When you think of bodybuilding what comes to mind?
Getting the body of your dreams does not have to be painful and torturous. Used in a positive way, bodybuilding can benefit other areas of your life. Your social life, emotional health and nervous system, to name a few. But, to do this, you'll need the right combination of key ingredients.
Here are 5 bodybuilding tips:
High Quality Sleep
Sleeping long hours does not guarantee good health. However, the quality of your sleep affects your performance. It also affects how you feel when you wake up and throughout the day. A healthy body recovers during sleep. Muscle fibers undergo the rebuilding process, Organ systems slow down. The heart is in resting state beating slower, hopefully working smarter because you trained it well.
Eat protein, but not too much
Contrary to popular belief, more protein does not mean more muscle. High protein diets can be very taxing on your kidneys. Too much protein can overload the kidneys causing them to shut down. Kidney failure may trigger responses from other organ systems in the body. A cascade of terrifying experiences that can easily be avoided. Save yourself a trip to the Emergency Room.
Drink an appropriate amount of water
There is such a thing as too much water. Picture a flood in your mind's eye. What happens when there's too much water? It has to go somewhere. Excess water can migrate to tissue in people who retain water. In a healthy body it will usually get flushed out as urine. In other words, you may end up making multiple trips to the toilet. Some people actually consider this as additional exercise. On the same note, don't restrict your water intake too much. If you're thirsty and not diabetic, it may be your body begging for a sip. Water is an essential part of your metabolism.
I repeat. Don't dehydrate. This is a common practice in the bodybuilding world. The practice of dehydrating is popular because it's believed that less water allows for a more "shredded" appearance. In other words, muscle definition is more apparent. This is why the skin of many bodybuilders has that leathery look. You may see the people in the gym wearing plastic "sweat suits" in attempts to drop water weight. There are a few problems with this practice. First, it is unsafe. Losing excessive amounts of water in a short period of time can cause heart problems. Secondly, losing excessive amounts of water can damage the heart. Often that heart damage is irreversible. Thirdly, it also results in drastic losses of electrolytes. Water loss, electrolyte loss or the combination of the two can cause a sudden and/or severe drop in blood pressure. Yes, there have been instances of people fainting on treadmills while attempting to dehydrate.
Have a support system
Bodybuilding requires a great deal of discipline. Even the most disciplined individuals need support. Training is a serious thing. Find a coach who is knowledgeable and will help you push through difficult times without sacrificing your safety. It's not always easy to focus, even when you want that trophy so badly. Having the right people in your corner can mean the difference between winning and not placing at all. The right coaches might not always tell you what you want to hear, but they will tell you what you need to hear.
How are you? I hope your Thanksgiving was a happy one.
Mine was joyous as I had the pleasure of reuniting with family members from far away.
Of course, all the delicious dishes served made it even better.
And dessert was like the icing on the cake. Mmm hmmm!!!
But, before I did all of that I made room for it all by taking a 5K walk.
Honestly, it was just to earn my workout app award for completing the Thanksgiving Day Challenge.
But it sure did feel good soaking up the sunshine.
Along the way I even reunited with 5 people I haven't seen in a while.
It allowed good amount of time to think about my list of what I have to be thankful for.
I'm thankful for family, friends, good health...
And, I am thankful for the actions that help me improve my health.
One of those actions is making my exercise a priority in my life.
Did you know that gratitude can affect your body's stress response?
As you return to your daily routine, remember to take care of you.
Sometimes we get so busy that we lose sight of the bounty of good in our lives.
Grab a pen and paper to write down your answers to the question below.
What are you thankful for?
I'd like to hear your answers.
Yours in health,
Sleep comes naturally to most of us when we enter this world. But as we grow up, many individuals find themselves chasing sleep. A growing reason for this in the United States is a condition known as sleep apnea.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines sleep apnea as a “disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
People who suffer from sleep apnea are often tired from lack of sleep –even after sleeping 8 or 9 hours. Their sleep is often interrupted. The pauses in breathing can be ongoing resulting in those individuals moving from deep sleep into light sleep. As a result, they awaken sometimes feeling even more tired in the morning and throughout the day.
This causes decreased productivity at work (and home). According to the NHLBI, “Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. In 2013 the engineer of a Metro North train nodded off at the controls; the train derailed killing 4 and injuring 70. Findings of an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that he suffered from a sleep disorder that was undiagnosed.
During the period when I struggled with an additional 50 pounds of post-pregnancy weight, I had bouts of sleep apnea. I recall on several occasions being awakened from my sleep by the sound of my snore in attempt to breathe. At the time I was also battling additional health challenges (including high blood pressure) and under a great deal of stress.
Currently there is no blood test to detect sleep apnea and it is not caught during routine doctor visits. This is why it goes undiagnosed and many people unknowingly suffer with this disorder.
People with sleep apnea have excessive narrowing of throat muscles when they sleep. This causes airflow in and out of the lungs to cease – hence they stop breathing and sleep is disturbed. Being overweight can have a significant effect. The wall of the windpipe, thickened by extra soft fat tissue, narrows the inside of the windpipe making it more difficult to keep open.
Lack of air causes low blood oxygen levels during sleep, which triggers the release of stress hormones.
These stress hormones raise your heart rate. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of:
It can also bring about changes in how your body uses energy. These changes can increase your risk of diabetes and obesity.
People with sleep apnea have a higher chance of work-related or driving accidents. They are also more likely to develop irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias. Long-term management of this condition is required due to its ongoing nature. In most cases, it can be successfully treated by changing your lifestyle, or with mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices.
A well-designed exercise program can help you reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. Side effects of following a good program include restful sleep, reduced stress hormones, increased lung capacity, higher blood oxygen levels, and more energy.
Get help for your condition before it progresses. Your exercise prescription should help you breathe better at night and during the day. If done right, it will also improve the way your body uses energy allowing it to utilize energy with less exercise than you’d expect.
Call us at (914) 665-2084 for the moves that can help you sleep better.
Using over 20 years of experience in healthcare, research and fitness, Sonya teaches her clients to use movements that aid them in improving their health. She is best known for helping them get results they can see and feel in less time.