Why Sleep is Important and How to Get Enough Sleep

How to Get Enough Sleep

Why is sleep so important? The fact is, sleep is just as important to your health as diet and exercise. Sleep deprivation can cause many health issues, increase stress and even cause you to gain weight. The  . . .  Read more >

5 Ways to Achieve Fitness in the Workplace

Fitness in the Workplace

Sitting at a desk all day may not be the best way to improve productivity, and may even negatively impact your health. Getting exercise during the day can help boost your productivity and your physical fitness. Improving fitness can also help reduce the risk of many diseases associated with inactivity and being overweight. So how can you maintain fitness in the workplace? We’ll look at a few ideas you can try to improve your fitness while at work.

How to Achieve Fitness in the Workplace

1. Go for a walk

Face to Face Chat in the WorkplaceInstead of sending an email or making a call, if someone is close enough, take a walk. Talking face to face can also improve productivity and increase blood flow to get your brain functioning better. Face to face chats also reduce distractions and improve attention to the matter at hand. Wear a step counter to see how far you walk each day just by making this simple change in how you do things at the office.

2. Try a different commute

Walking: One Way to Achieve Fitness in the WorkplaceIf possible, look at a different way to commute to work. If you live close enough, try a walk or ride a bike to work. Walk to and from the bus or train station when using public transportation. If you have to take your car, try and park a bit further away so that you need to walk a bit to get to and from your car. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. The extra steps will add up.

3. Reduce your time spent sitting

Man Working in an Office at a DeskMany offices now offer standing desks which allow you to at least do some of your regular tasks while standing up. Make sure you stand up at least once an hour, even if it is just to stretch your muscles. Try to arrange standing meetings when possible so that the main issues are tackled faster and efficiency is improved, and everyone gets to stand for a period of time instead of sitting. Move the meeting outdoors now and then, if possible, so you get a change of scenery and no one is tempted to pull up a chair.

4. Exercise at your desk

Try using an inflatable exercise ball instead of chair to stimulate your core while you are sitting. This improves posture and encourages better balance, and has been shown to reduce distraction while working, as well. Try some exercises at your desk, such as leg lifts, shoulder rolls, and hand stretching. The FITin56 program can show you a number of other easy exercises you can do in your office to improve fitness in the workplace.

5. Take a break

Skip a coffee break or take a few minutes off your lunch break to do some exercise instead. Go for a walk, do some office cardio if you have a private office, or get others to join in and have a 10 minute exercise session for the office every day. Working out together can improve teamwork, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being of everyone in the office. Perhaps discuss a short yoga workout or something similar that everyone can take part in.

Conclusion

Fitness in the workplace starts with getting up and moving around. Reduce the amount of time spent sitting and increase movement however and whenever possible. Productivity, fitness, and health improves with doing exercise, even if it is just for short spaces of time during the day.

FITin56 has some great exercises that you can do in your spare time to get fit in 56 days. The workouts in the program don’t require a gym and can be done at home or in the office. In as little as 30 minutes a day, you can start your journey to being fit and healthy. Sign up now!

What are Resistance Bands or Exercise Bands?

Girls Using Resistance Bands

What are resistance bands? Resistance bands or exercise bands are bands made of rubber and are usually available in various sizes, colors, and lengths. People often use them for training when recovering from injury, in light workouts, or as part of a more intense workout. Resistance bands are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. You can use them at most levels of fitness, and there are a number of exercises that can be done using just the bands.

What are Resistance Bands Used For?

The variety of resistance bands available allows for different types of exercises ranging from light stretching to heavy-duty weight training exercises. If you are a beginner, you can start with light exercises that target all muscle groups and build up to heavier resistance to improve strength and stamina.

When recovering from injury, you can also start with the lighter bands and graduate to the stronger bands as you heal. The bands are used to create resistance to get muscles working, forcing them to contract and improve muscle and bone strength. Resistance bands can help improve both strength and endurance.

