Tag: Health and Fitness

5 Reasons Why Good Quality Sleep Is Beneficial To Your Health & Fitness

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.

Conclusion

In addition to a healthy diet and a good amount of physical activity, sufficient good quality sleep is vital for your physical and mental well-being.

Sufficient good quality sleep is good for your health and fitness because of several reasons:

  • it boosts your immune system to fight infections
  • helps you to avoid weight gain
  • helps you to avoid developing life-threatening cardiovascular diseases
  • improves concentration
  • helps in reducing stress levels and inflammation
  • and getting rid of anxiety

Sufficient good quality sleep helps you to rest and recover from the tiring efforts of the day which is vital for being productive the next day.

This is a Guest Article from SleepStandards.com


More Sleep Articles:

How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need? >>

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How To Use A Foam Roller

How To Use A Foam Roller Properly

It takes only a few minutes to learn the proper foam rolling technique to relax your tight tendons and soft-tissues. So, let’s get started now on how to use a foam roller properly to increase joint mobility and decrease muscle pain and stress!

Page Contents:

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly Guide >>


How Foam Rolling Works

Foam rolling works by:

  • Breaking apart adhesions in the tissue layers (known as self-myofascial release),
  • Moving fluids through soft tissues,
  • and overall assisting with Muscle Recovery.

So, you can use it to aid in the mobility of tight tissues or just as a recovery technique.

Foam rolling has become very popular in recent years, but it has been around for decades. As it is an effective tool that helps to mobilize your joints by relaxing the soft tissues and muscles around them if done properly. But, the most important thing you need to know about foam rolling is that it is NOT a fix-all solution.

Foam rolling simply prepares your body to improve joint and muscle flexibility by relaxing any chronically tight tissues around them.

If a muscle is tight, or overactive, it will fight against any stretching you do for it. So, the foam roller can be used to help relax your muscle tissues in order to prepare them for other stretches.

It is what you do after foam rolling that counts!

Stretching Exercises >>


Proper Foam Rolling Technique

Here’s how to use a foam roller properly:

Beginner Technique

  • Simply roll the foam roller up and down your muscles in a controlled manner to massage the muscle. This is a great way for beginners to start, as it is the least intense.

Advanced Technique

  • For a more effective self-myofascial release technique, attempt to crush your tissues lightly by rotating on them horizontally using controlled pressure. So, instead of rolling the roller up and down your muscles, keep the roller in place and roll your body side-to-side (perpendicular) along the same area. This will reach down deeper into the tissues.
  • Then move slightly up the muscle and do the same thing.

To properly break apart adhesions in your soft tissues, stop at points where you feel the most pain and relax the muscle into the roller.

Stay on that spot for at least 30 seconds at a time and breathe deep to let your muscles relax. Then slowly continue rolling over the entire muscle.

If no tightness or pain is felt in a certain area, then either use a firmer tool or move on. You will only feel pain where there is tightness. The same as a massage.

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly Guide >>


Choosing a Foam Roller

Foam rolling is most effective with a smooth round object that can roll over your soft tissues; such as a stiff ball or cylinder.

Soft Choices for a Light Massage

  • Basic Foam Roller
  • High-Density Foam Roller
  • Tennis Ball

Buy a Foam Roller >>

Firm Choices for a Deep Massage

  • 4-6″ PVC Pipe
  • Lacrosse Ball

Buy Lacross Balls >>

It is best for beginners to start with a soft roller, then upgrade to a firm roller. Preferably a solid PVC pipe or something similar.

I know that sounds like it hurts, and it does…at first. But it is the only thing that is truly going to work.

This is because, if the roller is less dense than your tissues, then it will break down and limit the amount of tissue release you can obtain.

Your tight tissues can only be fully released with dense objects that can break apart the adhesions. And anything made of foam just isn’t enough.

However, this also will increase the intensity of the message so you won’t need to use it as frequently. It’s the same as when you do high-intensity workouts, you need more time to recover.

What NOT To Get

When choosing your foam roller, make sure that you get one that does NOT have a bunch of spikes on it or “pressure points”. Though it may feel good, it is not nearly as useful as just getting a firmer object, like a PVC Pipe or Lacross Ball.

Remember, we want to smash over the muscle massaging everything, not just pinpoint it. That is what hand massages are for. And the fancy-looking rollers just don’t do as well.

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly Guide >>


How often can I use a Foam Roller?

You can roll out your tissues anytime, from before, during, or after your workouts.

