Sleep and fitness are intimately related. Not just because it's so hard to get up for your morning workout if you've slept poorly the night before — although that definitely doesn't help — but also for biological reasons. When you sleep, your body releases natural growth hormones that improve your fat burn, build stronger bones, and help your muscles grow and recover, according to past studies (which is key if you're trying to lose weight). But even knowing this, it's easy to fall into the trap of skipping out on sleep to squeeze in your workouts; we've definitely done it over here. That's why we wanted to know, once and for all, what exactly happens when you exercise on a less-than-full night of sleep? And why is it so bad?
It comes down to your REM sleep, said Kin Yuen, MD, a sleep medicine doctor at the UCSF Sleep Disorders Centre. You might know REM, which stands for "rapid eye movement," as the stage of sleep when you do your dreaming. It's also the time when your brain files away all the information you picked up that day, recovers, and gets ready for tomorrow.
What does that have to do with workouts? "Whether you're an athlete, a musician, or a scientist, we know that reasoning, judgment, and coordination all improve when we have enough REM sleep," Dr. Yuen told POPSUGAR. Those skills become clouded when you're deprived of REM sleep, which can have a major impact on your workout the next day. Not only will you underperform — maybe you'll finish fewer reps or have to drop to lower weights — but your degraded coordination can also result in poor form, which can lead to injury and majorly impact your results, be that building muscle or losing weight.
And it's not only about sleep, Dr. Yuen said, but when and how you wake up. "The longest cycle REM sleep is typically right before we get up," she said. "That's why we hate the snooze button." Your alarm pulls you out of your REM cycle, and when you hit snooze, your brain sends you back into it. The problem is that the precious few minutes of sleep you grab from the snooze button aren't nearly enough to complete a full REM cycle. You'll wake up midcycle, which throws your body off completely and actually leaves you more tired and groggy than before.
"It's really important to complete the cycling of the deep sleep and REM sleep so we reap the benefit," said Dr. Yuen. That means both resisting the temptation of the snooze button but also getting enough sleep that you can complete your REM cycle. How much sleep is that exactly? Dr. Yuen says there's no set number that applies to every person, but in general, women should try to get about eight hours, while men typically need seven or seven and a half.
The amount of sleep you need is dependent on you, though; you might feel better with more or less than the recommended amount. It's a matter of listening to your body and paying attention to when you go to bed and wake up on the mornings you feel the best (or the worst). If you're trying to lose weight in particular, here's exactly how much sleep you should aim to get per night.
If it comes down to choosing between a workout and getting enough sleep, Dr. Yuen recommends skipping the workout. The rest of your day is going to feel a lot better if you prioritise your shut-eye. Tomorrow, try heading to bed an hour earlier so you can do both. (Easier said than done, but we'll try if you do.)
Over the last few weeks I have been asked a lot about Magnesium and what are the benefits to the body and muscles.
So I have scribbled a few facts down to share, so if you have trouble with D.O.M.S or sleep it may be worth a read.
Magnesium, why is it so important to the growth of the body?
The importance of magnesium is in its role of skeletal development and the maintenance of electrical impulses in the nerve and muscle membranes.
The importance of magnesium muscle wise is that it acts as a co-factor for enzymes to help require ATP, this is a energy source that the body uses to move and function.
Taking magnesium supplements for D.O.M.S has long been recommended to help ease the soreness and promote the road to muscle recovery. Magnesium aids with the regulation of neuromuscular signals, muscle contractions and the active transport of calcium and potassium across cellular membranes.
Not only will magnesium allow you to sleep like a baby through its ability to relax muscles, but it is another critical supplement to help speed up recovery. Incorporating magnesium into your diet will help you improve muscle function, maintain electrolyte balance and reduce fatigue.
Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including:
All the best
Today we are looking at vitamins and minerals and how important they are to keep our bodies running.
Vitamins are substances that help the body’s essential reactions to take place. The best way to make sure that you have enough is simple - like every nutrient, you need to eat the right food.
There are some vitamins that can only be found in fats - they are vitamins A, D, E and K, therefore it is important not to cut fats out of your daily intake. Known as micronutrients, there is very little reason why in the developed world, you should have a deficiency - if you do, this may be down to bad food choices.
Minerals are an organic substance and are found in soil. They are absorbed by the plants you eat, and so you can also find minerals in the animals that eat those plants.
Minerals contribute to the body’s building processes and they are both part of the hard and soft tissues of the body.