Resistance bands can also help tone muscles and recover or build muscle mass. They are also used by people trying to lose weight as part of a full body workout routine. Resistance band exercises can be alternated with cardio exercises to burn calories and improve endurance and stamina, plus assist in reducing fat stores.

Types of Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands

There are different types of resistance bands which are used for various purposes. Resistance bands with handles are generally used for muscle building and toning. The resistance bands are used instead of machines or weight training, and can be combined together to increase the amount of resistance.

Flat resistance bands are generally used for therapy and in Pilates for strength training. They are mostly used to help recover from injury, surgery, and physical therapy.

Arm and leg resistance bands are closed loop tube bands and are available in figure eights with handles for upper body and leg bands with ankle cuffs for working out the legs. These bands are used to target specific muscle groups.

Loop bands are smaller than the wide therapy bands and are a closed loop. Closed loop bands are usually used for training the butt and legs.

Mobility and power bands are used to train for powerlifting and are often used in gyms. These bands are used to correct mobility problems and help with stretching, pull-up assistance, and weight training.

What are Resistance Bands Benefits?

Girls Exercising with Resistance BandsResistance bands can offer as much muscle activity as training with weights, but with less force on the joints, therefore with less chance of injury. This also means that you can still work out your muscles even if you have joint pain or minor injuries that you couldn’t do with weight machines or dumbbells. Resistance bands offer constant resistance throughout the entire exercise as opposed to training with weights, which has periods when the muscles are not working.

The resistance bands offer constant tension, which means that your body has to continuously stabilize during exercises. This activates your core muscles, improving balance and strengthening your core. You are also less able to use momentum during exercise to complete the motions, ensuring muscles benefit from the full exercise.

Using resistance bands for exercises, especially power resistance bands, will help improve athletic performance and strength. Resistance bands also offer a much wider range of potential exercises and full body workouts than can be enjoyed using weights.

Resistance bands are inexpensive and can be used at home, in the gym, or while traveling. They are great for all ages and fitness levels. You can use resistance bands for pre-workout stretches, for a full workout, and even for post-workout cool-downs. Compared to weights, resistance bands are lighter and easier to pack, allowing you to train even if you are traveling.

Conclusion

People use resistance bands to gain muscle, improve strength, and build endurance. There are many exercises that can be done using resistance bands, starting from basic to full body intense workouts. To purchase quality resistance bands and exercise bands, go here. To discover exercises and workouts that can help you become fit and healthy by using resistance bands, sign up to FITin56 now.

Why Fitness is Important

Women Showing Why Fitness is Important

When we refer to fitness, we usually think of fitness of the body. But fitness can also refer to our state of mind and well-being. Good nutrition and a quality exercise program can help reduce stress and improve overall health. Aside from the health benefits, exercise can also go a long way to improve mental well-being. Being both physically and mentally fit is optimal for good health. In this article, we will discuss why fitness is important for everyone.

Why Fitness is Important

Reduces the Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease

Regular physical activity can help strengthen your cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular disorders. Daily physical activity can also help reduce your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels, which improves your blood circulation and reduces the risks of stroke and peripheral vascular diseases. High levels of body fat are also risk factors for high blood pressure and heart disease, and getting physically fit can help reduce excess fat in your body.

Control of Diabetes and Obesity

Doctor Discussing Why Fitness is Important with PatientWhen you ask any expert the reasons why fitness is important, one of the reasons that are brought up almost every time is the reduction in body fat and prevention of risk factors associated with obesity such as metabolic syndrome. Fitness levels can also improve overall metabolism by increasing muscle mass and reducing fat, which helps your body process the nutrition taken in more efficiently. Reduced body fat and improved fitness can also help control non-insulin dependent diabetes.

Fitness Reduces

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7 Tips on How to Stop Food Cravings

How to Stop Food Cravings

Finding it hard to resist a double chocolate brownie or a slice of your favorite pizza? We all know that food is most likely to set us back in our diet or training. For some, it may be one specific food, for others a group of foods, or it may just be food that contains a specific ingredient such as sugar.

Most people find that they crave the quick fix from various junk foods, and this derails their training or weight loss goals. To help you address this problem, we will be providing some tips on how to stop food cravings.

