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 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...
Keep the pride celebrations going!

Keep the pride celebrations going!

We may be coming to the end of Pride month but the celebrations don’t need to be over yet!   In London, we still have a week until the Pride Parade, so we’re only just getting started.   Are you in London for Pride?   Whether you’re a resident or if you’re just visiting London to attend pride, why not come and let off some steam at The Stable?   Plus, parading around and being an extraordinary human can be pretty exhausting, so what better place to come and relax when you’re done?   You can find us easily by heading to Covent Garden. If you have any trouble, look here for directions.   Facilities   There are plenty of luxuries for you to indulge in during your visit. We would be more than happy to welcome you!   Sauna   Saunas are perfect when you really just want to kick back. They are particularly effective if you have muscles that need relaxing or tension that needs relieving. Pride should be a completely stress-free experience and with the endorphins you will release in the sauna, you’ll be feeling on top of the world!   Spa pool   New to saunas and steam rooms? If you’re unsure, wet your appetite in our steamy spa pool. You can unwind or you can get to know our other guests!   Steam room   As well as the sauna, the steam room can ease those muscles whilst also promoting healthier, more cleansed skin. It also assists in detoxing the body of anything you may have indulged in during your celebrations.   Massage rooms...
Have you hit the wall? Keep going!

Have you hit the wall? Keep going!

Has your body reached a plateau?   If for whatever reason your body is struggling to get bigger, smaller or even stronger, don’t give up.   There are several changes you can make to get inspired again!   Find your motivation   Sometimes, the way we feel on the inside can have a serious impact on our external health. If you’re feeling low or sluggish, you need to find ways to keep yourself feeling alert and ready for action.   First of all, ensure that you’re getting at least your recommended 8 hours sleep per day. At the same time, try not to oversleep too often. In terms of rest, sleep isn’t the only important kind. When working out regularly, you need to have your rest days!     Just because you need to rest does not mean you need to do absolutely nothing and feel lazy. As long as you do not overexert yourself, you can take part in some activities such as swimming or hiking.   You should also be considering your diet. Protein and complex carbohydrates provide a vital source of energy to keep your body going.   If you have a lull in your motivation levels due to lack of results, you should try reducing your goals to something more realistic – perhaps more short-term targets would be best. Demotivation makes you less likely to push yourself properly to your goals. Without the right mentality, you won’t get the results.   Building muscle   If you’re looking for new ways to gain, the answer is to eat, eat eat!   As great as that sounds,...
6 tips for a healthier summer

6 tips for a healthier summer

For a lot of us, summer is the time for barbeques, beer gardens and all round good times. At the same time, it’s important to look after ourselves and not reverse any hard work that has been put into creating that ‘summer body’.   If you want a happier and healthier summer, here are 6 ways you can achieve it…   Go outside!   As cliche as it sounds, nothing is better for you than fresh air. There is so much to see and do outside and it’s fair to say that everything looks 10 times more beautiful when the sun is out.   Choosing to exercise outdoors makes the whole process seem much less tedious. Finding somewhere pretty and warm can be a great distraction. You will find it much more enjoyable!   You may also find that within the summer months, more active programmes may be put on in your local area. Take a look to see what you can get involved in. Not only is it great for your health but it is also an opportunity to meet more local people and potentially make new friends.   Stay hydrated   While the weather is warmer, you will find yourself sweating more than usual, whether this is during exercise or just while you’re going about your day. The more fluids your body loses, the more likely you are to become dehydrated. Spending time in the sun while dehydrated can make you very ill and you could suffer from the likes of sunstroke.   Regularly drinking water is vital for the functionality of our body and aids in...
Health benefits of muscle building

Health benefits of muscle building

By focusing all of your energy on aerobic exercises, you will be missing a serious trick for incredible overall health and fitness.   Here are just some of the things that weight and strength training can do for you…   Increasing muscle mass   Obviously, the more strength training you do, the more muscle you build. Increasing your muscle mass makes it easier to burn more calories. You will also continue to do so for 3-4 hours after you have finished exercising!   This is perfect for those equally trying to lose weight. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn during rest periods. Every pound of muscle you gain means your body uses an extra 50 calories per day.   If you are dieting, up to a quarter of what you lose in weight could be from your muscles. This is why you need to take part in strength training to either rebuild lost muscle or to stop it from being lost in the first place. If you do not weight train, your lost muscle will slow your metabolism making it more difficult to lose weight from diet alone.   Over time, your muscles will become more and more toned. Keeping your muscles toned allows you to maintain a healthy weight. Having plenty of muscle mass also provides more stamina for physical activities as you get stronger.   Looking after blood pressure   Taking part in these exercises can help to make your heart stronger. The stronger your heart, the more blood it will pump with much less effort.   A heart working less...
Can the sauna aid muscle recovery?

