Basic Lifestyle Guideline: Sleep (Continued) - How to Improve Sleep

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As we discussed in our last blog post, sleep should be one of our highest priorities. When looking to improve sleep quality, rhythm is one of the first things to work on.

It may sound easy, but often we do not follow the principles of rhythm with our sleep. Getting in to a rhythm can help you see increase in your performance. Here are the steps to get through this process:

  • Fall asleep and wake up roughly at the same time every day (plus or minus 30 minutes on either). As you get more used to it, you may wake up prior to your alarm and may also fall asleep more easily.

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Having the proper environment is also important. Sleep hygiene is setting up the best possible environment to fall asleep in. That means:

  • Blacking out all of the lights

  • Dropping the temperature of the room to roughly 67 degrees Fajrenheit

  • Eliminating any other noises or hums (caveat of white noise that allows someone to fall asleep)

  • Creating an environment in your bedroom, or wherever you sleep consistently, that means that it is a place for sleeping. That may look like removing a cell phone or tv. Eliminate all of the other tasks that you feel the need to do in your bedroom so that your body interprets that room as a place to sleep.

Some of the other distractions or disruptors in your bedroom may be:

  • Eating in bed

  • Working in bed

  • Reading in bed

  • Watching tv

Going to bed as calm as possible helps our bodies recognize that it’s time to start winding down, which helps you stay in a great rhythm throughout the night and in to the next day(s).

Developing a nightly routine can help this. Here are some things that could help with your nightly routine:

  • Massage - Can help some people relax before they go to bed.

  • Avoiding a hot shower before bed - For some people, raising their body temperature too high may cause them to not sleep well because they are not cooling naturally. We do not want to work against the body’s natural lowering of it’s temperature throughout the night.

  • Contrast baths or showers - Going from hot to cold and finishing on cold can rush some blood flow to the digestive organs and start the process of cooling off the external portion of the body to get the body better suited for sleep.

  • Non-vigorous light stretching - Some basic stretching movements can calm the body down and ease people in to a better state of sleep.

  • Journaling or writing in a diary - A little bit of a brain dump can lower anxiety.

  • Breathwork - Breathing diaphragmatically helps elicit the parasympathetic response.

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The more you can dial in on your sleep, the more your basic health, blood chemistry, results, recovery and performance in your workouts will go up. Something as simple as implementing some sleep patterns can work magic!

If your struggling to get in to a rhythm, try this:

Use Google calendar, iCal or Outlook to create a calendar for the week. Plot out what time you eat, use the restroom, work, train, sleep, etc. each day for one week. Find inconsistencies from day to day and play with the idea of being able to make small tweaks +/- 30 minutes to help make more alignment between these elements on a day-to-day basis.

CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE consult with one of our Professional Coaches!


Basic Lifestyle Guideline: Sleep

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Sleep should be one of your biggest considerations. Sleep draws the line between challenging and supporting the system. Being able to rest, recover and repeat work the next day is critical to your success.

While quantity of hours is a good place to start, quality is also important. Studies show that obesity rates in adults who sleep less than 6 hours a night are up to 40% higher than those that get 6 or more hours regularly.

You’re sleeping 8 hours per night… AWESOME - but if you are waking up 13 times during those 8 hours even perfect compliance with nutrition and training will not get you the results you were working for.

Sleeping is a basic human need, like eating, drinking, and breathing. Like these other needs, sleeping is a vital part of the foundation for good health and well-being throughout your lifetime.

Sleep deficiency can lead to physical and mental health problems, injuries, loss of productivity, and even a greater risk of death.

Sleep deficiency can interfere with work, school, driving, and social functioning. You might have trouble learning, focusing, and reacting. Also, you might find it hard to judge other people's emotions and reactions. Sleep deficiency also can make you feel frustrated, cranky, or worried in social situations.

Some of the benefits of consistent, quality sleep are:

  • Helps reduce stress - If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can react by producing an elevated level of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s faster paced lifestyles. Deep and regular sleep can help prevent this.

  • Improve memory - Ever noticed that when you’re really tired it’s harder to remember things? Basically this is your brain telling you that it’s not getting enough sleep. When you sleep well, your body may be resting but your brain is busy organizing and storing memories. So getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

  • Lower your blood pressure - Higher blood pressure increases your chances of heart attacks and strokes, but getting plenty of restful sleep encourages a constant state of relaxation that can help reduce blood pressure and generally keep it under control.

  • Helps your body fight back - While you’re sleeping your body is producing extra protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight infection. So if you’re feeling a bit run down and you don’t want it to turn into a full-blown cold, go to bed early and get lots of rest.

