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Category: General Fitness

Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects in the Gym

sleep deprivation causes and effects

One of the biggest factors that contributes to how well we perform at the gym is sleep. Sleep quality plays such a vital role in maintaining a healthy and active life. This is why when we lose sleep on a consistent basis, it can really impact on our gym performance and in our day-to-day lives in general. This post is going to cover sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym so you can learn just how much sleep impacts on our performance and what we can do about it.

Sleep Deprivation Causes and Effects in the Gym

Lifestyle Sleep Deprivation Causes

While there may be many possible underlying causes of why people are sleep deprived, most of the time, it is our bad sleeping habits that are affecting our shut-eye.

In this on-the-go lifestyle that we lead, we tend to stay up later, finishing work, watching television or staying connected to others via our social media.

It may not seem like it but this can really affect our sleep quality, which may be one of the many reasons why you are unable to get a good night’s sleep.

Maybe you have a demanding job so you find yourself working quite late all the time, checking emails. Maybe you have lots of things to do around the house that keeps you up. Whatever there is, there are many sleep deprivation causes that are based on our lifestyle choices.

The Many Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Just as there are many possible causes, there are also many effects of lack of sleep.

You Feel Lazy

Hands up if you have ever had a bad sleep and felt like skipping your gym workout because of it?

I know I have.

Feeling lazy because you have missed out on hours of sleep can cause you to skip your workout, meaning you will fall behind in your training. This lack of motivation can cause you to be unwilling to move or be active all day, and we all know how important it is to move daily.

You’re Moodier

Not only will you be feeling lazier and less motivated but you will also moodier.

This is not a great situation for you or the people around you.

You may find that you will be moodier, more irritable and grumpier because you will have less serotonin in the body.

And if you skip your training session because you are feeling lazy (i.e. see point above), you will not be active which can actually help improve your mood by releasing endorphins.

You Can’t Concentrate

Just say that you do somehow manage to make it to the gym. Is your workout as efficient as it could be? Are you able to make it through your regime like you typically can or are you finding it harder to concentrate?

Another one of the sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym include trouble focusing. You will find yourself becoming more easily distracted which means that while you managed to make it to the gym, the quality of your training will be compromised.

Your Energy Levels are Low

Not only will you have decreased concentration but you will also have less energy. This may make your usual workout seem a lot harder than it usually is.

You may find that you will be unable to hit the same weights, sets or reps as last time – all because you are feeling drained from lack of sleep.

Your Body Can’t Recover Properly

Sleep is such an important factor in your body’s rest and recovery. Without proper sleep, your muscles and bones cannot grow or repair themselves. This can perpetuate DOMS, make it harder for you to feel 100 percent again and back to normal. This is especially bad if you do weight training or strength training.

If you are deprived of sleep, you are depriving your body of the time that it needs to relieve muscle tension and soreness. And you will definitely feel it the next day.

Your Metabolism Slows Down

Lack of sleep slows down your metabolism and decreasing leptin – the hormone that helps keep you feeling full. In turn, this causes, your appetite to increase so you feel much hungrier than usual.

If you are trying to keep a healthy diet, then this can definitely derail your good intentions and you may find yourself reaching for an unhealthy snack.

While you should treat yourself every once in a while without feeling guilty, you may find that you feel the sleep deprivation causes and effects all day. This means that you may find that the unhealthy snack has turned into an unhealthy day.

Without consuming the adequate nutrition your body needs, especially to help your workouts, then you may see your gym performance fall.

5 Tips on How to Get Better Quality Sleep

Here are some easy steps that you can take to get longer and better sleep:

  1. Choose a time that will give you adequate hours of sleep for you to wake up feeling refreshed the next day. Make sure that you consistently go to bed at this hour. This may take some time getting used to but eventually, your body will learn your earlier bedtime. To help get you started, try going to bed half an hour/an hour earlier each night until you reach your desired time.
  2. Set an alarm an hour before that time to begin the winding down process for sleep. This includes turning off all electronics so that the blue light it emits doesn’t disrupt the body clock. This also means stop doing work and checking emails.
  3. Keep your bedroom quiet and dark.
  4. Try meditating for better sleep. Meditation can help you unclutter your mind and prepare your head and body for sleep.
  5. Exercising daily is also a great way to help get better sleep. Just make sure you don’t engage in vigorous exercise too close to your bedtime. Otherwise, you will be too worked up to sleep.