How to Stop Food Cravings

1. Eat more proteins

Nuts as a Source of Protein to Help Stop Food CravingsProtein may be able to assist in reducing appetite and prevent you from eating too much of the wrong foods. Protein helps keep you feeling full for a longer period than processed foods that are high in sugar. Eating a protein dense meal can reduce your cravings by up to 60%. Having some protein for breakfast helps you reduce your cravings during the day, and protein at night will help prevent those late night snacks that pack on the pounds.

2. Drink plenty of water

Drinking Water to Help You Stop Food CravingsQuite often, thirst is confused with hunger, which can result in food cravings. When you find yourself feeling like you need to nibble on something or experience mild hunger pangs, drink a glass of water and then wait for 15 to 20 minutes. In many cases, the food cravings will diminish or actually fade away entirely. It is good to stay hydrated in everyday life and not only when you are exercising. You can also try drinking a full glass of water before every meal. This can help reduce appetite and overeating as well.

3. Remove the temptation or walk away from it

Try and not purchase low quality snack foods and junk foods and keep them at home or at work, as this can lead to mindless snacking or eating when you are craving specific foods. If the temptation is there and you find it difficult to avoid, try and do something else. Go for a walk, take a shower, read a book, or do something to take your mind off the craving.

4. Don’t wait until you are extremely hungry

Don’t go shopping on an empty stomach and don’t wait until you feel famished before eating. Hunger that makes you uncomfortable may trigger you to reach for the quick fix of junk foods and high-calorie snacks. Instead, make some healthy snacks and keep them nearby so that you have something to munch on if you start feeling hunger pangs. This can actually prevent cravings completely.

5. Plan your food for the day

Bananas and Cereal as Part of a Healthy Diet to Help Stop Food CravingsWhen you plan your meals in advance, pack your lunch and healthy snacks for the day and don’t have extra foods around to grab and eat, you are less likely to eat unhealthy foods. Planning your meals ensures that you get the nutrients you need without your body demanding high-calorie foods to meet cravings. Try to schedule 5-6 small meals throughout the day.  If you are getting all you need from your daily meals and snacks, you are a lot less likely to experience cravings.

6. Reduce stress and get enough

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How to Choose the Best Running Shoes – What Are the Factors to Consider?

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes

Running is probably one of the most accessible exercises for people of varied ages, sizes, and fitness levels. The costs involved are not prohibitive, as you only need a good pair of running shoes and somewhere to run.

You can start with a brisk walk of a shorter distance, and as your fitness level increases, you can look at running faster and further. You can set your own pace and work within your comfort zone to start with and only push yourself once you are fitter and more comfortable with this form of exercise. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the best running shoes for you.

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes

Man Running on the RoadOne of the factors to consider when choosing the best running shoes is what type of surface you will be running on. Track, road, and trail running are all different and will require different traction, cushioning, and support.

You also need to look at the type of running you plan to do. The shoes for walking, training, sprinting, cross country, indoor, outdoor, and marathon running are all different. Buy a shoe for the specific purpose in order protect your feet and joints.

If possible, try and get a foot evaluation to help you purchase shoes that are compatible with your gait and the positioning of your feet when you run. Your weight is also important to consider, as heavier people will need more cushioning and support than lighter runners.

Make sure you try on your shoes before you buy, preferably in the late afternoon when your feet are fully expanded from the day’s activities. Shoes should be snug, but comfortable, with no pinching or rubbing. In some cases, you might want to purchase a half size larger than what you usually would to allow for swelling when you run. Make sure you wear your shoes in by walking around in them for a bit before you head off on a serious run, to avoid blisters and discomfort.

Running Shoe Categories

Different Types of Running Shoes You can ChooseRoad running shoes are suited for pavement and other surfaces with slight irregularities. Flexible and light, they cushion and stabilize the feet during repetitive strides on even, hard surfaces.

Trail running shoes are ideal for off-road routes with rocks, mud, and other obstacles. The tread is fortified and designed for traction, offering stability, support and foot protection.

