5 Reasons Why Good Quality Sleep Is Beneficial To Your Health & Fitness
Often we hear that sufficient good quality sleep is vital for our physical and mental well-being. But, we often focus on our diet and physical activity when trying to improve our health and fitness and ignore sleep. Though sufficient good quality sleep is a must for our body to rest and recover. And is equally important for us to stay healthy and fit.
In 24 hours of a day, we try to accomplish as many tasks as possible. But, when we don’t find enough time to complete our tasks, we tend to sacrifice sleep. Insufficient good quality sleep or poor sleep has an adverse impact on your hormones; which can lead to weight gain, mental stress, depression, anxiety, and other life-threatening diseases like cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
As per sleep experts, 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night is best to achieve optimal health benefits. Sufficient good quality sleep allows your body to take the complete rest that is required by it to recover from the hard work of the day and be ready for the task that needs to be accomplished the following day.
Insufficient good quality sleep also affects your social well-being, as it can make you irritable and moody. Plus, it can reduce energy levels and motivation to perform your daily tasks, ruining your productivity.
Older adults are more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation. But young adults and children don’t have the same level of resistance and may become hyperactive or rebellious.
So, here are 5 reasons why sleep is good for your health and fitness…
1. Prevents Excess Weight Gain
Sufficient good quality sleep helps your body to prevent excess weight gain by stopping you from overeating and it allows your body to balance hormones, Ghrelin, and Leptin. These hormones control your hunger. Ghrelin, also called the “hunger hormone”, stimulates appetite and increases the intake of food; whereas Leptin inhibits hunger. Ghrelin promotes the storage of fat whereas leptin helps in reducing fat storage.
Insufficient sleep disrupts your body from using insulin properly. Your body becomes insulin resistant which allows fat to circulate in your blood resulting in the generation of more insulin. This excess insulin is stored as fat in your body
Insufficient good quality sleep also results in increasing your stress level. When your stress levels increase, your body starts producing more Cortisol; which forces your body to store more calories as fat.
2. Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
When you are asleep, your blood pressure level lowers down which results in giving your heart and blood vessels a rest. Insufficient good quality sleep or poor quality sleep is known to increase the stress level and increase anxiety; which can increase your blood pressure level and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and excess cholesterol level in your body can lead to serious life-threatening diseases like hypertension, coronary heart diseases, and diabetes mellitus.
In addition to diet control and physical activity, doctors recommend that 7-8 hours of good quality sleep daily is vital to reduce the risk of developing many cardiovascular diseases.
3. Improved Concentration and Productivity
Another reason why sleep is good for your health is because it helps to improve your brain health. An adequate amount of good quality sleep can boost levels of your concentration, problem-solving skills, and productivity.
Insufficient good quality sleep or poor sleep can impair the functioning of your brain, make you tired mentally, and reduce the level of alertness and concentration. Sleep deprivation can throw clarity of thoughts out for a toss and you won’t be able to make the simplest of decisions, and forget making complex ones because of which your productivity suffers.
The deep sleep stage is essential for your brain to consolidate memories and link stories of the day. While your body is resting, your brain is at work in consolidating feelings, memories, events, thoughts, and other sensory inputs gathered during the day and preparing for new inputs, memories, thoughts, events to be registered the following day.
4. Boosts the Immune System
Your immune system helps you to fight infection by identifying harmful viruses and bacteria and getting rid of them. Another health benefit of adequate good quality sleep each night is that it can help you improve your immune system and help fight infections like the common cold.
As per some studies, even a small reduction in the amount of required sleep can weaken your immune system. It found that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night are 3 times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep a minimum of 8 hours per night.
Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system and your body is not able to fight infections with the same strength or pace. Due to a weak immune system, you may fall sick more often.
5. Helps to Reduce Inflammation
Insufficient good quality sleep increases stress hormones and anxiety which raises the level of inflammation in your body resulting in making your body prone to developing cardiovascular diseases, even cancer, and diabetes.
Also, inadequate good quality sleep or poor sleep has a major undesirable impact on your body as your body may develop inflammation due to cell damage. It may lead to recurring inflammatory bowel diseases due to inflammation of your digestive tract.
What is Cancer? What are the Signs and Symptoms? Am I at Risk for getting Cancer? And how can I prevent it? These are some very common and important questions to ask about this terrible disease known as Cancer. This article will tell all and even teach you about using prevention as a cure for cancer!
Plus, join the fight, and help cancer victims when you buy a shirt today!