Some functions of minerals are:
To help muscle contraction
To help with nerve responses
To help control the body’s balance of sodium and potassium
To help with blood clotting
So, as you can see, vitamins and minerals are very important to the body’s functions and it is important that we make sure that we are taking in the correct amount of the right vitamins and minerals.
If you would like free consultation to discuss your health and fitness needs then get in touch.
Motivation in the early stages of a fat loss regime is often easy because the pounds come off quickly and you are proud of your achievements.
Your clothes begin to feel looser and you start to receive compliments; your energy levels are high because you are eating the right food; your complexion looks better; and your hair behaves. You are smug and your confidence is boosted. You wonder why you have left it so long to lose fat weight.
You may think “Why don’t all those other people out there do something about it - it’s EASY.” These are all the thoughts that go through a successful dieter’s mind to begin with, and to a degree, many of these points are valid. You do feel and look better and it has worked wonders for your confidence. The problem arises when your body starts to get used to less food and learns to be economical with it.
Motivating yourself may become difficult and you will need to be armed with practical ideas and solutions:
Firstly, before you change your shape, you must change your mind and your attitude. Tasks that are unpleasant to do are rarely accomplished satisfactorily. You need to have a strong desire to lose weight, otherwise you are just wasting your time even thinking about it.
Find a motive or a reason for changing. Self-esteem is very high on the list of motives to lose weight, everything without exception gets better when you look in the mirror and like what you see!
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Aim to lose an average of 1lb a week for the first month. You may not do it, but maintaining weight loss is still successful. If you are not gaining weight the diet is working. Some weeks you may lose nothing even though you diet like a saint, it just means that your body is alive, and functioning and adjusting to your new regime
Don’t keep weighing yourself just because you feel thinner as you may get a nasty shock; just weigh yourself once a month at the same time
Take up a new hobby or interest. This really does work as it takes your mind off of food. Boredom accounts for too many lost causes!
Do reward yourself on achievement or better still, get someone else to put up a reward. A new dress, hair etc
Don’t try to change everything at once- this will take over your life and make you miserable. Life goes on and you will want to socialise, so become discreet with your diet and don’t become a dieting bore.
Learn the selections and memorise your chosen eating regime so that you can be sensible when eating out with friends
One indulgence won’t ruin your diet; it just proves that you are normal. Sometimes the body needs food and it will tell you
Sometimes between meals you may have to give in to a sweet food item. This is bound to happen, but do try to keep a bag of fruit with you for this craving. You will still lose weight even if you are not 100% loyal to your diet.
Certain foods have been shown to contribute the obesity crisis that we are currently facing.
They fall under four categories:
Why are C.R.A.P food hard to resist?
So why don't people just stop eating foods high in fat and sugar if they know they cause physical problems?
For more information on personal training, online coaching then get in touch.
What are calories and how do they affect the body?
Where do you start with this one? I will endeavour to explain to you in a simple way that we all understand, as there are so many explanations out there on how many calories you should take depending on your body type and your activity levels.
Calories = energy nutrients. In other words, we get our calories from food, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These energy nutrients are made from carbon (fuel) and these nutrients allow us to do muscular work and transfer electrical energy between nerve cells. They also help to regulate the body’s temperature.
Exercise causes an increase in the rate at which we burn energy or calories. The basics are simple - if you eat more calories than you burn off, you will store the excess calories and your body weight will rise. This is a really simplistic way of explaining it and this will change due to people’s metabolic rate and their activity levels.
As you may have guessed, the subject of calories is a big subject, and nutritional studies and research are changing all the time. We have all seen or heard the science, eat this don’t eat that, it’s an ongoing subject.
Scientists have been studying nutrition for the last 200 years and have only scratched the surface - the human body is an amazing thing. Look after it, you only get one!
This is a very simplistic way of describing what calories are and how they help the body, for more information click here.
Let’s start with some statistics from the World Health Organisation:
The Weight Gain Battle
People in developed countries and developing countries have the ‘luxury’ of being able to bombard themselves with nutrient-deficient high calorie foods, often called “empty calorie” foods. We`ve all seen the adverts in the media.
Empty calorie foods are deficient in vital nutrients and fibre. Fibre helps keep us full and so we don’t need to snack between meals.
More of us than ever before are eating these high calorie foods while remaining inactive - this is a dangerous combination. Eat lots of calories + not active = gain fat… you get the picture.
The obesity epidemic is spreading in the modern world and it is considered to be the number one health problem. Excess body fat can lead to serous health problems as well as shorten life expectancy.
