Focused On Fitness - February 22, 2007

    Waking extra early this morning to get some work done, I just happened to come across a good article that explained how and why I was feeling the way that I was. "The 4 Golden Rules Of Great Sleep" provides some valuable facts about sleep such as, "The late stage of sleep -- sometimes missed by early risers -- can boost your acquisition of coordination crucial for playing a sport, a musical instrument, or any fine motor control by 20 percent" and "Sleep deprivation may be an important contributor to obesity. It also elevates the stress hormone cortisol." Cornell psychologist James B. Maas, Ph.D, author of Power Sleep, provides his golden rules which include establishing a regular sleep schedule and the importance of getting continuous sleep. According to the article, "The price we pay for cheating sleep is steep: short-changing the brain of learning potential, short-circuiting your moods, and dimming your alertness, maybe even making you gain weight and compromising your health."
    It seems as if winter may be losing its grip on us soon and we'll be able to do more outdoor activities. If you feel like a hibernating bear at the opening of his or her den and need some motivation to get moving, the first featured article - Top 10 Inspirational Fitness Films - should be just what you need!
    Finally, since last week's issue was a special Valentine's Day issue, I actually did another newsletter for new subscribers which focused on the heart, since February is American Heart Month. You can read that newsletter here.

Featured Articles 
   The 4 Golden Rules Of Great Sleep - Success comes not only from what you accomplish when you are awake.
   Top 10 Inspirational Fitness Films - Films that will make you want to be fit.
   5 Things I've Learned About Food and Fitness at the Movies - Five things learned about food and fitness from films.
   Test Your Movie Star Body-Transformation IQ! - Do you know what happened to Matt Damon after he lost 40 pounds?

Health News Headlines 
    Employers foresee health costs up 8 percent - U.S. businesses, which have seen skyrocketing inflation in their health care costs in recent years, expect those costs to rise 8 percent this year and next, according to a national poll released on Wednesday.
    Health care spending seen doubling in 10 years - U.S. spending on prescription drugs, hospital care and other health services is expected to double to $4.1 trillion over the next decade, up from $2.1 trillion in 2006, a government report released on Wednesday found.
    Smoking changes brain the same way as drugs - Smoking causes long-lasting changes in the brain similar to changes seen in animals when they are given cocaine, heroin and other addictive drugs, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.
    New heart guidelines for women stress aspirin - Virtually all women are at risk of heart disease and doctors should more strongly consider prescribing a daily aspirin for their female patients, the American Heart Association said in new guidelines released on Monday.
    Feeding your brain: new benefits found in chocolate - As if people needed another excuse to like chocolate, new studies suggest a specially formulated type of cocoa may boost brain function and delay decline as people age, researchers said on Sunday.

Be well and get some rest!
    Richard Dafter