First, I want to begin by stating that, to date, there has not yet been found a cure for cancer. Cancer is a disease that the best doctors and scientists in the world are still trying to truly understand; to better help care for those with it.
This article is not meant to give false hope that a new discovery has been found. Or to argue against qualified medical professionals on how to treat cancer of any kind.
This is merely a helpful guide, for both those with and without cancer, to better understand how to decrease its negative effects. And how to prevent it from ever occurring to you.
With that being said, let’s begin…
What is Cancer?
Cancer is a disease where your body’s affected cells grow rapidly, randomly, and without control; blocking normal cell growth. This continuous growth forms into what is known as a tumor, or group of continuously growing cells. These cells can break off of the tumor and spread to other areas of the body, adding to the damage created by this unforgiving disease.
Tumors are also dangerous because they affect the cells around them, and start to modify the functions within the body’s systems to where the systems can no longer do their job properly. And if the cells within a system cannot perform their job, then the system breaks down and that body part no longer functions.
Imagine if that was your lungs, bones, or digestive system (colon). If any of those systems no longer function properly, then we will soon be brought to the harsh reality of cancer.
We Are All Born With Cancer
The truth is, we all already have cancer.
We are all born with cancerous cells within our bodies. If we did not, we would not be alive. Cancer is just a continuous growth of cells that can get out of control if triggered. That is why we see cancer occur at all stages of life. Even in children.
We all have cancer cells. Though many of us will live a long healthy life without ever experiencing its devastation at work.
Why is simply unknown. But we can speculate that it is due to the cancerous cells being triggered by a combination of unhealthy living, heredity, and old age. And the more triggers you send to your cells, the more likely you are to start having them grow rapidly.
If un-triggered, then you will likely never get a tumor. So the best way to prevent cancer is through healthy living.
Signs and Symptoms of Cancer
Before continuing, here are some common signs and symptoms that may help you determine if someone has cancer.
Unexpected Weight Loss
Fatigue – felt often
Pains – that are reoccurring or in specific common cancer sites
Next, here are some physical guidelines that can help you better determine if you have a “healthy” amount of exercise and body composition to help prevent cancer:
Weekly Exercise Minimums
Below is a chart stating the minimum amount of weekly exercise you need to do in order to maintain a healthy body and prevent cancer. But realize that these are only minimums. And if you truly want to be healthy, you should do at least twice as much exercise, if not more.
% VO2 Max
Minutes / Day
Days / Week
A Combination of these 2 Intensities
Reference: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]
Note: These are the weekly physical activity minimums as stated by the American College of Sports Medicine for an individual to obtain the physiological benefits of exercise required to not be considered sedentary, or without exercise.
First of all, I know that most people do not know their VO2 Max. Also known as, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use at one time during exercise. So let me simplify it for you.
Moderate-intensity is a pace that you can maintain for an extended period of time. And is intense enough that you cannot maintain a conversation during the activity. Think of it as between a 4-6 difficulty on a 1-10 scale. 10 being the hardest thing you have ever done and 1 being just above rest, such as standing.
Vigorous-intensity is a near-maximal intensity where you are working at a rate in which you may need to stop and do multiple bouts within the given time. Usually, this exercise lasts only 3-7 minutes per bout and is between a 6-8.5 on a scale of 1-10.
Why Do We Care?
Now, why do we care about VO2 Max and meeting the exercise minimums, suggested by ACSM? We care because it has been shown that an increase in VO2 Max, also suggesting an increase in heart efficiency, decreases the rate of all-cause mortality.
This means that the more efficient you are at exercising, the better chance you have to avoid all causes of death by cardiac (heart) instances, illness, and disease.
This, of course, does not guarantee that you will not have something like a heart attack or cancer occur. But it greatly decreases your chances.
ACSM Body Composition Guidelines
Another way to decrease your all-cause mortality and prevent illnesses, such as cancer, is through maintaining healthy body composition. This is what the ACSM gives as basic guidelines for body composition:
BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measurement of body mass density. This measurement is the leading standard for determining the risk level for all-cause mortality. Or the likelihood of death from a heart-related incident (heart attack, heart disease, etc.) or illness (cancer, life-threatening diseases, etc.).
Body Mass Index (BMI) Risk Level and Classification
Obese – Class 1
Very High Risk
Obese – Class 2
Obese – Class 3
*Risk Level is greatly increased when paired with a large waist circumference.
Reference: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]
Your waist circumference is a measurement around the largest area of your stomach, or just below the navel.
