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Monday, April 3, 2017

YOUR BODY ON A MONDAY

(Women's Health) Our collective case of the Mondays is strong, but getting out of bed doesn't have to be a nightmare. Conjure a smidgen of motivation and it's actually a primo day for a healthy kick-start. Monday sucks because:

Mood

You think it sucks. Perception is a powerful thing. If you start the week channeling Garfield the cat's catchphrase "I hate Mondays," having a non-crappy day will be a challenge. Make It Suck Less-Come up with a fun tradition to kick off each week like a fancy latte, or grabbing lunch with a pal. With something to look forward to, you can gradually rewrite your mental script.

Sleep

Your circadian rhythms are out of whack. Staying up late on the weekend and then sleeping in the next day creates a mini jet lag that's akin to flying from New York to Los Angeles on Friday and back again on Sunday. Make It Suck Less-Keep weekend sleep/wake times within an hour of weekday ones. If you veer off schedule, throw open the shades as soon as you get up; a.m. light suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and sends a "rise and shine" cue to your brain for a less-rude awakening.

Heart

Shifting from a rest and relaxation filled Sunday to a busy work week is stressful for your mind and your body. It can cause your blood pressure to surge, which may be why doctors see more heart attacks and strokes on Mondays than any other day. Make It Suck Less-Try a calming breathing exercise upon waking (inhale and exhale deeply for 30 seconds) to keep your Blood Pressure in check. Then include half a cup of spinach in your lunch: It's high in heart-healthy nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

Immunity

You partied too hard. A single episode of binge drinking (four cocktails or glasses of wine) blunts the ability of Pac-Man-like cells called macrophages to destroy viruses and bacteria for up to a day afterward, making you more vulnerable to illness. Make It Suck Less-Limit weekend imbibing to just two or three drinks a night, make each last one hour, and have food with those beverages. Don't forget to chase each drink with a tall glass of water to literally water down booze's effects.

Muscles

You overdid it during your boot-camp classes or whatever workouts you're into. These intense bouts of exercise can cause inflammation that has your muscles screaming for mercy on Monday. Make It Suck Less-Do gentle yoga or take a brisk walk, which will drive blood flow to muscles, easing soreness. Weekend loafers: same gentle prescription for you. A bust-your-ass Monday workout can make you too achy to exercise Tuesday.

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