7 effects of sleep deprivation

7 effects of sleep deprivation

Do you find yourself going through periods where you become sleep deprived?   Before long, you really do start to feel the effect it has on your body. If you’ve already experienced it, you’ll know that you really don’t feel like yourself and getting through the day can be more of a challenge.   In this blog post, we’re going to explore just what happens to your body when you miss sleep.   1. Fatigue   This is the most expected and most obvious effect.   Without sleep, your brain cannot function to its highest potential, therefore making every task, no matter how big or small, take way more out of you.   You’re likely to spend more of the hours that you’re supposed to be alert and performing at your best trying not to fall asleep at work or on your commutes – which can be dangerous!   2. Problems with memory   Sleep allows the brain to form important connections. These connections allow you to process and remember new information, aiding your development as a human being.   Losing sleep regularly will affect the way your brain processes these connections and struggle to create them at all.   Missing sleep too often can have a negative impact on short and long-term memory.   3. Serious mood swings   If you’ve ever had at least one really bad nights sleep, you’ve also probably had at least had one very cranky day.   Losing sleep increases the body’s level of cortisol, the main stress hormone. The more sleep you miss, the more you will develop.   So, naturally, as...
Saunas, steam rooms and skin health.

Saunas, steam rooms and skin health.

Both the sauna and steam room can provide a range of physical and mental benefits for everyone.   One of the main reasons people visit either or both is to improve or maintain great skin health.   In this article, we will explore how each facility can help your skin.   Steam rooms   To survive, our skin cells need water. When entering a steam room, the humidity in the air provides the hydration that our body needs. It enters the top surface layers of the skin, allowing it to be moist and healthy.   If you begin to use the steam room regularly, it is not abnormal for your skin to appear worse the first few times you try it. What you may not realise is that your skin is actually healthier than ever. All of the toxins in your skin are rising to the surface, making it appear unhealthy.   Both steam rooms and saunas are also fantastic for those who suffer from oily skin that is susceptible to acne. They are able to cleanse and detoxify the skin.   Steam rooms in particular help to balance oil production. The moisture in the room can help to plump up the skin, leaving it young and glowing.   As the heat opens up the pores, they become unclogged as the skin starts to sweat.   For ultimate skin health, we recommend visiting the steam room 3 times a week.   Before entering, remember to take a shower so that any external oils, sweat and dead skin can be washed away. It is important that you dry yourself once...
Alternative cardiovascular workouts to running

Alternative cardiovascular workouts to running

There’s no denying it, running just isn’t for everyone. Some don’t enjoy it and others struggle due to injury or fitness levels. That’s not to say that there aren’t a host of other cardiovascular exercises you can try to keep on top of your health and fitness. Here are some below…   Swimming If you’re just getting into cardio, swimming is your best option. It is also a great option for those who are recovering from or prone to injury as it is very low-intensity. When you’re in the water, you do not need to support your own bodyweight as the water will do all the hard work. If you’re new to swimming or a weak swimmer, don’t worry! The advantage of getting in the pool is that there are plenty of flotation devices available to help you. Swimming is a fantastic option as it can really push your cardiovascular limit to the max. While you are swimming, every one of your upper body muscles is being worked as well. At the same time, it puts no impact on your joints. It’s a great form of resistance training.   Cycling The great thing about cycling is the different options it offers. You can go mountain biking, road biking, you can attend a spin class or you can take things at your own pace using a stationary bike at the gym. Overall, cycling will produce cardiovascular benefits without adding stress to your joints like running will. It also sheds a lot of calories and builds and strengthens your glutes, thighs and legs. Cycling can also be the start of a...
How to fight everyday stress