While standing with feet together, arms at sides and feet relaxed, take a horizontal (level) measurement around the narrowest part of the torso between the umbilicus (belly button) and xiphoid process (base tip of the sternum).
Waist Circumference Risk Level
<80cm / <31.5 in.
<70cm / <28.5in.
80-99cm / 31.5-39in.
70-89cm / 28.5-35in.
100-120com / 39.5-47in.
90-110cm / 35.5-43in.
>120com / >47in.
>110cm / >43.5in.
*Risk level is greatly increased when paired with an obese BMI measurement (≥30).
Referenced by: Williams, L., Wilkins. (2019). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Tenth Edition. [Text]
Muscle vs. Fat Tissue
By improving your body composition, you are much more likely to live a longer, healthier, cancer-free life. As you will place less stress on your body’s systems, allowing them to function better.
However, both your BMI and your Waist Circumference present the same health risk; whether your mass is made mostly of fat or muscle tissue. In fact, the stress on the heart may even be greater in those with more muscle.
This is because muscle tissue has blood vessels and must be maintained. While fat is simply stored, with little maintenance. And muscle puts increased stress on the heart to function at a higher rate at all times.
So it doesn’t matter if you are made mostly of rock-solid muscle or fat. The same risk applies because it is based on your heart. Not based on your tissue.
A lot is still unknown about Cancer. Except that we are all born with the potential for it to occur.
This is why we see children with cancer even though they have done nothing to trigger these uncontrolled growth responses. We simply do not know why they occur. And they can happen to anybody.
Even the most elite athletes can obtain cancer, such as Lance Armstrong. He was a world-class athlete and had multiple battles with cancer. But he survived them all. And he is a great example that cancer can be overcome.
Yet, the best treatment for cancer is still prevention.
And many people can prevent cancer, along with other illnesses, just by simply taking care of their body’s. If you live a lifestyle where you do not care for your body, then you cannot expect it to be able to protect you when you need it most.
However, just by taking a little time to exercise, eat clean, and avoid bad habits, you can greatly decrease your chances of ever getting a life-threatening illness. Then you can feel better and be there for the people and things that you love.
So I suggest that you choose to challenge yourself. To make a better life for yourself, and those around you by taking action. And fight back against cancer, by preventing it all together!
I know it is not always easy and many of us already do way too much. But we have to put ourselves first sometimes to better be able to help others.
And that can be as simple as just being there for them in the future. And not placing the stress of possibly preventable illnesses on them.
So take action and be different today. Because tomorrow may be too late.
We all want to get strong, lean, and fit. But we don’t all have the time we need to go to the gym or run around doing cardio classes. Well, now you don’t have too! Stronger In Minutes is the perfect every day home bodyweight workout routine for beginners to get fitter, leaner, and stronger in just minutes a day!
A Workout anywhere, anytime! Just set a timer and go to work at your own pace!
You need something fast, that fits your schedule and does not take away from other parts of your day.
One of the greatest difficulties with exercise for most people is time and equipment. Many of us have long, hard days, full of work, caring for your family, and our beloved T.V. shows that leave little time for any extra activity.
The last thing we are thinking of on these days is our health and doing exercise. Some of you may be progressive and take the occasional walk or staircase climb, but we should know by now that that does not actually create any needed changes to your health.
You need something fast, that fits your schedule and does not take away from other parts of your day. Well, as our Motto says, “If you can Change Your World, you can Change The World”, and we are here to start changing yours.
So, that is why we made this home bodyweight workout routine for beginners. To help fit fitness into your life, making fitness a lifestyle for you and your family!
The best part is, anyone can do it; children, teens, men, women, and even seniors!You can do it with your family, while you’re watching kids, during your favorite T.V. shows, or throughout the day as a short break from stressful work.
This makes it the perfect home bodyweight workout routine for beginners that want to get strong, lean and fit—fast! Do it anywhere, anytime! And it only takes a few minutes every day!
Finally!!! You can start getting stronger anywhere, anytime in just a few short minutes!
This is a home bodyweight workout routine that you can do anywhere, anytime, and at your own intensity. It can easily fit into your life and will help you get stronger, leaner, and fitter!
Simply evaluate how much time you have and use every minute of it to improve your health! If you have 5, 10, 15, 20, or even 30 minutes, then set a timer and do as many rounds of the Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine as you can.
Try to do a minimum of 1 round per minute, resting only as needed. If you need more rest, then catch your breath and keep going. If you can handle the intensity, then push your self to go faster and do even more with less rest.
The key is you have to push yourself. The more you put in the more you will get out. So, work hard and always strive for progress!
