SLEEP IS LIFE!

Rest, recovery and sleep are so important when it comes to your health and well-being. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) states that sleep is a basic human need and is just as important for good health as diet and physical activity.

It’s a topic that is close to my heart, being a 10 hour girl that bloody loves her sleep, a girl who will happily call it a night and retreat to the land of nod at 9pm given half the chance. I never really have a problem falling asleep and if I do I consider it to be a big problem! I fall into the deepest sleep, so much so I’ve woken up to friends checking my pulse in the middle of the night thinking I’ve slipped into a coma or died – I cannot function without a lot of sleep!

However… I wrote this particular post a while ago off the back of a horrific 5 hours broken sleep, after going round to my friend Nicola’s house for a ‘quiet’ girl’s night in with two of my other good friends, Sian and Georgie. I say good friends… they were downing drinks and dancing on tables till 5.30am, I took myself off to bed at 2am and tried to get some shut eye, whilst they caused carnage around her kitchen table. I bang on to them like a broken record that they need to get more sleep, as they regularly pull all-nighters (on school nights too!). Telling them they’re all going to look 90 by the time they hit 40 (only because I love them!). 😉

The body is set to a 24-hour clock, the internal biological clock being fundamental to the survival of all living organisms (so pretty important!). It influences hormone secretion, urine production, regulates body temperature and blood pressure. A good night’s sleep allows the body to wake up fresh and invigorated, ready to face the coming day’s challenges. Too little sleep causes drowsiness, inability to concentrate, reduced productivity and performance. In the long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to premature ageing (Nicola, Sian & Georgie take note!), digestive disturbances, psychological problems, behavioural disturbances and a host of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes and heart diseases (ref NSF). In short, too little sleep is NOT good!

Sleep scientists generally agree that most adults need 7 to 8 hours sleep a night – I’m an exception to this then! Getting too little sleep will create a ‘sleep debt’ that will eventually catch up with you and need to be repaid. Below are some top tips to get your sleep on…

Top tips for improving sleep

•    Exercise!
•    Set a scheduled time for sleep
•   Take a warm bath
•    Reduce stressful activities
•    Blackout your bedroom
•    Avoid caffeine before bed (up to 6 hours before)
•    Avoid nicotine and alcohol
•    Don’t go to sleep too full or hungry
•    Relax before bed

•    Control room temperature (lower temperature improves sleep)

‘Sleep is the best meditation’ ~ Dalai Lama

Kate x

For more information on personal training and group fitness sessions give us a call or drop us an email and arrange a free consultation.

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Call Ruth on: 07891092893

Email us: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

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ENDORPHINS: THE BEST HIGH YOU’LL EVER HAVE!

Endorphins – the legal high that’s backed and most definitely won’t be getting banned any time soon! Want to get high, euphoric, feel good AMAZING, de-stress, improve your health, fitness and general well-being? Exercise is the answer! It’s the miracle drug we’ve always had, but all too often people fail to take the recommended dose, and the effects of that can be fatal.

We know this… it’s not new news. So why is it that so many people are still missing out on this awesome high?

When you exercise your body releases endorphins ‘happy hormones’, morphine-based pain-relievers that are essentially like heroin… but so much BETTER… as an endorphin molecule is a hundred times more powerful! Note: I’ve never tried heroin! But that’s what the experts say. When you take morphine, you feel dreamy and pain-free, this is what endorphins do too and that’s why people get addicted to exercise.

5 benefits of exercise

  • Relieve stress – healthy body, healthy mind. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress, a big driver for me personally at the minute. It can also reduce risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Reduce risk of major illnesses – such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30% (ref NHS).
  • Boost self-esteem – get high on those happy hormones! Exercise boosts self-esteem and confidence, who doesn’t want to look and most importantly feel good.
  • Improve sleep – a biggie for me as I LOVE sleep. In my mind there’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep, I should be avoided at all costs if sleep deprived.
  • Increase energy levels – increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat will increase your energy levels. Activity fuels more activity!

There’s literally hundreds more…

It’s time to quit with the excuses… lack of time isn’t good enough! Make time, make the effort and you’ll reap the rewards. You are the one holding you back; you will be the one that suffers because of that. Harsh, but true!

Baby steps can lead to big changes…

For more information on personal training and group fitness sessions give us a call or drop us an email and arrange a free consultation.

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Call Ruth on: 07891092893

Email us: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Alternatively fill out the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.

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LADIES LIFT: BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING

Women that lift are… manly, masculine, bulky, strong! 

