Tomatoes are thriving in the hot, rainy, Bluegrass summer this year. One of the perks of my job as a fitness instructor is that when people are overwhelmed by the bounty in their gardens, they like to bring me gifts like these. Only trouble is, there aren't any presidential candidates coming to Lexington any time soon, and I don't know what to do with all them 'maters before they go bad.

This link will take you to one of those irritating slide shows on WebMD called Ten Ways to Serve a Tomato, but be patient. There are a few ideas in there that may make you look at the "Love Apple" in a whole new way.