This home bodyweight workout routine should be done 3-6 days per week. Try to do a minimum of 50 minutes of total work every week.
Bodyweight Workout Details
What makes this bodyweight workout routine so effective is its simplicity. You are only doing the most effective and basic bodyweight exercises that are bodies are designed to do every single day. Nothing fancy or too hard for beginners. Just what works!
Also, as you switch between upper and lower body exercises your heart will have to work extra hard to circulate the blood to these peripheral areas, adding to your metabolic demands. This will help to improve your heart function, blood flow, and cardiovascular conditioning with minimal work.
Scale the intensity of the exercises as needed to complete each with proper form. If your strength is holding you back from continuing the workout you may also hold a low squat position or the top push-up position for a count of 10 to continue the workout.
Get Started Today!
This is a very simple and easy home bodyweight workout that will help you get strong, fit, and lean all at once! Plus, you will gain physical and mental strength while relieving any built-up stress.
However, like other workouts, your yoga practice can plateau. If your yoga flow has started to feel like you’re just going through the motions, why not introduce new challenges into your yoga practice? These are four tips, tools, and tech you can use to keep things interesting on the mat.
If you’re sporting an outdated phone that doesn’t support the latest apps, use this as the push you need to finally upgrade. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go broke just to replace your smartphone; even the iPhone XS is only $41.66 a month through a provider like Verizon. Android users also have options at all budget levels, and it only takes a little research to find the right one.
2 – Find a Teacher You Click With
Most people tend to stick with the same few routines when practicing yoga at home. Searching for videos is tedious, and once you find an instructor and flow that you like, it’s easier to return to an old favorite than sift through the countless options online.
Taking a yoga class for weightloss can be just what you need to push your practice to the next level. In class, there’s no fast-forwarding through sequences or turning the video off early. And with an instructor to mix things up each time, you’re forced to stay alert in order to keep pace.
You’ll get more out of a yoga class if you find an instructor you enjoy learning from. Look for instructors who teach your preferred yoga style, whether that’s Vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga, or another yoga variant, then test out different classes until you find a teacher who makes you feel comfortable yet motivated in your yoga practice.
3 – Incorporate Mini-Sessions Into Your Practice
If you struggle to find the motivation for full-length yoga practice, give yourself permission to practice for as little as seven minutes at a time. You might not get the same physical workout you’d get from a 60-minute flow, but short sessions are a great centering activity. Incorporate seven-minute flows into your morning and bedtimeroutines, squeeze a session into breaks at work, or intersperse high-intensity workouts with yoga stretches to prevent stiff muscles.
4 – Attend a Yoga Workshop
Is there one yoga skill that keeps tripping you up? If something is holding your yoga practice back, a yoga workshop is a great chance to overcome it. Workshops let yogis dive deep into one particular skill or pose, and with more opportunity for one-on-one work, you can get the expert advice you need to step up your practice.
Yoga workshops might focus on mastering an advanced pose, learning yogic breathing styles, improving alignment and posture, overcoming an injury, or another topic. Ask your instructor if you’re not sure where to find yoga workshops near you.
There’s no one right way to practice yoga. Maybe you practice yoga as a “rest day” activity, or perhaps yoga is a core part of your fitness routine. No matter how you approach yoga, you should always strive to grow in your practice.
Of course, we all want to build a pair of sexy six-pack abs. The problem is, that it is not easy! It takes hard work, dedication and time. But if you can stay focused, then you, just like anyone else, can get ripped! You just have to lose that belly fat and get those ab muscles bulging! This article will teach you how to do it best! Then you can get those ab muscles bulging in time to show off your summer beach body!
We all want those nice-looking, six-pack abs that everyone stares at. However, few people know how to get them. There are just too many ab myths around to sort through for people to really the truth of how to get a nice pair of abdominals.
Some people say it’s all diet, while others say diet doesn’t matter. And too many people believe that if you just do a bunch of abdominal exercises you will get those abs popping. While others say you don’t need to train them at all.
A lot of people also believe it is all about genetics, and how fit your parents were.
So with all these beliefs, which one is it? How do we get those nice looking six-pack abs? How do we get ripped?
The truth is, most of those beliefs are true. However, doing only one of those things will not give you those nice looking six-pack abs we all want. It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of ripped abdominals that really show.
It takes a lot of things added together to get yourself a pair of abdominals that really show.
Exercise for Six Pack Abs
First and foremost, many people believe that weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise. This is absolutely NOT TRUE.