Following on from my previous post ‘5 tips to overcome gym fear‘, I wanted to bust the BS and dispel fears around resistance training (lifting weights, heavy weights!). Lots of women (and many men) give weights the wide berth in the gym, fearing that lifting will make them ‘bulky’. I’d been working as an instructor for 5 minutes and I’d heard this a hundred times… with images of the incredible hulk in their head, it’s all the stereotyping that puts people off.

What lifting weights will do is help you to live in a healthier, stronger body. There are so many benefits of strength training, and it most definitely should be included as part of your fitness regime! Here’s a few reasons why…

It’s more effective for fat loss. Weight training increases your metabolism, it’s more effective than cardiovascular exercise for burning calories both during and after exercise. Also as you increase strength and lean muscle mass your body uses calories more efficiently; the more muscle contractions you have in a day, the more calories you burn.

Creates killer curves. As you build muscle your body composition (shape) changes. Muscle takes up less room in the body than fat, strength training helps create killer curves and definition.

It’s so important for bone health. As the skeleton ages it loses calcium and bone mass, which increases the risk of osteoporosis (increasing risk of fractures). This happens earlier for women. Weight training increases bone density and reduces risk of osteoporosis.

The term ‘bulky’ should also be considered, what does bulky mean?

It means different things to different people… it’s subjective. One mans bulky is another mans buff! When it comes to our bodies, desired muscularity is personal preference. I appreciate muscle definition; I want to put on a good gun show, improve strength and increase muscle size. What I consider desirable may be considered ‘too big’ to someone else.

Everyone has different goals and aspirations. When it comes to resistance training, training should be specific to the individual; whether it be for endurance, hypertrophy (increasing muscle size) or strength.

There’s literally hundreds of people and publications that have written about the benefits of resistance training and busting the many myths surrounding it. Do a Google search to read and find out more, and speak to a fitness professional  or PT (me!) about your fitness goals and incorporating weight training into your workouts.

Act like a lady. Lift like a boss.

For more information on personal training and group fitness sessions give us a call or drop us an email and arrange a free consultation.

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Call Ruth on: 07891092893

Email us: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

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5 TIPS TO OVERCOME GYM FEAR!

The gym can be an intimidating place. This is felt by many… you’re not alone! The feeling that you’re the novice newbie that knows nothing, compared to the die-hard gym junkies who seemingly know it all! Don’t beat yourself up and put yourself off, before you’ve even begun. Everyone (every pro) was once a beginner, also very often the die-hards are doing it wrong…

I’ve had people get themselves so worked up before coming to a gym session that they have broke down and cried on me before we’ve even begun. I have to add-in here that I am very friendly and the tears haven’t been down to me! They have left with a smile on their face after our session, saying they shouldn’t have got themselves so worked up beforehand.

Here’s 5 top tips to crush the fear

  • Take advantage of your gym induction and ask for help – a gym induction is mandatory in most facilities, for health and safety. This is where an instructor takes you around the gym, showing you how to use the equipment before you go it alone. Now these tend to me quite whistle stop, as in you’re not shown every single piece of equipment and all of the different programmes you can do. But you should come away from this knowing basic set-up of CV (cardio vascular) kit and weights machines. If you still feel unsure of anything ask, and keep asking for help until you do feel confident. That’s what instructors are there for and are more than happy to help.
  • Ask for a gym programme or PT sessions – these are either included in your membership, you get a few free PT sessions or it’s worthwhile investing in that support and guidance. You’re there for a reason, you have fitness goals you want to achieve, make sure you’re training efficiently and effectively to reach those goals. Otherwise you end up wandering aimlessly from piece to piece, not really working or doing anything other than passing time.
  • Focus on you, only you – in a gym full of junkies it’s sometimes hard to zone out and focus on you, you’re watching what everyone else is doing, or are paranoid thinking that everyone else is watching and judging what you are doing. They’re not! They are in there for the same reasons as you – to workout, get the job done and leave (on an endorphin high!). Zone out and focus on your workout, having a banging playlist can help with this.
  • Bring a buddy – for many it’s the fear of going it alone, safety in numbers is the name of the game. Bring a friend and become the best of gym buddies – support, encourage and motivate each other to smash your fitness goals.
  • Treat yourself to some snazzy exercise clobber – if you look good, you feel good and new exercise clobber or funky kicks can be just the ticket. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a small fortune either, you can pick up great gear at most supermarkets nowadays, in discount sports shops and online; and with the summer sales in full swing now is the perfect time to bag yourself a bargain!

For more information on personal training and group fitness sessions give us a call or drop us an email and arrange a free consultation.

Call Kate on: 07875584383

Call Ruth on: 07891092893

Email us: hello@brooks-fitness.co.uk

Alternatively fill out the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.

LikeStickersSparkle You can also follow on Facebook, check out our page and give it the thumbs up: Facebook.com/BrooksFitnessPT