5 reasons you need to have rest days

5 reasons you need to have rest days

If you have the passion and the energy to work out every single day, that is incredible! But unfortunately, it may be doing you more damage than good. Here are 5 reasons why you need to include rest days in your weekly regime.   For sleep improvement There are a couple of ways to spot whether your exercise pattern is affecting your sleep. If you are struggling to sleep, no matter how tired you are, this is an indication that you have overworked your body. This is due to release of cortisol; your body’s stress hormone that comes with too much exercise. On the other hand, relying on excessive sleep to keep on top of your workouts should be an obvious indication that you are biting off more than your body can chew.   Fixing your appetite The more you train and work your body, the more energy you will need to consume to balance things out. When your body craves more energy, it makes you hungrier. If you have a lighter, more attainable workout schedule, you should notice a decrease in your hunger as your energy demand also decreases.   Overworking is not good for your mental health Due to the endorphins released during exercise, it is generally considered one of the greatest forms of antidepressants! However, it is important to know that too much exercise can have the opposite effect. If you have a strict and busy schedule you may develop anxiety over sticking to it – it’s important to be lenient with yourself. If you find yourself run down by all your hard work you could...
Take your workouts outside this summer

Take your workouts outside this summer

With summer approaching, it is about time we took advantage of any warm weather we can get! You don’t need to hide away in the gym all summer – there are plenty of exercises you can bring outdoors. Think about your surroundings. What can you use that local area has to offer? Are there benches around? You can use these for a variety of useful exercises. For a quick yet effective upper body and core workout, you can use a bench for a variation of push-ups. Start off by resting your feet on the bench and placing your hands on the ground. The number of push-ups you chose to do should be based on your own capabilities. We would recommend anywhere between 10 and 30. Once you have completed this round, swap the placing of your hands and feet and repeat. You can do one more round with regular push-ups on the ground next to the bench for maximum effect. If you feel as though you can repeat the cycle, do so until you feel fully worked! Using a bench, you can also target your glutes and quads by squatting. Again, you can vary your exercise by trying doing things such as sticking one leg out as you squat or by jumping up instead of just standing. There is plenty of room for imagination. You could use the bench for doing step ups. You can do alternate speeds to increase difficulty or you can use one leg at a time, bringing the opposite leg all the way up to your chest. As well as this, leaning on a bench...
How to maximise the benefits of the sauna

How to maximise the benefits of the sauna

Cold showers   One of the major benefits of the sauna is the opening of your pores to let out all of your body’s unnecessary toxins. It is just as important to encourage your body to close them again once you have finished your session. The most effective way to do this is by taking a nice cold shower!   During your shower, your blood will begin to flow back towards your organs as your pores tighten. This strengthens your natural defence system and trains the immune system to become more robust.   Rehydration   There is absolutely no doubt that while you sit in the sauna you will sweat… a lot. This also means that your body will lose a large amount of water. It is important that you drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body to a healthy level.   It is better to gradually consume the water after your session, rather than guzzling it all at once so that you can restore the water levels within your body at a more natural and healthy pace.   Have something to eat!   Another thing you will lose lots of in the sauna is salt. You have high levels of salt in your sweat and so, of course, you will lose a fair amount depending on how long your sessions are.   It is generally recommended that you do not eat before heading into the sauna, so if you followed this rule you may find yourself to be a little bit peckish afterwards.   Because you will have lost so much salt, it is not uncommon to...
How effective is HIIT?

How effective is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training is quite self-explanatory. It is a type of workout that consists of various intervals with various intensities. Doing the most intense exercises with sufficient rests in between means you will get the maximum benefits!   Participating in HIIT workouts are a great way to use your body’s natural energy in the most effective way. Alternating between intense exercise and rest periods means your body learns how to use the energy that comes from your own energy system. The rest periods are also great for removing any toxic waste residing in your muscles. As well as this, rest periods can really help with your breathing technique, so that the exercise is much easier to handle.   The more you practice in HIIT, the more you will improve your overall endurance for any type of exercise. This is because high-intensity training can adapt to the cellular structure of your muscles. Because of this, you will eventually be able to take part in exercise for longer. This means that it will offer long-term benefits for your fitness.   HIIT has also been proven to be great for heart health. For many people, it is extremely hard to push yourself to the point where the heart is pounding and you’re losing breath in one exercise. As HIIT involves small breaks and is done in intervals, it is much easier to push yourself to those limits because a rest is always guaranteed. This technique helps to work your heart to its optimum capacity and keep the blood flowing through the body adequately.   You will also find that you will not...
Look after your mental health with regular exercise

Look after your mental health with regular exercise

It is extremely important to remember that your mental wellbeing is just as significant as your physical wellbeing. Luckily, regular exercise has the ability to benefit both of these things. Working out has proven to be a great way to reduce physical and mental stress that your body may be experiencing. During exercise, the concentration of norepinephrine increases and this moderates the brain’s response to stress. Physical activity can actually make you happy! Exercising causes a release of endorphins which is why you often feel great when you finish your routine. There have been studies that have shown that exercise relieves symptoms related to clinical depression. Heading to the gym is actually recommended to those who suffer with depression and anxiety. If the gym isn’t your thing, it is worthwhile developing a few 30-minute workouts throughout the week to get your endorphins flowing. If you do have anxiety, a 20-minute jog can calm you better than a bubble bath. As well as this, it has also been found that taking part in high-intensity interval training can reduce anxiety sensitivity. For many drug and alcohol addicts, it is actually the feeling of pleasure from what they take that they become addicted to. The feeling of pleasure comes from the release of the chemical dopamine. Exercising fairly regularly in short sessions can be a great distraction and stops them from prioritising the harmful substances. Alcoholics also regularly struggle with falling and staying asleep. Along with the initial effects, over time exercise can help to reboot your body’s natural body clock so a more regular pattern can be formed. Long-term mental wellbeing...