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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

David Sebree

Recent Posts by David Sebree:

Unlock Your Fitness Potential: A Holistic Approach to Health

GettyImages-1198832507Happy New Year! As we embark on a journey to transform our lives through physical fitness, mental well-being, and a balanced lifestyle by exploring the components of a holistic approach to health that will help you achieve your fitness goals and lead a fulfilling life.

Physical Fitness

To kickstart your fitness journey, it's essential to incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. This can include activities such as

    • Cardiovascular exercise: Engage in activities such as running, cycling, or swimming to improve cardiovascular health and boost endurance.
    • Strength training: Building lean muscle not only increases your metabolism but also enhances your overall strength and posture.
    • Flexibility and mobility: Incorporate yoga or stretching exercises to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries.

Remember, consistency is key. Find an activity you enjoy, set achievable goals, and gradually increase the intensity to challenge your body and see progress.


A balanced diet is the cornerstone of any fitness journey. Here are some fundamental tips:

    • Eat whole foods: Opt for natural, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
    • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to support bodily functions and keep your energy levels up.
    • Practice portion control: Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.
    • Try meal planning: Plan your meals to ensure you make healthier choices and avoid relying on unhealthy snacks.

Mental Well-being

A healthy mind is just as crucial as a healthy body. Incorporate these practices into your routine:

    • Mindfulness meditation: Practice mindfulness to reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall mental well-being.
    • Adequate rest: Ensure you get enough sleep each night to support physical recovery and cognitive function.
    • Stress management: Find effective ways to manage stress, such as yoga, deep breathing, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

Community and Support

Surround yourself with a supportive community. Share your fitness journey with friends and family, or join fitness classes or online groups where you can connect with individuals who have similar goals. Having a support system can provide motivation and accountability.

Goal Setting

Set realistic, achievable fitness goals. Break them down into smaller milestones to track your progress and stay motivated.

Consistency and Patience

Rome wasn't built in a day, and similarly, a healthy lifestyle won’t be either. Be patient and stay consistent with your efforts. Celebrate small victories along the way and remember that setbacks are a natural part of the journey.

A holistic approach to health encompasses physical fitness, nutrition, mental well-being, community, goal setting, consistency, and patience. Embrace this approach, and you'll be closer to achieving your fitness goals and cultivating a balanced life. Take that first step today, and unlock your fitness potential for a healthier, happier you. Your NIFS Health Fitness Specialist can help you get started.

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This blog was written by David Sebree, NIFS Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here

The Importance of Sleep for Exercise Recovery

GettyImages-1446543144Roughly how many hours of sleep would you say that you average per night? Six hours? Ten hours? Now think about your fitness goals and the results you want to see from exercising. Are you where you would like to be, or are you on pace to get to where you would like to be? You can be doing everything correctly from the exercises that you perform, nutrition and supplementation, stress reduction, whatever it may be, and you aren’t quite getting the results you’re looking for.

The Stages of Sleep

What if I told you that the amount of sleep that you get in a night correlates to your recovery from exercise? In most cases, it is recommended that you get at least eight hours of sleep per night. This can vary depending on factors such as exercise intensity, frequency, and even your age, however. For the purpose of recovery, let’s stick with that eight-hour recommendation. Why is that the recommendation? There are four stages of sleep that cycle throughout the night. There is N1, N2, N3, and REM. Reaching N3 is essential for recovery, and it is important that your body spend enough time in N3 while the sleep stages are cycling. During this N3 stage of sleep, the body releases hormones that are essential for recovery at night. One of the hormones being released is Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is essential because it acts on many tissues in the body, muscle tissue being the big one, and it helps promote healing and recovery. HGH also helps raise other hormones in the body that are essential to recovery such as Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF-1).

How Do You Know Whether You Are Getting N3 Sleep?

As I have said, these sleep stages are constantly cycling throughout the night. Have you ever had multiple dreams in a night? That likely means that you reached REM sleep at least twice that night, which is great because your body got enough time in a deep sleep state and enough time in that N3 stage. Back to that eight-hour recommendation. Although this can vary slightly, it has been found that sleeping eight hours allows the body to go through two to four sleep cycles on average, therefore giving the body enough time in N3 and enough time for the essential hormones to be released.

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This blog was written by David Sebree, Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: sleep recovery results hormones