When drifting off is a struggle, it may seem like one of life’s greatest frustrations. It needn’t. In most cases, choices made during the day can have a big impact on whether going to sleep is a pleasure or a nightmare.
At least one in five people have difficulty in getting to sleep at night. A small number of them visit their family doctors for help. Many thousands more suffer in silence.
Sleeplessness is not only one of the commonest – and most worrying – of all medical problems, it is also one of the problems about which there are the greatest number of myths.
For example, many people seem convinced that they must get at least eight hours sleep every night.
That’s simply not true. There is no firm rule about how much sleep we all need. Some people only feel comfortable when they have had 10 hours sleep. Others, like Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, manage perfectly well on four hours’ sleep a night.
It’s also important to remember that we all need less sleep as we get older.
A second myth is that if you have a sleepless night, then you’ll have to sleep twice as along the following night to make up for it – and avoid damaging your health.
The fact is that if you get just two hours sleep before going off to work then the worst that will happen is that you’ll feel tired! And you should be able to recover completely by having an extra couple of hours’ sleep the following night.
Many of the unfortunate millions who suffer from insomnia could solve their problem completely if only they knew a little more about the common causes of sleeplessness – so, here are some of the reasons why people can’t sleep, together with the solutions.
If you go to bed thinking about the day’s problems and worrying about the things you have to sort out tomorrow then you’re bound to have difficulty in sleeping.
Writing down your problems will help take them off your mind. So, make a full list of your worries. Then put the list on one side and spend an hour relaxing in front of the TV before you go to bed.
Prescribed pills often keep people awake. Drugs used for heart disease, high blood pressure and asthma commonly cause sleeplessness. Ask your doctor if he can change your prescription. Remember, too, that 50 per cent of people who can’t sleep are kept awake because they drink tea or coffee last thing at night. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant. Tobacco is another possible cause of sleeplessness and, although a single nightcap might help you sleep, too much alcohol will definitely cause insomnia.
If you are kept awake by pain, then ask your doctor for help. If he can’t help you then ask for a second option.
Cramps keep many people awake. You can keep cramp at bay by using this simple exercise. Stand barefoot one yard away from a wall. Lean forward until your hands touch the wall, but keep your heels on the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat it once. Do the exercise three times a day for a week and then every night before you go to bed.
When depression and sleeplessness go together, it is the depression that needs a doctor’s treatment.
If you are kept awake by hunger, then have a bite. Don’t have anything too hot, rich or spicy. A hot milk drink will probably be best. Remember, too, that if you are slimming you may have difficulty in sleeping. A low blood sugar will keep you awake. A very low-calorie late-night snack might help.
If you are kept awake by noise, try soundproofing your bedroom with bookshelves and double glazing. Or try wearing ear plugs. They take a little getting used to, but work very well and are recommended for shift workers who have to try and sleep during the day.
Finally, it’s worth remembering that you won’t be able to get to sleep if you’re not tired.
If you’ve dealt with all these problems and you still have difficulty in getting to sleep at night, then follow this special bedtime regime:
- Relax your body thoroughly before getting into bed. Take a good brisk walk for 10 to 15 minutes. Think through your day’s problems and write down all your worries in a notebook. Keep it by your side and every time a new problem pops into your head, write it down.
- Have a soothing, warm bath for 15 minutes.
- Go to bed with a relaxing book or magazine. Try to keep something relaxing for bedtime reading. And have a spare book ready.
- When you turn off the light, close your eyes and try to transport yourself to somewhere beautiful, relaxing and warm. Imagine, for example, that you’re lying alone on a peaceful, sunny beach. Try to hear the waves on the shore and the sound of seagulls high overhead.
- This simple regime will probably send you to sleep within minutes. But if you can’t get to sleep, don’t lie there fretting. Get up, sit in a comfortable chair and read your book again. Make yourself a hot, milky drink. Then go back to bed when you start yawning.
Did you know that you can burn a lot of calories doing house chores? According to fitness experts, house chores can burn up to an average of 250 calories in an hour for a 150-lb individual. This post has highlighted some of the ways you can use your house chores to build up a sweat and get fit while doing housework.
1. Turn a bend into a functional exercise
Every time you are doing a chore that requires bending, turn the motion into an exercise by modifying the way you move. For instance, when picking up something from the floor, you can do it with a lunge. Or, you can do a full squat when, say, you are lifting groceries or a laundry basket.
