Benefits Of Including Cardio Into Your Exercise Routine

IMG_7578

 

Recently I feel as if cardio has gotten a bad rep. Don’t get me wrong I do think that cardio can be misused (e.g. when people do nothing but cardio hoping to meet their fitness goals). However there are benefits to cardio-vascular exercise when it’s used correctly.

 

 

So what are these benefits I keep harping on about? 

  1. Improves heart health
  2. Improves your recovery time
  3. Boosts your mood and can help tackle anxiety and stress
  4. Boosts your immune system
  5. It promotes brain health
  6. Can help regulate diabetes
  7. Can help you lose or maintain weight

How often should you do cardio?

It’s recommended that for overall cardiovascular health and individual perform 30 minutes of low intensity aerobic exercise 5 days a week or 25 minutes vigorous exercise 3 times a week.

Some of my favourite cardio exercises

  1. Walking = including cardio into your life doesn’t mean you have to spend more time in the gym. Walking can be done anywhere
  2. Swimming 
  3. Interval Sprints 
  4. Rowing 
  5. Stair Master 
  6. Circuit Training 

Just make sure you enjoy the form of cardio you include into your routine.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

The Negative Impact Lack of Sleep has on your body

FullSizeRender

Sleep is often an overlooked factor when it comes to being healthy. In a Harvard study conducted in 2008 experts concluded that “getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.” We all know the common signs of a bad night’s sleep which include being tired, grumpy, irritable and lacking focus. However, the effect that a poor night’s sleep has on our body and health go far beyond being in a bad mood and not being able to focus.

10 Effects Lack of Sleep can have on Your Body 

  1. Obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Cardiovascular disease and hypertension (e.g. heart attack)
  4. Depression and anxiety
  5. Lower sex drive
  6. Weakens immune system
  7. Lowers life expectancy
  8. Ages your skin
  9. Makes it difficult to conceive
  10. Slows down brain function

How much sleep should you get? 

According to the NHS the average individual requires 8 hours of good quality sleep every night. There is also no way of cheating getting the sleep you need. while coffee and other caffeinated drinks may give you the energy boost that you need to get you through the day they can’t make up for the vital functions our bodies undergo during sleep and may disrupt our sleep pattern in the long run.  Make sure you guys aren’t overlooking the important functions of sleep and are getting enough good quality sleep.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

The Dark Side of Fitness: An Unhealthy Active Lifestyle

 

FullSizeRender

We tend to associate working out and eating nutritious food in a positive manner. However, it is possible for people to take this lifestyle to an extreme and transform what should otherwise be healthy habits into unhealthy ones. The fact that it is harder to identify when someone is leading an unhealthy active lifestyle since on the surface going to the gym and eating well are typically good things, makes it even more dangerous.

People are often so consumed by focusing on the physical side of being healthy that they neglect their mental health which is equally as important. Too often people are afraid to take rest days because they feel that they may lose their progress or they create anxiety around certain foods and under eat. When it comes to fitness you really can get “too much of a good thing” and more is not always better.

Excessive exercise and restrictive eating not only affect your body but your life including your day-to-day routine and your relationships with others. An unhealthy active lifestyle can lead to a variety of issues including insomnia, loss of menstrual cycles for women, reduction in testosterone levels for men, injuries, eating disorders, plateaus in performance and weight loss, body dysmorphia  and in some cases depression.

In order to reap the positive benefits of exercise and eating well it is important that you implement balance in your life. What exactly that balance will be will vary for every individual and how to find it will be a case of trial and error. It is essential however, that you allow your body the adequate rest, recovery and nutrition that it needs in order to cope with the stresses you place it under. It is also good for your mind and soul to take breaks from your routine and enjoy time with friends and loved ones without feeling guilt about not exercising or not counting every single calorie that enters your body.

If you or anyone you know struggles with this it is important to seek help and begin to address these issues as they can have a very negative impact on your life. Also feel free to get in touch with me.

Just some food for thought

Jay xx

The Dangers of Comparing Ourselves to Strangers Online

4F42AEF8-BFFC-4D45-B9A4-2A9C439E2B81I think it is great to draw fitness motivation and inspiration from others. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy social media. However, I feel that far too often this is taken too far. You shouldn’t eat “x” amount of calories simply because that’s what your favourite IG model eats or trains “x” amount of times a week because that how often they train.

You and your lifestyle are unique, you have different goals and priorities so however you train, how often you train and how you eat should be tailored to your lifestyle and your goals and not just be a carbon copy of someone else’s.

While I do think that there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, constantly comparing and competing with others just creates a losing battle and can lead to low levels of self-esteem and unhealthy habits. There needs to be a shift from feeling that you need to do better than others towards focusing on improving on your own practices be that in the gym or with your approach to nutrition.

There also needs to be a shift away from constantly focusing on negatives. So what if you don’t have visible abs? Are a few lines on your stomach really going to make a difference to your life?  Instead place your attention on the positives. Maybe you don’t have visible abs but you can squat your bodyweight or more, or maybe you can perform an exercise now that you couldn’t do a few months ago. Our bodies are constantly proving how amazing they are yet instead of celebrating the things we are great at we choose instead to bring ourselves down and focus on the things that we don’t like.

At the end of the day there are certain things that we can’t change and we have to learn to accept them. Don’t get get so caught up in what everyone’s doing to the detriment of your own life. You are not a stranger on the internet, nor should you want to be. Who you are is amazing.

“Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own.” -unknown

Just some food for thought.

Jay xx

Tips to maintain training consistency during the dark and cold months

imagesWith the start of Autumn and the falling of leaves comes the unfortunate end of bright warm and sunny mornings. Instead of waking up to sunshine you wake up to darkness and the sound of howling wind and rain. The long, dark and grey days start to impact your mood and you may find that it takes a lot more to get you through your daily routine (including your workouts).

I thought I would share with you guys a few tips on how to combat these Autumn and winter blues.

  1. Discipline = Make sure you create discipline as eliminating the dependence on outside factors (such as your mood) will give you the tools to focus on the long-term achievement of your goals so that you do what you need to do instead of what you want to do. For example create a consistent training schedule and stick to it.
  2. Set a big goal = Setting a reasonable, measurable and realistic goal (such as improving strength or successfully performing an exercise that you’ve struggled on) will help to keep you motivated and give you something to look forward to before the end of the year.
  3. An awesome playlist = Studies have shown that music has several benefits on the human brain which include boosting our moods, distracting the brain from fatigue and even helping in increasing endurance.
  4. Get a training partner = Having someone to train with makes you more likely to stick to your fitness goals (by making you less likely to bail on your training sessions) and also helps to hold you accountable. The right training partner can also help to increase your training intensity by giving you that little extra push.
  5. Get involved in seasonal activities = embrace the cold and take on the elements while having fun through activities such as ice-skating, snowboarding and skiing.

Hope you guys find these helpful

Love Jay xx