Wednesday, March 21, 2012

North Vancouver Boot Camp Talks Sleep, Lightheadedness and Muscle Soreness and Recovery

Why Don't I Sleep Well?
Many people find that as they get older (and busier!) their quality of sleep suffers. The two most common complaints that we hear all the time are:

1. I cannot get to sleep.
2. I can get to sleep but I wake up after a few hours and cannot get back to sleep.

Sleep problems like these are often due to a combination of higher than desirable cortisol (a hormone produced by your adrenal glands) and lower than desirable melatonin (a hormone produced by your pineal gland).

So what are we to do about this problem? Firstly, stop doing things that make the problem worse! Exercising after 6pm will often cause cortisol levels to some people this behaviour contributes directly to a sleep problem. Drinking coffee (or consuming things that contain caffeine) after 12 noon can also cause the same type of problem. Another common culprit is working late into the evening (I am guilty of this). This does two unhelpful gets your brain going at a million miles per hour and the white light from the computer screen can contribute to the delayed release of melatonin i.e. that computer screen makes your body think the sun is still up!

Here are some other things you can do to help improve your sleep quality:

1. Eat protein and fat at dinner. It's a bad idea to eat a carbohydrate dominant meal in the evening e.g. soup and salad. This will result in elevated blood sugar then a rebound hypoglycemia a few hours later. The rebound hypoglycemia requires cortisol secretion to release glucose from the liver. This process is called gluconeogenesis and is a recipe for a bad night's sleep. Better dinner choices are fish with vegetables and avocado or steak with vegetables and cheese. These meals should result in stable blood sugar and thus nice low cortisol levels.

That's a good meal...and healthy too!

2. Exercise early in the morning within 60 minutes of rising. This will stimulate your adrenals to secrete cortisol. Cortisol makes you feel alert and want that feeling in the morning (but not at night!) Vigorous exercise every morning creates a level of physical fatigue that makes it much more likely that you will feel tired and sleepy by 10pm.

3. Taking a 30 minute Epsom salt bath around 8-9pm has a very sedating effect on the central nervous system. The sedating effect is due to magnesium. Through trial and error my friends Chris and Janet have found in their practice that 6lbs of Epsom salts is needed in order to get a noticeable effect. They have also tried shorter baths but it seems that a full 30 minutes is required in order to get the effect they are looking for.

Now doesn't she look relaxed and ready for a good night's sleep?

Try these ideas and get your sleep back on track. Think how much more productive you could be during the day if you slept like a baby every night...

Why Do I Get Lightheaded When I Stand Up?
This is quite common and in the abscence of any serious health problem is usually a sign of adrenal fatigue and depleted mineral status. The medical term for this condition is benign postural hypotension (BPH). If you exercise vigorously every day you are more likely to develop BPH because you lose lots of minerals in sweat. Competitive endurance athletes almost always suffer from BPH at some point each year, usually when they train harder or more frequently than normal. What can be done? BPH is merely your body telling you that you need to add minerals to your diet. Add sea salt liberally to all meals and start taking a good quality electrolyte capsule 3 times a day. Use Energenix from Isagenix to the water you drink throughout the day as well as in the water you drink while working out. Available from us directly at The Maker's Body Boot Camp or at 

Reduce Muscle Soreness And Speed Recovery
Most of us get sore muscles from time to time. Anybody who lifts weights regularly expects to feel sore from time to time. Post workout soreness is your confirmation that you did something worthwhile. If you NEVER got sore from strength training it's probably time to make some changes to your routine as we do in boot camp on a regular basis such as increase the weights you are lifting, decrease the rest period or flat out push yourself harder ;). Making a radical change like this to your strength training routine will make you sore. What can be done to mitigate this and speed up the recovery process?