2. Doing Laundry
Doing the laundry is a sure way to give you a great work out. It takes a lot of physical work to keep your clothes clean; from lifting up heavy laundry baskets, to lifting your arms upwards and downwards when hanging the clothes outside. Instead of using a washing machine, you can hand-wash your clothes to burn more calories and stay fit. Obviously, washing clothes by hand involves more physical activity than simply using a washing machine.
Here are other ways you can exercise to stay fit instead of using mechanized equipment:
- Rake the leaves instead of using a blower
- A manual mower will give you greater exercise than using a gasoline mower
- Wash your car at home instead of taking it to a car wash
- Washing the dishes, rather than using the dishwasher, involves a lot of bending and reaching actions which are good exercises to do.
- Lay off blenders and choppers and use a mortar and pestle and a knife to do your food prep work.
This is another house chore that can give you a great work out. In fact, it offers you the same level of physical activity as rowing or hiking. While at it, extend the stretches of your muscles by dusting even the hard-to-reach places. Again, consider doing the whole house in one go. This way, you are sure to work up quite a sweat.
Also, while vacuuming, add some lunges to tone up your buns and legs. You can begin at one end of the house and do lunges as you vacuum over to the other side of the house. However, do your best not to lean on the vacuum cleaner, but rather rely on it for balance only.
4. Do chores that use a lot of muscles regularly
Chores, like scrubbing a wall daily, sweeping, mopping, cleaning rugs, chores that involve climbing up and down stairs several times, ironing, and dusting (especially hard-to-reach places) are strenuous activities that put a lot of muscles to use. Doing such chores regularly is sure to keep you fit.
5. Consider making a playlist of upbeat music to help you set the pace while doing chores
Scientific studies confirm that listening to fast-paced music can encourage you to make quicker moves and maximize the results of your physical activities.
Use upbeat music when doing chores like vacuuming, mopping, cleaning windows, scrubbing the walls, and other such chores.
6. Other ways to get fit while doing housework
Doing tricep dips while, say, making your bed, or climbing up and down a ladder while painting, or decorating, or doing squats while loading the dishwasher, are examples of activities that you can throw in a few exercises while doing them and working around the house.
Big changes come from small beginnings so, even making the smallest change, or implementing one simple action, can help to make you fit, especially if you make it a habit every day. When you begin to build these habits, you can slowly increase the difficulty level and try working a bit harder, but remember; it all starts with building good habits.
PUNCH UP YOUR MASS
When it comes to training, are your gains coming faster than an Ali one-two combo? Or are you getting worked over in the corner like some washed-up pug, folding up under a rain of body blows?
While you probably don’t want to admit it, chances are it’s the latter. You see, so many of us find ourselves making zero progress after months, even years of battling in the weight room. Unfortunately, and contrary to popular opinion, building your body is not an endeavour of brute force. When you aren’t making progress, simply dropping your head and powering through the same workout regime week after week won’t eventually wear down the forces that halt your growth. But that’s what many of us do.
Just like in boxing, the man usually left standing is the one who knew his opponent – he knew when to jab, when to duck and when to go in for the kill, not the one who tucked his chin and came out flailing. You need to take the same type of strategy to your training: fight smart.
To help you strategize, I present 18 tips on gaining and understand the “sweet science” of resistance training. I hope that as you incorporate this advice into your own regime, you realise that the bout for more muscle isn’t about one swift knockout punch; it’s about going the distance and slipping in some well-timed blows. Keep your gloves up!
- PUSH yourself. If you’re lifting about the same weights now as you were a year ago, don’t expect to be much bigger. While the biggest muscles aren’t the strongest muscles and the strongest muscles aren’t the biggest, a substantial link exists between strength and size, providing you avoid very low reps, the rest/pause technique, partial reps and long rest periods between sets. Those techniques generally yield lots of strength, but little or no size gains.
- MAKE “good form” your mantra. Don’t just give mere lip service to the cliché “use good form”. Permit absolutely no bouncing, heaving, exploding or excessive range of motion, and never get so greedy for poundage increases that you sacrifice good form. Good form is needed not only to avoid injury but also to stimulate optimal muscle growth. In addition to proper form, avoid high-risk exercises such as any squat with your heels raised on a board or plates, bench presses to your neck or upper chest, or behind-the-neck shoulder presses with very heavy weights. Also, use a controlled rep cadence: about 2 to 3 seconds for the positive phase of a rep and three seconds for the negative phase.