As you can see, the sleep deprivation causes and effects in the gym are plentiful. Sleep really does make such a big impact – good and bad – in your training and health in general. To get the best out of your workout each day, have better and longer sleep.

Jefit App

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community.

How have you found your sleep affects your training? What sleep deprivation causes and effects have you seen on your fitness journey? Let us know in the comments below!

sleep deprivation causes and effects

Are You on Board with the New Obesity Paradigm?

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Some scientists are starting to believe that obesity research has been coming from a failed paradigm. For close to a hundred years now it has been believed that the cause of obesity was a surplus of calories. When a person takes in more calories than they expend, overtime, that individual becomes overweight. Many think, however, that obesity research is based on a misbelief. According to the World Health Organization, though, it’s still about “an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.” So who do we believe?

Many researchers and science reporters, like NYT best-selling author Gary Taubes, believe that it’s time for a new paradigm. A group of these researchers have actually published a lengthy review article on this obesity topic, that comes out today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This group believes we should move away from the current energy balance model (EBM) to a new carbohydrate-insulin model (CIM).

Moving Towards a Possible CIM: Carbohydrate-Insulin Model

According to this model, increasing fat deposits in the body, resulting from the hormonal responses to a high-glycemic-load diet, is what drives positive energy balance. Other words, it’s not about eating too many “good” calories, it’s more about “food quality.” We need to be aware of the quantity and quality of specific calories coming from carbohydrates.

A high percentage of carbohydrates in each meal, coming from processed foods, contain high amounts of added sugar. Each time we eat meals and snacks like this, our body has to deal with a sugar spike. When this occurs, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin, to bring down blood glucose. The by-product of this? the body stores more fat (triglycerides) in adipose tissue.

This new paradigm shift states that obesity is not an energy balance issue but rather a hormonal disorder or what the researchers call a “disorder of fuel partitioning.” The calories in versus calories out debate says nothing about why it happens.

Where Do You Lie on this Obesity Topic in Favor of the EBM or CIM?

We mentioned author Gary Taubes earlier. If this topic is of interest to you, he has some outstanding books that explore various obesity-related topics and does a deep dive into why too much added sugar is so unhealthy for us.

So what do you think? do we become obese by taking in more calories than we expend? Or is it more about the quality and quantity of carbohydrates and what those sugar calories do to our physiology over time?

Jules Hirsch of Rockefeller University, one of the most celebrated obesity researchers, told Gary Taubes in 2002 that after 40 years of research he still didn’t know why people got fat to begin with. Looks like this debate will rage on for a bit longer but let’s hope it’s not another hundred years!

References

Taubes, G. (2021). How a “fatally, tragically flawed” paradigm has derailed the science of obesity. STAT.

Ludwig, D., et al. (2021). The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab270

Try Jefit App Today

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Activities to Bring Your Exercise Routine to the Next Level

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There are many activities to choose from when trying to get in or stay in shape. Some activities are better than others and may be more beneficial when added as part of a weekly exercise routine.

The following three activities are some of the best based on their high energy expenditure. Each is ideal in their own right because they offer multiple options. The following activities also fit well as part of a warm-up or for circuit training.

Add Jumping Rope to Your Exercise Routine

There is a great deal of research on the benefits of jumping rope. One such study, was led by John Baker of Arizona State University. He divided 92 male students into two groups. One half of the group skipped rope for 10-minutes a day while the other half jogged for 30-minutes a day. After six-weeks, the men were administered the Harvard Step Test to measure changes in cardiovascular fitness. Each group showed an equal level of improvement.

Baker concluded that 10-minutes a day of jumping rope was as efficient as 30-minutes a day of jogging. He meant meant more specifically, when looking to improve cardiovascular efficiency. He recommends jumping rope, which is less time-consuming than jogging, as a valuable component for any physical education program; especially when the goal is to improve endurance. A 2013 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found 10-minute “bursts” of exercise, like rope jumping, added to your daily quota of exercise, improves fitness.  It concluded that ‘some exercise is better than nothing’ and that by adding small bouts of exercise you can lead to a big impact.