How to fight everyday stress

The world we live in today is extremely fast-paced and busy.   It is no surprise that so many of us feel the full effects of stress on a daily basis! But there are things we can do to start living a healthier and happier lifestyle.   Prioritise important activities Sometimes, it can be hard to balance work and private life. If you don’t value priorities, you can make your life more difficult in the long run. By deciding which of the upcoming tasks that need completing are most important, you can make sure that things are done on time and to the best quality possible. Finding that balance means you shouldn’t have to overwhelm yourself with work or with or with plans that you’ve made. Plan more If you want your life to feel easier as you go through it, learn to organise your time. Whether it’s just the next day, the next week or even the next month – knowing what to expect when you enter a new day decreases your anxieties and allows you to avoid stressing over small details. Talk to people about how you are feeling There is absolutely no shame in seeking help when you’re under a lot of stress. If you just try to deal with it yourself you may just escalate the problem or develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. If stress is seriously taking a toll on your life, find someone to confide in. This can be a doctor, counsellor, friends or family! It is not uncommon to have insecurities or to feel like things are getting on top of you. Find...
What can the sauna do for you?

What can the sauna do for you?

Looks after your brain One of the most effective benefits of visiting the sauna is the increase in blood flow. It helps your body in numerous ways. Not only does it help your body but also, your brain! In fact, studies have shown to link saunas with lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. So far, it has not been confirmed whether it is simply the sauna protecting your neurocognitive function or purely the enjoyment and satisfaction the experience brings that prevents and delays cognitive diseases. It could even be both! The important thing to remember is the benefits are real and you should absolutely make the most of them.   Improves your lifespan Numerous studies have shown that regular visits to the sauna have connections with a low risk of an early death – specifically in men! This is partially to do with the benefits of the social side of the sauna. Spending time and bonding with others provides health benefits in itself. But as well as this, the blood pumping effects it provides make a serious difference to your overall health. Along with the length of your life, the quality of it also welcomes improvements. The sauna provides an amazing level of meditation and relaxation that can help to wipe away your stresses.   Helps to soothe chronic conditions People who suffer from musculoskeletal disorders have experienced notable improvements to their conditions after visiting the sauna on a regular basis. Some of the disorders that have shown signs of easing are arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and fibromyalgia. Sufferers of chronic headaches have also reported improvements to their condition after...
How to use your body to workout from home

How to use your body to workout from home

As much as we all like to try and stick to a consistent workout routine, attending classes and going to the gym as often as we can is not always possible. It’s important that we know how we can use what we have naturally when all else fails. Your body is the perfect piece of workout equipment! The list of different exercises you can perform without any other apparatus is virtually endless. Here are a few simple yet effective exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home… Start off simple Let’s begin with squats. This easy exercise has full-body benefits – it’s not just for your legs! By helping to improve your physique, they eventually aid in creating a faster metabolism, helping to burn even more fat in the long run. Also, as well as significantly improving your posture, squats also help to trim and tone your entire body, including your buttocks! Now we move on to pelvic thrusts. This exercise is great for your glutes. It improves the strength, shape, size and power of the muscles. It also helps to strengthen the lower back and legs while again, helping with posture. Along with this, it also brings a number of health benefits like bladder and bowel control and sexual and social confidence. Staying on the floor, we then turn to bicycle crunches. You will find that this exercise works the upper, middle and lower part of your abs – an extremely comprehensive workout. It simultaneously works several of your upper and lower body muscles as you engage almost your entire body while you keep on...
How to work out in the heat

How to work out in the heat

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink   Staying hydrated in the heat is vital at the best of times but especially while you’re working out. Of course, being hotter, you’re going to sweat a lot more and lose more fluid.   When you feel thirsty, it generally means you are already somewhat dehydrated. You want to target the potential problem before you need to fix it.   Before exercising, you should be consuming at least one glass of water. During the activity itself, try to hydrate yourself every 15 minutes; minimum. Don’t stop once you have finished your workout – your body will still require a top-up of fluids for the rest of the day.   The sun shouldn’t always make you change your routine, so if you plan on doing a long or intense workout, you’re best to keep a sports drink on hand. Drinking these will replace any salt and other electrolytes that are lost through sweating.   Time your exercise wisely   Temperatures tend to reach their peak at around midday or early afternoon.   The earlier or later you can get yourself ready to go, the cooler the temperature should be. While it’s cooler, any type of exercise should be much more bearable.   Take more breaks   Whatever you do, do NOT push yourself in extreme heats.   If at any point you feel like you need a break, just take it. You will have goals and targets but you are even less likely to reach or maintain those if you suffer a heat-related illness.   Stay out of direct sunlight   If...
What are the health benefits of yoga?

