Beating The Winter Blues.

You’ve probably heard exercise boosts mental health, but when you’re not feeling up for high-intensity spin class can you still reap some benefits from just walking the dog or walking with a friend?

Getting up and moving might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re going through a rough patch. Bad feelings always seem better coupled with a Netflix binge than go for a power walk but a building body of evidence suggests switching binge tv watching for squats could be the secret to improving mind and body health.

 

Getting physical for mental wellbeing

 

Physical activity isn’t just great for physical health but a daily workout can change your mindset into a positive one. I’m guilty at times making up excuses not to go for a run or to the gym but each time I decide to get into my workout gear and do it I feel great and energised, not just right afterwards but throughout the rest of the day. It also helps me sleep better.

 

These guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day for 13 to 17-year-olds. For over 18s, the guidelines are a bit looser and can start as low as 30 or so minutes of moderate activity per day.

The health benefits of regular exercise will be noticed in a short time. What’s more, the positive effects of regular exercise may last for a substantial period of time.

P.S  I’m happy to announce all of my DVD fitness workouts are now available to download1

My Clients who I train once a week use my workout videos in conjunction with their daily walking.

Click and check my Pilates and Strength Home workout video.

It’s time to start looking after your mind and body! Start today!

 

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From the top selling fitness DVD range

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The information contained on Vitahealthandfitness.com website and the social media channels is general in nature and for informational purposes only. The information provided does not take into consideration individual circumstances and is not intended to substitute the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.  Please contact your health care professional for any health-related conditions or concerns.The author of this content can not be held liable for any claim or action as a result of utilising information provided on this site or social media channels

How taking a catnap helps you live longer

 

A 45-minute catnap helps lower blood pressure, American researchers reported last week. They said a daytime snooze could improve heart health, particularly if you’re not getting as much sleep as you should at night.

This follows a recent six-year Greek study which found that people who took a 30-minute siesta at least three times a week appeared to have a 37 per cent lower risk of heart-related death.

The theory is that napping, by encouraging you to relax, reduces blood pressure

 

For years, napping has been derided as a sign of laziness. We are “caught” napping or “found asleep at the switch”. But lately it has garnered new respect, thanks to scientific evidence that midday dozing benefits both mental acuity and overall health.

A slew of recent studies have shown that naps boost alertness, creativity, mood, and productivity in the later hours of the day.

A nap of 30 minutes improves alertness for up to 10 hours. Research on pilots shows that a 26-minute “Nasa” nap in flight (while the plane is manned by a copilot) enhanced performance by 34% and overall alertness by 54%. One Harvard study published last year showed that a 45-minute nap improves learning and memory. Napping reduces stress and lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, and excessive weight gain.

Getting even the briefest nap is better than nothing. A 2008 study in Düsseldorf showed that the onset of sleep may trigger active memory processes that remain effective even if sleep is limited to only a few minutes. And last year, a British study suggested that just knowing a nap was coming was enough to lower blood pressure.

Naps make you brainier, healthier, safer. But to understand how you can nap best, you need to understand your body.

 

How long should you rest for?

 

In designing the optimal nap you need to grasp its potential components.

During sleep, your brain’s electrical activity goes through a five-phase cycle.

A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes yields mostly Stage 2 sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood, and sharpens motor skills.

Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less, if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in sleep inertia, that grogginess and disorientation that can last for half an hour or more.

So next time, listen to your body and mind and enjoy a 30 minute Cat nap and don’t feel guilty.

Happy napping,  Rocco 🙂