  • Helps you maintain your weight - Unfortunately, sleep won’t directly make you lose weight, but it can help you keep it under control by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite and reducing your cravings for high calorie foods.

  • Puts you in a better mood - Lack of sleep can make us more agitated, so we’re more likely to snap at the boss or be grumpy with a loved one, neither of which is a good thing.

    The better you sleep the better your ability to stay, calm, controlled and reasonable.

  • Could reduces your chance of diabetes - Some research studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose. It’s not conclusive by any means, but it’s yet another indication of how important the benefits of sleep can be.

  • Helps keep your heart healthy - A regular sleep pattern can help to lower the levels of stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system, which in turn can reduce your chances of a stroke or heart condition.

  • Can be a painkiller - If you’re suffering pain from a recent injury like a sprained ankle, getting plenty of sleep can actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and a lower pain threshold. Basically the more sleep you get the less pain you might be in.

  • Can help make you smarter - Along with a great night’s sleep, grabbing a quick nap in the daytime can contribute towards making your brain more effective and productive. You won’t necessarily be answering all the questions on University Challenge, but you may well feel sharper, more attentive and focused throughout the day.

CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE No Sweat consultation with one of our Professional OPEX Coaches!



Basic Lifestlye Guideline: Purpose

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We define purpose as living in alignment with our highest goals or priorities.

When we as humans do not feel connected to a purpose. we experience stress, and when our stress is up, we create compensatory behaviors that have to be dealt with. Compensatory behavior could look like over or under-indulging in anything from exercise to eating to socializing, making it difficult to follow any kind of nutrition, training of lifestyle-based program.

Purpose is a way to reevaluate why you may not be hitting goals or benchmarks. Merely bringing awareness back to your purpose will help you align and achieve your goals more consistently and effectively.

Here are some questions to ask that may help you get realigned with your purpose:

  • How do you enjoy spending your free time?

  • What are you doing when you feel most energized/alive?

  • What engages and captures your attention the most?

  • What are goals you have set?

  • What do you love talking to others about?

These questions are a great place to start when working to define your purpose, but remember, your purpose can, and should, evolve as you grow. Our Professional Coaches at OPEX Wenatchee are trained to help you with defining your purpose and aligning it with your goals inside and outside of the gym.

CLICK HERE to request your No Sweat Consult and speak with a coach!



Meal Prep Monday: No Churn Balsamic Peach Ice Cream from Budget Bytes

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This simple no-churn ice cream method is almost effortless and creates ice cream that is every bit as velvety smooth and fluffy as churned ice cream, with no special equipment required. With all the fresh peaches in stores this time of year, do yourself a favor and make this tangy, sweet, and creamy balsamic peach ice cream.
WE SCREAM, YOU SCREAM.

Basic Lifestyle Guideline: Breath

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Breathing is one of the first things we do as a baby, but it is also one of the first things that we break as adults.

With the increase of stress, panic, exercise, volume, intensity, etc… people often begin breathing vertically in to their chests which reduces diaphragmatic breathing into their stomachs. Unfortunately for us, when we don’t breathe diagrammatically, we don’t vibrate the vagus nerve. Without the vibration of the vagus nerve, we don’t “turn on” our parasympathetic nervous system, and we don’t reduce stress. (check out our last blog post on stress here).

Balance refers to the balance of our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system “netting” to 0. We want both systems to “equal” out so that we do not fall into the “fight or flight” sympathetic system or the “rest and digest” parasympathetic system too often.

Quality diaphragmatic breathing can serve as a great way to balance out your nervous system.

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Here are two ways you can start to “breathe better”:

  • Take 50 breaths after your workout with your hand on your stomach - Ensure your stomach rises with every breath at roughly 3 seconds in and 9 seconds out.

  • Setting timers to go off throughout the day - Every time you hear the ding, take 10 quality breaths. If you do 12 of those per day, that’s 120 breaths per day and 3,600 breaths throughout the month.

Either of these are systematic ways to elicit your body to change the way that you breath and “relax” on a regular basis.

It generally takes up to 500 repetitions to establish a new pattern. However, to fix a broken pattern, it could take up to 5,000 repetitions. it is important to realize that creating a new and helpful pattern may take time and consistent execution.

Get started by trying this simple 1 minute breathing exercise:






Basic Lifestyle Guidline: Stress

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To understand how stress impacts our daily rhythm, we must first define what stress is:

Stress is any internal or external stimulus that activates they sympathetic nervous system that then makes the adrenals pump our a little bit or cortisol..

With each high, or release of cortisol, comes a corresponding low (your energy levels throughout the day that we discusses in our last blog post). Drastic highs result in drastic lows.