  • Before, or during, your workouts if you have a tight muscle that is causing pain, or preventing proper technique.
  • Post-workout or on non-workout days to help with recovery.

However, the same muscles should not be rolled out more than four times per week. And often not multiple days in a row, to allow for proper recovery.

This is because, when you use a foam roller, you are breaking apart your soft tissues, similar to when you workout. So you need time to recover before doing it again.

Get our complete How To Warm-Up Properly Guide >>


How long should Foam Rolling take?

How long foam rolling takes, depends on how tight your muscles are. At first, your self-myofascial release massage may take an hour if you have a lot of tight tissues. If it does, then let it.

Do not rush through this process!

Over time, as your tissues are released and become more relaxed it will take less and less time.

If you have limited time, it is best to focus on the most important areas during the time you have. Set a timer if needed, and go for 10-20 minutes.


how to warm-up properly for strength training bookGet Our Complete Workout Warm-Up Guide!

Learn how to decrease pain, improve performance and prevent injury with mobility exercises specific to your workout!

Be ready for any workout in 15 minutes or less!

Learn More


How To Prevent Injury >>

Tendonitis Treatment >>

How To Cure Joint Pain >>

How To Commit to Your New Year’s Resolution Fitness Goals

How To Commit to Your New Year’s Resolution Fitness Goals

New Year = New Goals

Do you, or someone you know, need to find a way to stick to your New Year’s Resolutions and Fitness GoalsWell, I have your solution! And it all starts with committing to yourself and your goals!

Take the 30 Day Fitness Challenge >>

First, let me tell you how I did it…

On Christmas Day 2015 I made the biggest decision of my life. It was the decision to invest in myself and pursue my dreams of creating my own success, my way.

It all started with a commitment to myself, and over 4 years later that commitment has never faltered. Not even for one single day!

That’s over 4 years of Commitment to my own strength, health, and fitness every…single…day.

And that commitment all began with The Daily 30A simple fitness routine that has helped me in more ways than I can list! And I know it will help you too!

Take the 30 Day Fitness Challenge >>

Commit To Yourself and Your Goals

The main purpose of the Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine is to teach you to stay committed to your strength, health, and fitness goals by helping you to develop the self-discipline you need to succeed in training and in life.

Just ask yourself…when is the last time you did something every single day for over a year to work towards your goals? Most people will say never and that is why most people never succeed.

So, be different! Be the one that does succeed! Then tell others how easy it is just by developing a little self-discipline.

I have done the Daily 30 for 1,468+ days in a row now (at the time of this post) and I plan to do it every day for the rest of my life.

Whether I was healthy, sore, sick, tired, injured, or just didn’t feel like it, I stuck to my commitment and that is the base of all my success in training and in life.

Just by making that simple commitment to myself I remember to always keep my goals on track, no matter how hard things get.

That is why I made The Daily 30! To help people stay committed to their goals every day.

Plus, the exercises are so simple anyone can do them! And it takes less than 3 minutes to do, allowing no room for excuses.

So, whether it be you or if you know someone that needs something to stick to this coming year, The Daily 30 is exactly what they need!

Think of it as the first step in making a commitment to yourself for a better, stronger and healthier future.

Get started today by clicking the link below!

Start The Daily 30 Challenge Today!

Make sure to share this with your friends!

More Fitness Goals:

Stronger In Minutes | Home Bodyweight Workout Routine

Stronger In Minutes

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!

All you need to get started is:


A Home Bodyweight Workout Routine for Beginners

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!

All you need is some floor space, a timer, and the Daily 30 Bodyweight Strength Training Guide to guide you!

Try it today and you will feel great, guaranteed! 


The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine

The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine has already helped thousands of men, women, children, and teens just like you:

  • Get Stronger
  • Lose Body Fat
  • Improve Mobility
  • Recover Faster
  • Increase Muscular Fitness
  • Decrease Muscle and Joint Pain—Naturally
  • and so much more!

Take our 30 Day Challenge to find out for yourself!

The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine is a simple, fast and effective Bodyweight Exercise Routine that combines only the most effective Bodyweight Strength Training Exercises into an easy-to-follow Full Body Workout!

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!

Learn more about the Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine! >>

The Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercises

One round of the Daily 30 Bodyweight Exercise Routine consists of the following 3 exercises performed for 10 repetitions each.

Standard Version:

  1. Paleo Squat
  2. Push-Up
  3. Prone Cobra

*You can always add more Bodyweight Exercises. However, never skip over or vary from these 3 base movements.