How can it be? Diet only adds in calories while exercise takes away calories. Plus, exercise gives you long-lasting benefits, including metabolic effects that can continue burning off calories long after your workout ends. Read more on this here! >>
Therefore, the main piece to any weight loss, or transformation plan MUST BE EXERCISE.
By exercising often, especially on a daily basis, you are constantly burning off calories and gaining the muscular benefits of exercise. And, when training that frequently (5+ days per week), you should do moderate-intensity exercise.
Moderate Intensity Exercise
The minimum amount you need to do is 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. Also, make sure to keep your heart rate up to where it is difficult to breathe the entire time. Examples are running, cycling or a circuit at the gym with minimal rest periods.
You can also do bodyweight exercises or any other form of exercise that keeps you moving the whole time. But focus on keeping your heart rate up.
High-Intensity Interval Training burns the most belly fat the fastest!
If you have a lot of belly fat to remove in order to see your developed abdominals, you should consider doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 2-3 days per week.
High-intensity training done 2-3 days per week, in the form of sprinting, burns the most belly fat the fastest. And, therefore, is the fastest way to get RIPPED six-pack abs! The problem is, most people are unwilling to put in that kind of work.
It is best to do sprints, but you can also do other forms of high-intensity cardio training such as cycling or jump roping. But, with any exercise you do, it MUST BE INTENSE.
An example is sprinting for 20-30 seconds, then resting for up to a minute. You can also do shorter and longer rest periods, but a 1:2 work to rest ratio works well with high-intensity exercise.
Again, this should only be done 2-3 days per week. And it replaces your moderate-intensity exercise for that day.
However you choose to do your daily exercise, just remember that it is the main piece to any weight loss, transformation or six-pack abs plan. However, there is still more to it.
Diet for RIPPED Six Pack Abs
You simply cannot eat your way to a six pack.
The next important piece to getting ripped is diet. Your diet is important and plays a major role in fat loss. But, it is not the main piece.
You cannot eat your way to a 6-pack from a high body fat state, without the use of exercise. Again, diet can only add in calories, it does not take them away.
Also, there is nothing magic about your diet that is going to suddenly make you lose fat or weight. It is as simple as calories in, versus calories out. If you eat more calories than you lose from exercise, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you use daily, you will lose weight.
However, when you lose this weight, you are more likely to lose muscle than fat. That is unless you give your body a reason to maintain the muscle mass you have.
This is because muscle is hard for your body to maintain. So your body tries to get rid of any extra muscle mass that is not important for survival. That is why it is important to do some amount of strength training, or resistance exercise, while on your diet. This will give your body a reason to maintain muscle mass and just burn off fat.
Strength Training for Six Pack Abs
The strength training you do does not need to be highly intense. And can be done as part of your training circuit at the gym.
A third and smaller piece to the puzzle is Genetics. Diet and exercise are the main pieces that take up most of the efforts. But you also need to think of other factors.
Genetics is an important factor. Some people are more predisposed to have less muscle growth and more abdominal fat. While, some people have very clean cut looking abs, almost naturally while others may not ever see them.
The genetics we have effect our metabolism to some degree and also shape how our abs look. So genetics is mentionable as a factor.
How To Train Your Abs
Train your abs for size, not endurance!
Also, you should train your abdominals for hypertrophy (size), if you want them to stick out more. If you train them for endurance, you are more likely to make them shrink than stand out.
They need to be built, not just worked!
Even through layers of fat, large abdominal muscles can give you some base look of a six-pack. So train your abdominals. Not so much with high repetitions like a cardio session, but more like other muscle groups; such as the biceps.
Do 3-4 sets of 10-15 repetitions of abdominal exercises that are difficult for you, 3-4 days per week.
Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress.
The final extra piece that needs to be mentioned is sleep.
Sleep is very important for not only recovery from exercise, but also to regulate your hormones and rid you of unnecessary stress. Stress leads to increased abdominal fat. And sleep alone can help greatly in decreasing your stress levels.
So make sure you are getting an absolute minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily. However, 8-9 hours per day is best.
Of course, there are many other small factors that can be added into your ripped six-pack plan, but these are the main ones:
So there you have it! Your very own guide on how to obtain those sought after ripped six-pack abs. Now all you have to do is apply it!
You have to choose to go out and exercise on a daily basis. You have to choose to make a change in your diet and eat only what will help you reach your goals. Then you have to choose to put all the pieces together, such as getting to sleep on time every day. And you have to choose to go after the goals you set and achieve them.