There are a number of supplements that can help. Try this combo: 1 scoop or 2 ounces of Ionix Supreme ( before you workout and another 1 scoop or 2 ounces immediately afterward mixed with 1 scoop of IsaPro ( IsaPro is the highest-quality whey protein from dairy cows that are pasture-fed on small New Zealand family farms, milked according to season, and not treated with hormones or antibiotics. Ionix Supreme is a nutrient-rich, rejuvenating drink that restores and protects the body and helps increase your ability to perform mentally and physically. One of the neat parts about it is it contains specialized adaptogens and over 100 specially sources ingredients that energize your cells and adapt your body to any form of stress. IsaPro and Ionix Supreme are available from us directly at The Maker's Body Boot Camp or at and

You will NOT look like this guy...

However you may look like one of these.

If you want an added kick to your workouts, add 1-2 scoops or 1/2-1 stick of Energenix into the water you drink while working out. Energenix is a refreshing drink powder containing Vitamins A, C and B complex, electrolytes and nutrients that are lost during stress and exercise. It's natural fuel for the body, it gives you endurance and sustains your energy without caffeine or stimulants. Available from us directly at The Maker's Body Boot Camp or at

Another good way to speed up your recovery from strenuous exercise is hot/cold contrast. Think Russian or Finnish sauna with a hole cut in the ice for the cold plunge. Most of us don't live in that kind of weather so a compromise has to be made. If you have access to a sauna then use it. Put water on the heater/coals to create steam and humidity...the goal is to SWEAT profusely. After a few minutes (or whenever you start to get a little too hot for comfort) get out of the sauna and get in the coldest water you can find. This might be the cold water in the shower or a cold bath or a large tub of icy water in your back garden. Spend 30s-60s in the cold water then go back into the heat and repeat the process. Go from hot to cold at least 3 times. Always start in the heat and finish in the cold. If you do this several times a week you will quickly build a tolerance for both the cold and the hot temperatures. You may in fact sleep like a baby after experiencing this! You're probably wondering what this does. There are 3 main benefits:

1. It causes rapid/massive vasodilation and vasoconstriction of blood vessels. This creates an effective pumping mechanism which removes metabolic waste from tight/ischemic tissue.

2. The profuse sweating in the sauna helps to get rid of toxins - that's why a dry sauna won't work well. You need significant thermal stress (i.e. humidity and heat) to cause profuse sweating. Your skin acts as an organ of elimination. Make it work for you by exercising daily and getting in a wet sauna regularly.

3. Most of us live in very tightly controlled environments. We have the temperature in our houses set just so, then we climb into our climate controlled cars and drive to work where the temperature is again maintained in a very narrow range by a computer. Our ancestors did not live like the summer they got HOT and in the winter they got COLD. In the day time they were warmer than at night. It is not healthy or desirable to live in an environment that never goes below 15 Celsius or above 24 Celsius. Part of knowing you are alive is physical interaction with the outdoors. Hot/cold contrast will make you feel more alive than you have in a long time.

We're here to help you get healthy!


PPS. Thanks to my friends Chris Maund and Janet Alexander for what was shared in this blog.
Janet Alexander
A 25-year veteran of the Health and Fitness Industry and commited endurance athlete, Janet draws her experience from a varied career base, including teaching, sales and marketing, advertising and design as well as working with clients requiring sports performance and orthopedic rehabilitation. Janet is one of the Senior Faculty at the C.H.E.K Institute, co-owner of The CHEK Studio, Inc. in Encinitas, CA where she works predominantly with golfing athletes and their coaches including PGA and LPGA professionals.

Chris Maund
Chris Maund is a member of the C.H.E.K Faculty and has been teaching for the C.H.E.K Institute since 1998. Chris has a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Sports Science from Loughborough University in England. He has written a thesis to satisfy part of the requirements for C.H.E.K Practitioner Program entitled "Sleep, Biological Rhythms and Electromagnetic Fields". Chris is a strong believer in the value of massage therapy and studied Paul St John's Neuro Muscular Therapy program. An experienced triathlete, he was a member of the British National Squad from 1989-1992 before emigrating to New Zealand in 1993. Chris has a wealth of experience working in a wide variety of rehabilitation and sports conditioning scenarios.
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