Cross training shoes are designed for gym workouts or any activity where firm contact with the ground is required.

Is Running a Good Choice for Everyone?

While running is a simple and inexpensive option, it is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Some people won’t want to run, simply because they do not enjoy this form of exercise. For others, running can cause severe discomfort and even have the potential of causing injury. Running is more suited to people who are lighter on their feet, as those with heavy builds might endure discomfort on the muscles and joints from their feet pounding down on the roadway or sidewalk.

Runners in a Race Using Running ShoesConstant stress over a period of time can cause tendon, muscle, and joint discomfort. A good running shoe can help, but even the best cushioning may not be enough for everyone. For some people, their body shape, the health of their joints, the shape of feet, or their pelvis width makes running uncomfortable.

Low arches (flat feet) have limited shock absorption and can be helped to a degree by good shoes or inserts. Injury to the joints can make running difficult, as it puts a lot of strain on joints such as the knees and hips. A wide pelvis can cause the thigh bones to slope inwards, which causes greater stress on the hips and knees, making running quite uncomfortable. There are many other exercises that work as well as running, but if you plan to run, make sure you choose the best running shoes.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to choose the best running shoes to suit your feet and your running style, you can start doing this form of exercise if you so desire. However, if you don’t have the time, if running is not your thing, or if you don’t want to expose your body to the shocks of running, there are other ways to be fit and healthy.

FITin56 is a fitness program that will provide members with exercise and workout videos, plus a nutrition plan to help them achieve their fitness goals. You’ll also receive the latest news and tips — everything you need to know about health, nutrition, and fitness. Sign up now!

The Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Man Sitting with Laptop Showing The Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

The negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle are numerous, and different individuals can experience some or all of these effects. What is meant by a sedentary lifestyle? A sedentary lifestyle is one where the individual is not taking part in an adequate amount of physical activity on a regular basis.

According to the CDC, the minimum recommended amount of exercise is 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. This can also be achieved by walking a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. More than half of the world’s population is not getting enough physical exercise on a daily basis. So what is the impact of this?

Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Doctor Consultation About The Negative Effects of a Sedentary LifestyleWorldwide, a sedentary lifestyle has been identified as the major cause of around 7% of type 2 diabetes cases, 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 10% of colon cancers, and 10% of breast cancers. A lack of physical activity is responsible for more deaths annually than smoking. The negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle include these health issues:

• High blood pressure
• Cardiovascular disease
• Increased risk of stroke
• Obesity
• Elevated cholesterol levels
• Increased risk of certain cancers
• Reduction in skeletal muscle mass which can result in osteoporosis
• Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
• Anxiety and depression
• Reduced cognitive function
• Metabolism disorders
• Reduced libido
• Sleep problems

Why Have People Become More Sedentary?

Sedentary Woman Using a SmartphoneThe main factor for people becoming more sedentary is technological advancement. People commute using services whereby they are passively transported, jobs require more time sitting behind a desk and even at home, people spend time on the computer, playing games or watching TV. In the past, more than 50% of jobs involved a lot of activity, but this is now down to around 25%. This means that around 75% of working people are mostly sedentary at work. People also work longer hours, which means that they spend more time sitting down.

How Can We Reverse This Trend?

While many people will head to the gym or sports club after work, many people feel that they just do not have time to exercise. There are ways to improve the amount of physical activity while at work. You can look at having a treadmill or bike desk if your office allows for it, which allows you to exercise and work at the same time. Or find out about a standing desk, which can also help reduce the amount of time spent sitting.

If these are not possible, you can always get up and walk around for a few minutes. Take the stairs. Park further away if you drive to work so that you have to walk further to the office. Use a wearable step counter and try and meet your step count daily, even if you have to pace around in your office. Any exercise is better than none at all.

Conclusion

Mitigating The Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle by JoggingThe negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle are becoming more and more apparent as people spend more time sitting than ever before. This can only be mitigated by people actively ensuring that they get a certain amount of exercise every week. Even five minutes of physical activity every few hours can have a marked effect on overall health. Where possible, try and set aside the time to do at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times per week. But if this is not possible, do as much as you can, whenever you can. Your body and mind will be much better off in the long run.