Can the sauna aid muscle recovery?

If you exercise regularly, you will be no stranger to muscle soreness. When you work out, you will create tiny tears in your muscles. This is just part of the process when building them up. It is, in fact, the repair process that causes your muscles to grow.   You may notice acute muscle pain during or immediately after exercise but the most noticeable soreness comes 24 to 72 hours after your workout.   There is very little scientific research into the link between saunas and muscle recovery but there are plenty of reasons to suggest it can help with repairing.   What can the sauna do?   Spending time in the sauna does encourage the release of endorphins in your body. The North American Sauna Society claim this helps to relieve muscle soreness. Some advocates also explain that the likes of lactic acid and other toxins that are released during exercise can be eliminated within a session. The sauna can increase blood flow throughout the body, leaving your muscles feeling rejuvenated!   Increased blood flow also enhances the availability of fresh blood cells in your body. This can help more oxygen reach the muscles. Oxygen is essential for muscle function and is particularly important when it comes to muscular recovery.   The sauna has been proven to significantly increase human growth hormone levels. There was a study that found a 142% increase in the growth hormone IGF-1 during sauna use. This particular hormone is anabolic, which has the ability to burn fat and enhance muscle tissue.   A sauna is basically a form of heat therapy. It has...
5 great fat burning exercises

5 great fat burning exercises

Do you feel like your current routine isn’t burning enough fat?   Or do you simply want to switch up your current regime?   There are a plethora of options you can try to make the most out of your time.   Here are 5 exercises that we find are particularly beneficial…   Battle rope waves   A common favourite for fat burning and stress-busting are the battle ropes.   Due to the size of these ropes, a little more effort is required to perform the wave routine. That’s why this exercise is great to do in intervals. Push hard for 10, 20 or even 30 seconds. If you really want to push, give yourself around 40 or 50 seconds rest to recuperate. Repeat this a few times until you’ve reached your limit.   This exercise is not hard on your lower body, but with the correct squatted posture, including crunched abs and a flat back, you will feel it working its magic.   You should feel your heart and muscles pumping as this is an excellent adrenaline booster!   Box squat jumps   When we take part in jumping exercises, we stimulate our fast-twitch muscle fibres. This is what causes the fat burning. Though of course this is great, the intensity of these exercises on your muscles can begin to cause some uncomfortable problems. This can especially be the case for overweight people – the ones who are most keen to burn fat!   This is why box squat jumps are brilliant.   Because you sit down between reps, the way you land is much easier on the...
Sauna tips for beginners

Sauna tips for beginners

If you’ve never visited a sauna or you’re looking to start visiting regularly, it’s important you know the basics.   Here are some great tips for getting you started.   Hydration Make sure you drink plenty of water both before and after entering the sauna. During your session, you will sweat quite a lot. This means that your body loses a lot of water, so you will begin to dehydrate. It is also a good idea to take some water into the sauna with you. If you get thirsty, you can keep yourself hydrated. If you are hydrated, you may be more comfortable and feel able to stay in the sauna for longer.   Test your endurance To make sure you’re comfortable, you will need to figure out just how much heat you can handle. In the beginning, 10-15 minute sessions are suggested. Your body will not be used to the heat if you are new to the sauna, so you want to test yourself without pushing yourself! If you feel comfortable, you can do multiple sessions in these shorter bursts too! Eventually, you may be able to stay in for much longer – everyone is different.   Know your limits If you find that for whatever reason your body does not agree, do not exert yourself. Any signs such as lightheadedness, queasiness or anything else out of the ordinary should be taken seriously. Don’t be embarrassed to leave – your health must always come first.   Wait one hour after eating a meal Once you step into the sauna, there will be an increased flow of nutrients in...