- INDIVIDUALISE your exercise selection. If an exercise hurts, and you’ve been performing it using good form with a controlled cadence and have tried sensible modifications, drop that exercise. The first rule of exercise selection is “do no harm”. Discard the reckless “no pain, no gain” maxim.
- SQUAT. Do your utmost to squat well and intensively. The benefits aren’t just limited to the thighs, glutes and lower back; the squat stimulates muscles throughout the body. While some people truly can’t squat intensively in a safe way, most can. Reverse the squat, improve your squatting form and pay your dues in the rack, and you’ll reap the rewards.
- DEADLIFT. The deadlift is one of the most productive exercises for bodybuilding mass. Master the technique – conventional style, sumo or stiff-legged – and slowly build up the weight to something very impressive. Impeccable flat-back form is imperative; avoid any exaggerated range of motion. Deadlift properly, or don’t do it at all.
- TRAIN hard, but smart. Do enough to stimulate growth, then get out of the gym and give your body the chance to recover and grow. The bottom line is progress, not training intensity. If, however, you always cut your sets short by a couple of reps, stopping even though you know you had more in you, get serious, pull out all the stops and put 100% effort into finishing what you start.
- LOG it. You’ve heard of the importance of keeping a training log, but how many people actually do it? Accurately record all your reps and poundages. As the weeks go by, you must be able to see small but gradual improvements in weight lifted and/or the number of reps performed. If not, you have clear proof that you need to alter some aspects of your training regime.
- HARNESS the power of one. Get a couple of half-pound discs, home-made weight increments, or some creative alternatives such as wrist weights or large washers so you can add just 1 pound to the bar at a time. Adding a minimum of 5 pounds to an exercise at a single shot when you’re at your current best weights, as many people try to do, often leads to a breakdown in form and injury. Instead, nudge up the weights. Strength is built slowly.
- PARTNER up. Find a training partner who has similar recovery abilities to yours, so you can use a similar training programme. Then push each other to deliver perfect workouts every time – intensive, progressive and always with good form. But, just as a good training partner will help, an inappropriate training partner can be your undoing. If he or she can recover more quickly than you, can tolerate more sets and exercises, and pushes you to abuse forced reps and other intensity enhancers, cut your ties pronto.
- BE consistent. Bodybuilding success is about getting each rep right, each set right, each workout right, each meal right and each night’s sleep right, week after week, month after month. Compromise a little on this and you’ll reduce your rate of progress; compromise a lot and you’ll kill your gains. Keep in mind, there are no “small” victories. Set no limits on yourself, but don’t expect the impossible. Just live for the next bit of progress, and then the next, and then the next. Bit by bit, you’ll build bigger muscles.
- MAKE your training time sacred. Protect your privacy while you train. You must be totally in charge and say no to intrusions, whether human or otherwise. Don’t do this to become a hermit or to alienate your family and friends; do it to honour your need for the focus required to do your very best at something you’ve committed to.
- FOCUS. Only highly gifted bodybuilders can build mass and refine it at the same time. The rest of us need to focus on building mass by concentrating primarily on the tried-and-tested compound exercises for a year or more. Only then does detail work such as cable crossovers, dumbbell laterals and triceps kickbacks have real practical value. If used earlier on, detail exercises stymie progress by putting a heavy drain on your recovery ability and reducing the level of effort you can dedicate toward compound moves.
- PERSONALISE your training programme to find what works best for you. No single programme works well for everyone; even good programmes have to be fine-tuned to fit the individual user. Personalise the factors of exercise volume, training frequency and exercise selection. Once you find a good programme, don’t chop and change it haphazardly. Stick with a given set of exercises long enough to make substantial progress in the weight you can lift.
- FOLLOW excellent nutritional habits every day. No matter how well you train, rest and sleep, if you cut corners with your nutrition, you’ll impair – if not stop altogether – your muscle growth. Take your nutrition very seriously. Divide your calorific and nutritional needs over five or preferably six meals per day. Eat more, and eat more often. If you weigh the same now as you did a year ago, you can’t expect to have bigger muscles unless you’ve substantially reduced your bodyfat.