Modified Version:

  1. Assisted Paleo Squat
  2. Decline Push-Ups
  3. Standing Prone Cobra

This modified version is for those that are injured or unable to perform the standard version due to other limitations. 

Get the FREE Daily 30 Bodyweight Strength Training Program! >>


The Stronger In Minutes Workout

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.

Again, all you need to get started is:

Then you’re all set! So go get the guide and set that timer today! 


For more No Equipment Home Bodyweight Workout Routines check out: 

No-Gym Workout Methods to Get in Peak Shape

Linear Weight Training Program for Beginners

Linear Periodization

Weight Training Program for Beginners

This program is based on the Legendary Mathias Method Strength System and follows our Strength Principles.

girls who squat


This is a basic linear periodization program for weight training beginners. 

Linear Periodization is a programming style that gradually increases intensity while decreasing volume over time.

This style of training has proven effective in all stages of training. This program is especially great for beginners, because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

In this program, there are 4 training days each week. Each training day focuses on one Main Lift

The intensity of the main lift will increase each week, before cycling back to the start. Your training volume will do just the opposite, going from high to low.

You can mix your training and rest days any way you like, such as 2 on one-off, or 4 on 3 off. Just make sure you get in all your training each week. 


Periodization Chart

Phase 1   4 x 10

Phase 2   4 x 8

Phase 3   5 x 6

Phase 4   5 x 5

To find your starting weight at the beginning of the program, you will need to take 1 week to find your 15 repetition max for each lift. After you find the heaviest weight you can do 15 clean reps with, begin your week 1 training with that weight.

You will stick with each volume phase for as long as you can until you can no longer do the work volume with your increasing intensity.

For example, if you can do your 4×10 with 100, 105 and 110 pounds during the first 3 weeks, but you fail on the 4th set of 115 pounds on the 4th week, then week 5 you will start doing Phase 2’s 4×8 with 120 pounds and so on until you have to move onto Phase 3 and 4.

After you can no longer do 5×5 with your increasing intensity, start over again with Phase 1 with your starting weight being the last weight you were able to complete all 4×10 with. From the example above, this would be 110 pounds.

Each week add 5 pounds to your upper body lift weights (bench press and military press) and 10 pounds to your lower body lift weights (squat and deadlift).

If that is too fast of a progression for you, then first make sure you are recovering well, and if needed, add less weight.

Keep track of your weights each week, because you will need to know them later on.

*You can switch out any accessory exercises if needed, but try to stick to the ones written as they are most effective.


Workout 1 – Squats

Technique Work (<50%):

Pause Squat   3 x 5

Main Lift:

Squats   See Chart

Main Accessory (<70%):

Deadlift   4 x 6-8

Accessory Work:

Leg Press   4 x 10-15

Barbell Rows   5 x 8-10

Dumbbell Curls   4 x 10-15

Planks   3 x 60 sec.

 

Cardio/Conditioning   10-20 min.

Mobility Work   10+ min.


Workout 2 – Bench Press

Technique Work (<50%):

Paused Bench Press   3 x 5

Main Lift:

Bench Press   See Chart

Main Accessory (<70%):

Military Press   4 x 6-8

Accessory Work:

Dumbbell Press   4 x 8-10

Press Downs   4 x 10-15

Face Pulls   4 x 10-15

Weighted Crunches   – x 50

 

Cardio/Conditioning   10-20 min.

Mobility Work   10+ min.


Workout 3 – Deadlift

Technique Work (<50%):

Deadlift   3 x 5

Main Lift:

Deadlift   See Chart

Main Accessory (<70%):

Squat   4 x 6-8

Accessory Work:

Dumbbell Rows   4 x 8-10

Lat Pull-Downs   4 x 10-15

Barbell Curls   3 x 8-10

Side Planks   3 x 30 sec. each side

 

Cardio/Conditioning   10-20 min.

Mobility Work   10+ min.


Workout 4 – Military Press

Technique Work (<50%):

Military Press   3 x 5

Main Lift:

Military Press   See Chart

Main Accessory (<70%):

Bench Press   4 x 6-8

Accessory Work:

Skull Crushers   4 x 10-15

Dumbbell Reverse Flyes   4 x 10-15

Dumbbell Lateral Raises   4 x 10-15

Leg Raises   – x 50

 

Cardio/Conditioning   10-20 min.

Mobility Work   10+ min.