Feel fresh with regular sauna visits

It’s common for people visit the sauna maybe a few times a year as a treat, however regular sauna visits can actually be more beneficial to your health than you may think. Improved mood Visiting a sauna on a regular basis is great way to help improve your general mood. Everyday life can be stressful with many of us spending most of our days trying to make time for work, spending time with family and trying to have a social life. This can cause feelings of stress, so this is where the sauna comes in. Taking the time out on a regular basis for some down time can really help to clear the mind and allow you to deal with stressful feelings much more effectively. The heat and the quiet of a sauna is the perfect place to unwind and escape, and without any other distractions it’s much easier to let go of things – even if it’s just for a short while. Stronger immune system Regular sessions at the sauna can also improve your immune system. During your time in the sauna your body will start to produce more white blood cells which will help fight against infections and ailments. Those who use a sauna once a week are more likely to have stronger immune systems than those who don’t. Speeds up recovery time For those who exercise on daily basis the sauna can also benefit their workout. When we take on physical activity our muscles need time to recover to grow and become stronger. If we relax in a sauna for at least 20 minutes after a...

What can you do to keep your body on top form?

Your body is the most important thing you own so it is a good idea to treat your body like a temple. Taking good care of your health and fitness will make you look and feel better both physically and mentally. One of the main things you need to control – and that you also have the most control over, is what you put into your body. It’s no secret that junk food and sugary drinks are no good for your health – they cause weight gain, bad skin, drops in energy levels and can cause you to feel demotivated and even depressed. You need to make sure you are eating the foods that are good for you and will enable you to feed your body with nutrients and calories it needs. Eating three healthy meals a day is key and will make it much easier to maintain a balanced diet. With 60% of the body being made up of water it comes as no surprise that water is incredibly important to in keeping good health. Essential functions like breathing and sweating cause us to lose water on a daily basis and if the body isn’t rehydrated regularly you’ll start to feel it. Without the right amount of water organs can’t function as normal. It is advised that you drink at least five glasses of water a day to keep yourself in top condition. Whilst drinks such as tea, coffee and juices are hydrating, water will always remain the best and most preferable option as there are no calories, sugars, preservatives or caffeine in it. Generally speaking, an inactive...

The healthiest foods you should be eating

Eating the right foods can make a big difference to how you feel. If you eat a lot of junk food you’re more likely to end up feeling sluggish whilst eating plenty of nutritious and vitamin rich foods can leave you feeling more energetic. There are certain foods which can have more of a benefit than others, so we’re going to look at our top five. Eggs Eggs are packed full of nutrients that are great for your health, including the nine essential amino-acids, omega 3 and protein. Forget what you may have been told when you were younger as well – yolks are not the enemy. In fact, if you leave the yolks and just eat the egg whites you’re missing on 90% of the eggs nutrients. Don’t worry about cholesterol – new studies have shown that dietary cholesterol doesn’t actually affect cholesterol levels in the blood. So go ahead and enjoy your eggs! Watercress Watercress is much more than just a garnish for your sandwich or salad – these little leaves are packed full of calcium, fibre, protein and vitamin C. The antioxidant properties of watercress also make this food extremely appealing for the health conscious. Healthy bones, good digestion and energy – who wouldn’t want to benefit from eating watercress? Sesame Seeds It turns out that although they may be small, sesame seeds are loaded with nutrients  and antioxidants which can help your body heal and detox itself as well as help prevent premature ageing. Sesame seeds are also high in zinc which gives the immune system a boost. Broccoli Just one serving of broccoli can...

Why sleep is important for your health and what you can do to improve it

Sleep is exceptionally important to your health, but during the light summer evenings it’s easy to keep yourself up and miss out on the sleep your body needs. However with the dark winter nights drawing in you can get yourself back into a good sleeping routine. Research has found that ideally you want to be getting between seven to nine hours sleep per night – the exact amount will vary with everyone. Without a good amount of sleep you’ll find yourself affected both physically and mentally. Lack of sleep can cause you to lose motivation, which of course can affect all areas of your life. It will also drain you of your energy levels, leaving you constantly feeling tired and can even affect your mood. Low energy levels also mean your body won’t be able to perform as it should. The darker nights can of course help with getting into a regular sleeping pattern, as your body is naturally wired to want rest and sleep when the sun goes down. You’ll also find that your sleeps may be much deeper and less disturbed due to the long, dark mornings. Of course a change in light isn’t the solution to a good night’s sleep for everybody, so we’re going to look at a few things you can do help you drift off and hibernate this winter! Look at your sleeping environment For a good night’s sleep you should try and create an optimum environment. As tempting as it may be to keep the heating on full at night, try to keep your room cool. To shut off and rest your...