- NOT progressing? Cut back. If your bodybuilding has stagnated, chances are you’re spending too much time in the gym. Cut back and give yourself a chance to grow. Try reducing your weight training to just three days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, alternating two different routines – chest, shoulders, triceps and abs in one routine, and legs, back and biceps in the other. Perform no more than three works sets per exercise and a maximum of eight exercises per routine. If you can do more than three works sets per exercise, you’re loafing – train harder. Never battle through warning signs of overtraining. Symptoms include loss of training zeal, stagnant exercise poundages, reduced appetite, and nagging aches and pains. Whenever you feel any of these symptoms, take action by increasing recovery time and sleep, reducing training volume and improving on the nutrition front.
- STRETCH. Follow a programme of a dozen or so stretches three times a week. Stretching won’t make you bigger, but it will help keep you resistant to injury. Stretch only after warming up, hold stretches for 15-30 seconds, never do ballistic stretching, and don’t try to improve your abilities too quickly by forcing a stretch past your limits.
- REST generously between workouts. Despite adequate recovery time being so pivotal, many bodybuilders make the mistake of minimising recovery time and maximising workout frequency. If you still feel tired and are due to train today, rest another day. Then modify your training programme and lifestyle so that you recover adequately between workouts without having to take unscheduled rest days. Also, get at least eight hours of quality sleep each night. If you have sleeping problems, find solutions; consult a sleeping clinic if need be. Short-changing yourself in the sleep department can arrest bodybuilding gains even if your training and nutrition are in good order. If you rely on an alarm clock most mornings, you aren’t getting enough sleep. Give your bodybuilding recovery greater priority than late-night socialising.
- APPLY the central creed of bodybuilding: progress. Gear your training and entire package of recovery-related factors so that progress in muscular mass is a reality. If gains aren’t happening, make changes until they do happen. The buck stops with you. You select the exercises, volume and training frequency you use. You decide when to quit on a set. You must discipline yourself to use good form. You determine your sleeping hours. You are responsible for your nutrition. Take advantage of the tremendous power you have to change your physique!
Sportswear or active wear is something that every woman has or wants to have in their wardrobe. This specifically includes all sports garments which can be used for casual clothing too, depending on mood like leggings, sports bra, boots, crop tops, and swimsuits. Active wear gives good flexibility and gives immense confidence also gives you an opportunity to show off your new gear. There is something for everyone to pick out from all the available choices which suit and complement your body type and give you a boost to start gym or doing physical activities. Women currently are flocking in the stores to have the apt gym gear in your bag.
A good sports bra is a women’s best friend if chosen correctly. Fitness is a prime concern of everybody’s life and finding the right clothes for the same is a norm which cannot be avoided. The sports bra is an essential in this department as it is one of the most comfortable sportswear for workout sessions and if picked properly energizes your day even more. You might think that a normal bra can also be considered for this, but while doing high impact routines like running, jumping, and cardio workouts, they provide great fit and comfort along with an enhanced shaped bust. Well, lots of things are to be taken into consideration while picking a perfect sports bra according to your preference.
THINGS TO BE KEPT IN MIND WHILE BUYING A SPORTS BRA:
The Fabric – Selecting the fabric carefully that does not create inconvenience while exercising and the quality should be up to the mark.
Size of Cup – For a fitness freak the balancing of your breasts is extremely important to avoid any twitching or discomfort publicly.
Straps – This is one of the most least bothered aspect of sports bra that causes major inconvenience as it is always irritating to keep on adjusting the straps while performing routines or strenuous workouts. Checking all these points and choosing one is the ideal way of buying a sports bra.
Generally there are two types of sports bra one is flatten ones kind of crop top like and other one having built in cups which can be termed as a regular one. It is not necessary that you can only use a sports bra for gym or exercising, you can use it for casual wear too.
Leggings are one of the best clothing’s to wear for yoga where stretching is important and helps in making your moments clear. They are basically termed as exercise leggings, giving more posture while doing Pilates or cardio routines.
REASONS FOR HAVING ACTIVE WEAR:
The major factors attracting women towards buying active wear is the aim to improve health, remain fit with an added desire to update outfits according to trends. Some people just wear it as they feel it is more fashionable. Giving your gym an overall new experience a sports gear is a must.