Jumping rope will expend about a 750 calories an hour depending on bodyweight (at 120-140 turns per minute). This is equivalent to running close to a six-minute mile pace. When the intensity is increased, the caloric expenditure can increase to 1000 calories or more per hour. A boxer can hit 300 RPM in a minute of jumping rope. You can also experiment with a weighted jump rope or wear a weight vest to challenge yourself more.

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Rowing is a Great Addition to any Exercise Routine

There is a reason why facilities like Crossfit, have ergs or Concept 2 rowing machines lined up. It is a complete, full body workout that uses about 85 percent of the muscles on the body. Rowing alone is a great exercise. It is ideal for a WOD or placed in a circuit. Finally, it can be a beneficial warm-up prior to hitting the weight. Try a 500 meter row prior to your next strength workout. If you want a great aerobic test, try to row 500 meters in about a minute thirty! For a great full body workout try the following routine:

30-20-10 Rowing Protocol – Start with an easy row for 3 to 5 minutes to warm-up. Then row 30-seconds at a low intensity, followed by 20-seconds using a moderate intensity and finally, row all out, high intensity, for 10-seconds. Repeat x 5 and cool-down. Progress to doing this x 10 rounds.

Try HIIT for Maximal Gains in Minimal Time

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an exercise topic that arguably been studied more in the past decade than any other. It is highly likely, that every aspect of HIIT has been looked at. Research from Petrofsky and colleagues (2011) in the Journal of Applied Physiology is one such example. In that study, a 6-minute HIIT protocol elevated metabolism in test subjects for 36 hours. A second study, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, showed similar results. Subjects in this study performed just 27 minutes a week of interval-based exercise. The study showed VO2 max and work output increased 11 and 4.3 percent respectively in just 6 weeks.

The Jefit app offers many HIIT options for all training abilities, with equipment or just bodyweight. In addition, cardio intervals are great for burning some calories on the days you don’t do strength training. Add some of these activities into your weekly training routines to take your program to the next level.

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What is Your Healthy Body Fat Range?

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It seems like every time we pick up a magazine or surf the web we’re overwhelmed with outlandish weight-loss claims. Let’s do a reset on this for 2021 and change the narrative. Rather than focus on weight loss like so many of us do, let’s start looking more at our percent body fat level. Do you know what your current body fat level is? You should know this number and monitor it over time.

The ideal body fat percentage for an adult varies depending on the age of the individual. Other variables that also come into play are gender, genetics, bone structure and their exercise level. College-age men typically carry 15% body fat while women have 23%, keep in mind that these numbers are for non-athletes.

Women:

  • 20-40 yrs old: Low fat: under 21 percent, Healthy: 21-33 percent, Overweight: 33-39 percent, Obese: Over 39 percent
  • 41-60 yrs old: Low fat: under 23 percent, Healthy: 23-35 percent, Overweight : 35-40 percent Obese: over 40 percent
  • 61-79 yrs old: Low fat: under 24 percent, Healthy: 24-36 percent, Overweight: 36-42 percent, Obese: over 42 percent

Men:

  • 20-40 yrs old: Low fat: under 8 percent, Healthy: 8-19 percent, Overweight: 19-25 percent, Obese: over 25 percent
  • 41-60 yrs old: Low fat: under 11 percent, Healthy: 11-22 percent, Overweight: 22-27 percent, Obese: over 27 percent
  • 61-79 yrs old: Low fat: under 13 percent, Healthy: 13-25 percent, Overweight: 25-30 percent, Obese: over 30 percent

Stepping onto a bathroom scale does not tell you the real story about your overall health. Your bodyweight is not as important as how much body fat you carry. Once you can determine your body fat level, you then have a better understanding of the ratio of muscle to fat that make up your overall bodyweight.