Which one should you choose – the sauna or steam room?

It’s a question some may ask themselves – is the sauna or the steam room better for you? They can be seen as the same in that they both utilise high temperatures to induce sweating and increase the heart rate, which can both improve health and also help visitors relax. At The Stable, we offer our male visitors the option of both facilities, but is one better than the other? Let’s start with the sauna. Saunas create dry heat and generally tend to high a much higher temperature. Saunas will often have vents allowing fresh air into the room to prevent it from becoming too humid, something which can be a problem for steam rooms, and uncomfortable. When using a sauna, you can expect the heat to encourage better blood flow which in turn can lead to an improve in your skin’s health. Those with oily skin have been known to benefit more from saunas as the higher temperatures helps to clear the skin of waste and excess moisture. The improved blood flow can also benefit your cardiovascular health, helping make your heart stronger. Steam rooms, as mentioned, have an pretty much identical function to saunas, the main difference here is that they create moist heat with lower temperatures than saunas. Again, the heat improves blood flow so you’re still getting the same health benefits as the sauna. The difference however in the steam room’s advantage is for those with dry skin and respiratory and congestion problems. Dry skin can be improved as the added moisture in the room will hydrate it and leave it feeling much smoother. The...

Visiting a spa? Here’s what you need to know

Spas are extremely popular for those looking to unwind and relax. If you’re looking pay a visit to a spa, here are some things you should know to make sure you get the most out of your visit. Before going to a spa you are advised not to consume alcohol, as you are more likely to suffer an injury or ill health whilst visiting. You should also try to eat a light meal before, otherwise a heavy meal may end up leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Make sure you stay hydrated when visiting too. Steam rooms and saunas cause you to sweat a lot so you do lose a lot of hydration and if not replenished can leave you feeling light headed and nauseous. Try to drink a cup of water in between each 10 – 15 minute session. If you’re going to treat yourself to a massage you should prepare your body. Before your massage, go for a warm shower as they will help to loosen up your muscles and enable you to get the most from your massage experience. At The Stable, our male masseurs will make sure all knots and tension are worked out so you leave feeling completely relaxed. When visiting a spa, it’s important to make sure you are always comfortable and don’t push yourself to do anything that doesn’t feel right. For example, a lot of people like the idea of a firm massage, but some people’s bodies aren’t up for it. Don’t do it because you think you should, do what feels good for you. Similarly, some people can stay in...

Which is better – a sauna or steam room?

The goals of saunas and steam rooms are essentially the same – they both induce sweating and increased heart rate through heat, either to help improve overall health or just as a way to relax and de-stress. The question is, is one better than the other? The main difference between the two is that whilst the sauna creates dry heat, steam rooms generate moist heat, and the heat in saunas tends to be significantly higher. Steam rooms can be particularly beneficial, and are more suited, to those who suffer with dry skin conditions and respiratory complaints. The moist heat generated in a steam room will work wonders for dry skin by hydrating it and encouraging increased blood flow for healthier looking skin. The steam can help relieve the symptoms for people suffering with lung and/or sinus congestion. Much like using a facial steam bath at home when you have a cold, the steam will help to loosen up the congestion. In many steam rooms, you’ll probably notice the strong scent of eucalyptus and menthol, which will help to relieve chest and sinus related symptoms much more effectively. The sauna is significantly hotter, however most will have a vent that allows fresh air to filter through which prevents the air from becoming humid, which can be an issue in steam rooms. Just like the steam room, saunas encourage better blood flow for healthier skin. People who suffer with oily skin are more likely to feel the benefit in a sauna, because steam rooms can cause an excess build up of moisture that can block pores. A sauna is also usually...

Why learning to relax is a necessity, not a luxury

The fast pace of modern life means that at one time or another most of us, if not all, will face stress regularly as part of our lives. It’s hardly surprising. With long work hours it seems that standard eight hour days are a thing of the past, we’re constantly switched on and connected with the rest of the world through social media, and we just never seem to step back and take some time for ourselves. We’re overworked, and our minds are overloaded with information. With this in mind then, there’s never been a better time to introduce relaxation as a regular necessity, rather than just put it to the side as a sporadic luxury. Our minds and bodies need some serious downtime. Stress can cause no end of damage to the body and the mind. It activates the fight or flight response which in the caveman days was used by the body as a defence against immediate threats such as an animal attack. Stress doesn’t pose the same threat but the body can’t differentiate this so will remain in this highly charged state until the stressor has gone. For many, stressors are long-standing issues and aren’t really going anywhere, so if you’re constantly stressed, you’re opening yourself up to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and muscle tension and aching. Relaxation can counteract these effects. It may not eliminate the issue causing the stress but it can reduce the effect it’s having on you. It gives the body a chance to calm down and regulate blood pressure and boost the immune systems defences. It’s not just...