What are the health benefits of yoga?

Traditional and conventional forms of exercise aren’t always for everyone. If you’ve never been into running, it can be hard to build stamina and enjoy different forms of cardiovascular exercise. Weight training can also be somewhat intimidating if you’re completely new to the idea. Yoga is a great alternative option. It provides all the health benefits but it’s much easier to get into. You can take it all at your own pace and take on a whole new lifestyle. So what are the health benefits? Decreasing stress Studies have shown that regular yoga sessions can decrease the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is the main stress hormone. It has also been shown to help reduce fatigue, anxiety and depression – all things that can lead to stress on the mind and body. Improving heart health During a yoga session, the blood gets flowing around the body. The relaxing nature of this type of workout helps with circulation and gets more oxygen to the cells. As well as this, it boosts both haemoglobin and red blood cells. These are essential for distributing oxygen to the tissues. This thins the blood, decreasing the chance of blood clots. Thinner blood means there is less of a chance of heart attacks and strokes. Strengthening bones As a weight-bearing exercise, your bones naturally increase in strength along with your muscles. Not only this but the ability to lower levels of cortisol can keep calcium in the bones. Calcium is a necessity in our body. It regularly replaces itself in a remodelling process, so we must always keep this mineral in our system. Encouraging a...
5 healthy alternatives to your favourite summer treats

5 healthy alternatives to your favourite summer treats

Ice Cream Looking for something cool and refreshing without the added calories? Try blending up a nice, thick smoothie! There are plenty of healthy recipes you can find online using some of your favourite fruits (and vegetables!). They can be packed full of flavour without leaving you with that bloated, sluggish feeling. Alternatively, you could even try making some of your own frozen fruit ice lollies! You can try these with virtually any fruit. Just add fruit juice and water or for a thicker lolly, add natural yoghurt. Fruity desserts Summer is the perfect season for most of our favourite fruits. It can be tempting to start creating tasty and exciting desserts like pies and crumbles or to cover them in thick cream. There are so many low-calorie and low-fat alternatives to try! If you want to cover your fruit in anything, opt for some natural yoghurt. The lower the fat content the better! There are a variety of flavours in low fat and fat-free yoghurts that you can add. If you’re desperate for something a bit sweeter, it’s much healthier to drizzle over a bit of honey. This works especially well on juicier fruits like melons and peaches. You can even add spices like cinnamon to recreate unhealthier flavours without the added calories. If you need a dessert with a little more substance, take a look at the recipes you can create using oats! Things like oat pancakes or overnight oats can be incredibly tasty and filling but also good for you! You can just keep it simple and whip up a delicious fruit salad or, for a...
15 ways to motivate yourself to work out

15 ways to motivate yourself to work out

Get your workout gear on.   This takes very little effort but it can be very effective.   It’s fair to say that if you get yourself all dressed up to workout but don’t go through with it, you’ll definitely feel like a fool.   The likelihood is that if you’re dressed for the occasion, you’re just going to make yourself do it!   Surround yourself with motivation.   Whatever way you find best to encourage yourself, use it.   Write daily sticky notes with motivational messages to get you through your goals for the day.   Find pictures of how you want to look and keep them around. Having that visual aid is often a great way to keep you motivated towards a specific goal.   Stick up motivational quotes in areas you may lose motivation. This could include your work desk, your bedroom, the living room or the fridge!   Do you have a specific number in mind? Keep that in sight as often as you can. The more it sticks in your brain, the more determined you should start to become.   Have a long-term goal.   Even if you’re not quite ready to push yourself to your ultimate goal, it’s good to have one in place.   If you don’t know where you want to be, your workouts have no meaning.   Whether the ultimate objective is months or even years away, as long as it’s realistic that’s all that matters.   Take your time to work at it and enjoy every step of the way – that’s how you stay motivated.   Create mini...