FITin56 is a fitness program that will help you achieve that fit and healthy body you’ve always wanted. Sign up now to get on the road to health and fitness!

The Pros and Cons of Cycling

Pros and Cons of Cycling

Exercise is good for your health, and bicycling is an excellent low impact exercise for improved cardiovascular fitness. Cycling can be done by people of various ages and fitness levels. To provide more insights into this form of exercise, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cycling.

The Pros of Cycling

Health Benefits

Pros and Cons of CyclingCycling on a flat road is a moderate intensity cardio workout, and if you do hills or go faster than 10 mph, it counts as vigorous cardio. It is generally recommended to do 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio per week for health and to maintain your weight. You should also do weight training exercises to compliment the cycling to keep your bones and muscles strong.

Social Benefits

You can cycle with friends competitively or spend some time with the family. Cycling is both suitable for children and for the older people, as it does not put stress on the joints such as the back, knees, hips, and ankles to the degree that most other exercises do. You can even join cycling clubs, which makes cycling safer and more social.

Fresh Air and Fighting Boredom

Cycling outdoors is usually refreshing and you get to breathe in the fresh air outside, as opposed to indoor air in a gym. There is also a change in scenery, which usually keeps people cycling for longer, as it is more enjoyable than running on a treadmill or cycling on a stationary bike.

Cheap and Environmentally Friendly Transportation

If you live in an area prone to traffic jams and need to go short distances, cycling allows you to move faster from one place to another and also reduces your carbon footprint from not using your car to travel.

The Cons of Cycling

Cost

Buying a bike, helmet and other riding equipment can be quite expensive to start off with. It also makes sense to get the right protective gear and cycling clothing if you plan to be doing it for a while, as it keeps you safer and more comfortable as well.

Sharing the Road with Vehicles

Pros and Cons of Cycling

Mountain biking or off-road biking is probably the best type of cycling, but for most people cycling on the road is the most convenient way to cycle regularly. This means that you will have to share the road with taxis, buses, cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. You may also have to deal with rude drivers who can make things difficult for you when cycling. One of the potential solutions is to cycle really early in the morning or on less trafficked roads. This is safer and also saves you from breathing in vehicle fumes and having to be extra vigilant.

Protection from Injury

When you bicycle, you may have a helmet for protection and a bell or horn to warn other road users, but you essentially have minimal protection from injury should you fall or be hit by a vehicle. This is another reason you have to be super vigilant as a cyclist, as you are likely to sustain a lot more injury than the person in the vehicle that may hit you.

You are Reliant on Mother

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What is CrossFit Training?

What is CrossFit Training?

What is CrossFit training? CrossFit has been a buzzword in gym circles for a couple of decades. It is a specific type of training designed to make you work out in a variety of ways. The aim of CrossFit is to build and strengthen muscle, while also increasing stamina and endurance. CrossFit combines a range of exercises and routine types such as gymnastics, weightlifting, running, and other disciplines in order to reduce boredom while encouraging a full body workout. If you have ever wondered “what is CrossFit training”, read further.

What is CrossFit Training?

What is CrossFit Training?A CrossFit routine usually begins with a warm up to loosen muscles, increase blood flow and heart rate, and prepare you for your workout. You then move on to the strength/skill part of the routine which will focus on a specific exercise for each routine so that you can perfect form and technique. You will focus on performing specific exercises and complete a certain amount of repetitions of each exercise.

The format for the strength/skill set can range from weightlifting to kettlebells to gymnastics to body-weight exercises and more. The third and last part of the routine is the workout of the day. CrossFit classes focus on different exercises each day and will usually include a metabolic conditioning session. The daily workouts can go from box jumps to pull-ups, burpees to barbells, pull-ups to sprints. This is to reduce boredom and remove the focus from constant repetition of the same boring routine on a daily basis.