We can use the example of eating a candy bar to illustrate this: You feel great for a couple of minutes, but then your blood sugar crashes lower than where your original baseline was and you feel worse.

Know what capacity of stress you can take on is important. To determine how much “space” is left in your stress bucket, create a visual by drawing it out. The buckets are:

  • Emotional Stress is the bottom layer

  • Work Stress

  • Standard American Diet (SAD) Stress

  • Training Stress

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The graphic above shows a “full” bucket. If any additional stress moves in to the bucket, it will spill over. Additional types of stress look like:

  • Change

  • Anxiety around change

  • Implementing something new within their life

  • Mental Stress

  • Emotional Stress

When the bucket spills over the top, you have the least ability to create increases in performance. Your coach should help you become aware of these stressors so that you can reduce the amount of stress around your life. Removing stress from something such as the Standard American Diet may help you reduce a great deal of stress which will increase your performance in and out of the gym.

Use this exercise to evaluate the areas in your life that cause stress:

Draw your own “stress bucket” and write down the things that go in to each layer, then take one section and systematize how you could progressively decrease stress in that “bucket” in a linear fashion.

One example would be if you are currently following a Standard American Diet (SAD). For the first month, you could remove processed grains, the seconds month you could remove milk, the third month you could switch to gluten free grains.

These are just some small examples, but remember that taking the time to make just ONE sustainable change that reduces stress in your daily routine can have a significant impact on everything from productivity, to sleep, to sex drive.

The Professional Coaches at OPEX Wenatchee are trained to help you navigate the implementation of BLGs and continue to make sustainable progression for life! CLICK HERE to schedule your FREE consult!


Basic Lifstyle Guidline: Energy

Basic Lifstyle Guidline: Energy

The reality is, you shouldn’t need stimulants for energy (so back off that Red Bull you’re sipping on). As more and more stress is introduced into your system, your body will need to adapt to that stress, which may cause you to start seeing lower energy levels in the morning because you’re not sleeping as well.

Where is the Fitness Industry Going?

Where is the Fitness Industry Going?

In much of the world’s history, fitness as a trend or business didn’t exist. Hundreds of years ago, fitness was mainly a byproduct of soldiers training for battle. Fast forward a hundred years ago to where pockets of the world were interested in gymnastics and strongman fitness as forms of athleticism and entertainment. Fast-forward fifty years to find gyms opening to offer people equipment that they would not otherwise have access to. Today, fitness is what gyms, coaches, and clients make of it. It can be anything.

The OPEX Wenatchee Journey: How We Do It Different

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At OPEX Wenatchee, the people we serve and the experience we provide are the most important part of what we do. Our culture is at the center of everything. We believe that through the experience of fitness, we help people live a greater life, and our systems and processes are set up to support this.

We coach individuals at any fitness level, for nearly any endeavor. We help people move better, move more, and perform to their highest potential. We are a staple in the community for honest, results driven fitness and health. We view fitness as an evolving journey and exploration of the connection between spirit, mind and body while attempting to discover physical potential - leading to the discovery of purpose and longevity of oneself. At OPEX Wenatchee, our commitment to continual learning and passion for sharing that knowledge ensures that our clients have the best experience possible of fitness: the OPEX Experience.

In our last blog post we talked about WHY we chose OPEX. Now we would like to show you HOW we do what we do! While we work to tailor your experience to your individual needs, these steps ensure that you have a high quality, personalized experience, resulting in the most effective plan for YOU!

Step One: Free Consult

Sign up for your free one-on-one consultation - let's discuss your goals and any questions you might have.

Step Two: Consultation & Assessment

At OPEX Wenatchee, we'll take you through our unique and in-depth assessment. This gives us a starting point for where you are now so that we can create the map to where you want to go.

Step Three: Your Program

Your coach has given you your individualized program and it's time to get started! Get your workouts in at times convenient for you in our a fun, energetic, supportive community.

Step Four: Refine, Refine, Refine

During your training, something amazing will happen - While your coach will always be a huge part of your journey, you will begin to take real ownership of your program, learning how to make meaningful lifestyle changes that last.


Whether your greatest goals include exploring traveling the world, chasing your kids for years to come, getting a PR at an upcoming obstacle race or achieving your very best at the competitive level, we'll teach you how to get there.

email us: opexwenatchee@gmail.com to get started with your 4 Week Trial today!

What is OPEX

What is OPEX

OPEX is how we deliver fitness to all of our clients. OPEX is customized fitness in a team environment. Every client has the full support a coach off the floor, but they have the guidance of a coach on the floor as they train with the rest of the gym community each day.

Instead of just telling you what it is, it’s more impactful to show you!