I know some of you are wondering, "How is sleeping a fitness tip?" Here's how...Sleeping is beneficial to resting our minds, bodies and soul. We know this. But did you know that getting a good nights rest can help you lose weight and stay heart healthy? (sounds a little bit like cardio, right?)

If one gets enough sleep it will help to reduce the stress that typically goes to the abdomen area. Sounds crazy but is true. Stress hormones are known to make us all get a "pooch" in our mid section. If properly rested, it helps to alleviate that unwanted belly fat. Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. So if you are interested in controlling or losing weight, don't forget to pay attention to getting a good night's sleep.

Did you know that heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours? This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. 

That's it, folks! That is my fitness tip for this week. Make sure you give your body enough rest or it will shut down on you. Aside from the fact that sleep helps you stay alert and provides mental clarity for normal day to day function, it is very important to our hearts, hormones, blood vessels, stress levels and it helps reduce belly fat. It really doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Now tell me, how many hours a night do you sleep? How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Do you need to change anything about your sleeping habits?

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