Do you really need to cool down after a workout?

The cool down after a workout is one of those things that’s drummed into you from a young age. It will stop your muscles getting sore, make you more flexible, speed up recovery and make your performance better on your next workout. But is this really true? Recent studies have shown that the post-workout cool down actually does nothing to prevent soreness the next day, but another study found that it does slightly improve performance if working out the next day. So if the only benefit the cool down really offers isn’t that significant, is there any point? In short, yes. Although the advantages you’re told about aren’t actually that big, the true importance of the cool down is to bring your body back to it’s normal state steadily. At the end of a workout, your body will be working at it’s hardest to meet the physical needs of the exercise. Your heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels and breathing are all elevated. You need to bring these levels back down to where they were pre-workout but it needs to be done gradually, otherwise the abrupt change will risk you passing out and leaving you feeling unwell. The best way to cool down is to keep moving. Let’s say you’ve just completed a HIT session. At this point your body is working overtime and you need to bring it down gently. Static stretches will not help you at this point, in fact the best thing you can do is get on the treadmill or even just walk around the gym. Keep yourself at a walking pace for a few...

How can you make the most of a steam session?

Dating back to ancient Greece, steam rooms are extremely popular due to their relaxing effect and benefits they can offer health. If used properly, they can improve the condition of your skin and leave it feeling much smoother and softer as the steam will clear the skin of unwanted toxins. They are also extremely relaxing. The heat of the steam will help to soothe tense muscles and bring your body into a state of relaxation. If you’re ever feeling particularly stressed, get yourself into a steam room- your body will love you for it! So how can you ensure you feel the benefit from your steam session? There a couple of things you can do to help the steam room work it’s magic. Before entering, make sure you’ve showered, especially if you’ve just hit the gym or the pool. Clear away the outer layer of sweat and any chemicals so that the steam can get right into the pores and clear out dead skin cells and toxins. The effect that steam rooms can have on the condition of your skin can be fantastic. The steam not only flushes toxins from your body, leaving that glowing look, it also encourages better blood flow and cardiovascular functions. Help your body adapt to the heat by gently massaging your skin to let the heat really work into your muscles and skin. It can be tempting, but it’s important not to overdo it in a steam room. Make sure the temperature is between 110 to 116 degrees and try not to stay in there longer than 15 minutes. You’re essentially letting your body...

The easy way to achieve a memorable six pack

Having hard abs is a target many strive for but getting there is hard work, especially if you’re not doing the right type of exercise. To gain a rock hard six pack, the workout needs to be varied. The body adapts to stresses quickly and the muscles become unresponsive. Using a range of exercises will keep challenging your muscles and encourage consistent development. There are a lot of exercises that targets the abs region. Some of them are easier than others so as fitness levels improve it’s vital that you push yourself onto the harder ones. Warm up before every workout and aim to workout three or four times a week. You may only be aiming for a six pack but it is important to make sure you focus on the rest of your body. Not only does this keep the physique balanced but it also increases the overall muscle building effect on the body, which will have a positive impact on your abs. Beginner abs exercises are the plank and crunches. They are perfect starting points in building a six pack as they help to develop core strength and tighten muscles. Once strength and fitness is established you will want to move onto some intermediate exercises. Focus movement on the abs with the legs up crunch and a two point box exercise. When these techniques have been mastered you need to push yourself into more advanced exercises. Try working jack knives and raised arm planks into your routine to get those muscles working. Before you start working towards that six pack it is important to consider diet and...

Why is Sleep Important When Bulking Up?

Resistance training is extremely stressful to the body and if it is not allowed to recover properly it can have a detrimental effect on health. Muscle gain and weight loss have a harsh impact on the body, so recovery is vital for healthy workouts and growth. The perfect activity to enable the recovery is sleep which is why you should always make time for a good nights sleep. Sleep can have a dramatic impact on the entire body after exercise.The body’s growth hormone is at maximum output when asleep and helps the muscle tissues to repair and regenerate. It can also replenish critical neurotransmitters that are needed to build muscle effectively and safely. These chemicals improve motivation, focus, and overall energy levels. Hard training and everyday activities can cause these chemicals to deplete. Only by sleeping can you allow your body to repair and replenish itself in the best way. Sleeping is also very beneficial for the immune system and mental health. Lack of sleep can prevent the body from functioning properly which can cause muscle building to suffer. Depriving the body of sleep reduces the amount of time the body has to recover and repair. As mentioned, sleep can boost certain chemicals that can improve focus. However lack of sleep can cause a reduction in concentration levels which can create a higher risk of injury in the gym....