Many of these exercises will require that you learn the skills involved in performing the routine and you may have to start with the basics until you are more experienced. While CrossFit is designed to push your body and endurance limits, you should do routines scaled to your abilities to avoid injury.

What are the Benefits of CrossFit Training?

What is CrossFit Training?CrossFit is designed to burn fat and build muscle to improve your body’s metabolism, look, muscle tone, and overall health. CrossFit also helps you learn many disciples and techniques which can help you with your fitness goals.

You can decide whether to focus on weight loss, strength, fitness, athleticism, bodybuilding or a combination of these factors. CrossFit can help you focus on the skills and techniques that will help you achieve peak fitness and improved health. CrossFit can be very strenuous and it encourages you to push your body to its limits.

What is Rhabdo and What is its Association with CrossFit?

Rhabdomyolysis is a specific condition that can be caused by overworking the muscles, causing them to explode, resulting in damage to the muscle tissue. Rhabdomyolysis can range from weakness and pain in the muscles to more serious issues such as kidney failure and even death. CrossFit has developed a reputation for rhabdo in the past, even though the condition is relatively rare and also occurs in other types of training.

CrossFit community members may be more prone to rhabdo if they push too hard, especially with weight lifting exercises. This is why caution is advised until techniques are perfected and the levels of fitness needed for certain disciplines are reached. While CrossFit does push your endurance and strength levels, you also need to practice caution, especially if you are out of shape or inexperienced.

What are the Other Drawbacks of CrossFit?

CrossFit usually requires a qualified trainer and various gym equipment. CrossFit also requires a long-term commitment to achieve your goals, which means a financial, as well as a physical commitment. Simply put, CrossFit is not for everyone. Now that you know what is CrossFit training and its pros and cons, you may want to consider other fitness programs.

What are Other Options Available to Achieve Fitness Levels Similar

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Jogging vs Running – Is It Better to Run or Jog?

Jogging vs Running

What’s the difference between jogging and running? You might think they mean the same thing, but actually, they don’t. The main difference between jogging and running is the pace. Jogging means going at a pace of less than 6 miles per hour, while running means going at a pace of 6 miles per hour or faster. Aside from this, there are other differences between the two. Read on to learn more about jogging vs running.

Jogging vs Running

• Form

Jogging vs Running
Jogging vs Running

Jogging is characterized by bouncy movement, while running has a steady rhythm that involves faster arm swing and longer steps. When running, the ball of the foot should touch the ground first, not the heel. Although this also applies to jogging, a mistake while running is more likely to cause injury because the feet are striking the ground harder and more frequently.

• Effects on the Body

If you run, your feet will touch the ground more often compared to if you just jog. Normally, jogging is easy on the knees (assuming you have no known problems with your knees, bones, or joints). On the other hand, running can be hard on the knees, especially if you do it for long stretches or on uneven terrain. Be sure to wear a high quality pair of running shoes.

• Calorie Burning

Jogging vs Running
Jogging vs Running

When it comes to burning calories, running is much more effective than jogging. For example, if your weight is 154 pounds (70 kg) and you jog at a speed of 4.35 miles per hour for 30 minutes, you’ll burn approximately 206 calories. On the other hand, a person of the same weight who runs at a speed of 10 miles per hour for 30 minutes will burn 566 calories.

• Muscle Load/Intensity

Jogging vs Running
Jogging vs Running

Jogging and running are both aerobic exercises. They utilize oxygen and glucose to produce energy. But jogging differs from running when it comes to intensity. The former requires less effort from the muscles and lungs, while the latter requires a higher level of exertion and overall body fitness. The faster you move, the more muscles are activated. To illustrate, long-distance runners usually have slim bodies, while sprinters have more muscular physiques.

• Afterburn Effect

One benefit of more intense exercise is that it produces an afterburn effect. The more the body works (as it does during running), the more it depletes oxygen reserves. After you exercise, the body tries to restore oxygen levels. This requires energy and results in continued calorie burn up to 48 hours after you have stopped exercising.

Health Benefits of Jogging and Running

  • Increases endurance and stamina
  • Good

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