The reality is that at the moment, it is estimated that there are 35000 obesity related deaths in England each year - this accounts for 1/16 deaths. That’s a major problem and a major drain on NHS resources.
Most of us know the risks of being over weight such as type 2 Diabetes and heart disease to name but a few.
Excess Body Weight
Did you know that being overweight and excess body fat are 2 different things?
This is where the BMI (body mass index) makes no sense.
A professional bodybuilder may fall into the overweight BMI category but typically carries a very small percentage of body fat.
On the other hand, you maybe a “normal weight” person with a very high body fat percentage for your height and weight.
Carrying a large percentage of body fat increases your risk of health problems as discussed earlier.
Is Portion Control the Answer?
This is something that I get asked a lot and there is some truth in the fact that portion control can help but it is not the full answer.
For most people, being overweight is not caused by how much they eat but what they eat. The theory that people get heavy because they consume a high volume of food is misleading.
Eating large amounts of the right type of food has been shown to be the key to weight loss success and what makes new eating habits workable for the rest of your life.
The above is just a very simple and brief post of what is quite a complicated subject. If you have any questions or would like to know how I can help you tackle the above issues, please get in contact by emailing me email@example.com
Till the next time.
Stress is prevalent in today’s fast-paced world. Common triggers range from relationships and finances to work stress, leaving focus on exercise and weight loss blurred. In addition, chemical responses in the body from stress can bring weight loss to a halting grind. Understanding how stress affects the body and recognizing stress triggers can aid in keeping extra pounds off.
Under events of stress, adrenal responses in the body are triggered. This response is known as the fight or flight response. Glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue are activated for use as a quick energy source. This uptake of energy was highly efficient in caveman days, while under attack from a tiger for example. Cavemen simply used this surge of energy to either run away or fight. Modern man is wired in the same fashion; however the difference is stress sources that plague modern life generally do not require running away or fighting. According to a 2005 article from the University of New Mexico, this stress response can lead to loss of muscle mass, increased fat storage and impulses to overeat.
Cortisol release under chronic stress can make weight loss difficult for a couple of reasons. High levels of the hormone attack muscle mass, slowing metabolism due to the fact that muscle burns calories to simply exist. Additionally, unwanted cortisol release results in the storage of fat mostly in the abdominal area for later energy use. According to the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service, other signs of elevated cortisol levels are high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and fatigue.
A March 2006 article in the “British Medical Journal” stated that employees with chronic work stress have more than double the odds of metabolic syndrome than those without work stress. Metabolic syndrome is defined as a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for stroke and Type II diabetes. The study also provided evidence for the likelihood of links to stress from everyday life with heart disease as well.
Often thought of as an excuse to eat, food cravings and overeating actually have a factual basis behind this effect of stress. Experiencing stressful situations cause the body to undergo a variety of hormonal changes, including the release of adrenaline and cortisol. When a tense situation is over, the release of cortisol results in an increase of appetite. Under chronic stress, these cravings can lead to unwanted weight gain due to high level of cortisol release in the body.
So if your stressed fat loss maybe harder to achieve than if your not stressed.
There is strong scientific evidence that shows that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.
As well as helping with weight management and fitness, regular exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
Physical activity can also help boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
But although we know this, we may still lack motivation and just sit on the sofa watching the latest soap instead of exercising. We may also keep doing the same old thing with regards to our eating habits. Maybe you just yo-yo diet? Maybe you lose the weight just to put it all back on again? All of this can make us feel unhappy and self-conscious.
The problem is that often our thoughts and habits don’t support what we consciously want to do.
Hypnocise combines the power of the body and mind to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals, and increase your well-being. We do this by delivering an exercise class followed by a group hypnosis session; providing you with meal and exercise plans; discussing issues; and teaching you psychological tips and techniques.
If you want to lose fat weight but are not motivated or in the right mindset, then you probably won't get very far, leading to feelings of failure and negativity. This can then lead to emotional eating to gain a short term 'lift', only to then feel guilty for not eating healthily or exercising...and so the downward spiral continues.
Hypnotherapy helps people to make positive changes in their behaviour by helping them to accept new suggestions and programming within their mind; helping them to let go of old patterns, beliefs and feelings that no longer serve them, and replacing them with beliefs and behaviours that are helpful, positive and affirming, to get them into the right mindset to achieve their goals.
Combining hypnotherapy and exercise is the perfect combination to help you improve your well-being and attain your weight loss and fitness goals!
For more information about our class please get in touch