For example, a women who weights 145 pounds and has 33% body fat, can calculate that she has “about” 48 pound of fat and 97 pounds of muscle, bone and fluid. A male, who is 205 pounds and has 25% body fat can determine he is carrying “about” 51 pounds of fat weight and about 154 pounds of muscle, bone and fluid. Once this is known, you can start using the Jefit app to keep track of how this number changes over time. In both of these cases, the goal would be to lose fat weight while maintaining or gaining muscle, depending of course what your goals are.

Monitoring your body fat is important, and in turn, offers great insight into the status of your overall health and fitness. As you see, it’s a valuable metric to follow and offers insight into understanding if a particular strength training program is actually working.

Use Jefit to Record & Monitor Your Body Fat and More

Try doing what millions of others have already done, use the award-winning Jefit app as their workout log. This in turn, will help you meet your fitness goals. By providing an extensive exercise library, you can pick and choose your workouts according to your goals. You can also join our members-only Facebook group where you can connect and interact with your fellow Jefit members. Share your successes, stories, advice, and tips so you learn and grow together. Stay Strong!

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Try These Body Hack Techniques to Improve Performance

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The majority of people who engage in exercise or team sports often look for ways to improve their performance. With that, brings us to how we can better “hack” our body to improve performance, some also call this DIY science….or biohacking. Dave Asprey, a biohacker who created the company Bulletproof, defines biohacking as “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so that you have full control over your own biology.” 

Why Try to Hack Your Body Anyway?

There are many people out there who try to hack their body to improve performance, on some level. They typically do this basically because they have a strong desire to feel better and to see just how far they can push their body. A lot of people are hacking their body essentially to try and live as long as possible. Dave Asprey as an example, has been quoted as saying he wants to live to 180 years old.

Another well-known body or bio hacker is Tim Ferris, author of the best-selling book, The 4-Hour Body. Ferris has a well-known reputation for trying to hack just about everything related to his body. He does a great job chronicling his experiences on his website and through his books.

Now that you have a better understanding of what trying to hack your body is all about, check this out.

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Mindful breath work can have a positive impact on everything from stress reduction to improved sports performance.

Breath Work: An Easy Way to Improve Performance

We all know how to breath intuitively and how important breathing is since it gives us life. Best-selling author, James Nestor, author a new book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art looks into the science behind your breath. He offers up some great easy-to-follow tips that you can use in your practice right now. I actually tried his 6-second breath technique on my morning walk today. You can try this when seated (or like me, walking). Take in a long, slow breath through your nose only, for 5-6 seconds. Then exhale slowly for the same amount of time and try this for about 6 repetitions. The goal of this type of breathing, is to help more nitric oxide enter your body and tissues. It’s been reported that when you breathe through your nose, nasal resistance increases by 200 percent and this in turn helps release more oxygen. If you were wondering, mouth breathing does not let your body take advantage of the sinuses production of nitric oxide.

Nasal Versus Mouth Breathing

Take a moment and try this now. Close your mouth and breathe slowly in/out through your nose for about minute. According to a lot of the science out there, “breathing through your nose is one of the most beneficial things you can do for the overall health of your body and for your longevity.” You may already know the value of breath work, if you practice yoga on a regular basis. Think about this for a minute. How great would it be if we could get a legitimate boost in performance by simply breathing slowly through our nose only? For additional reading, check this great article out on the science of breathing by Sarah Novotny and Len Kravitz, Ph.D. and this research paper on effects of nasal breathing in runners.

There are many experts and researchers who think breath work should become a component in health & fitness model. Meaning, you work on strength, flexibility, cardio, nutrition, etc. – why not also incorporate breath work as part of your daily routine? Try adding it in when you warm-up or as part of your relaxation/meditation time during the day.

Mobility: Unlock Tight Hips to Improve Performance

We typically spend a great deal of our time in the gym pushing weights or doing cardio. One key area that often gets overlooked is mobility. Mobility can be defined as freedom of movement without pain through a full range of motion. Mobility exercises can be done as part of a warm-up if you’re always rushed for time. They are great for reducing joint pain, improving a fuller range of motion and can even reduce the chance of injury. We all know tight muscles and connective tissue are an accident waiting to happen.

When you want to squat, lunge, or lift weights better, mobility work is key, especially when it comes to the hips. You may have limited hip mobility because of an old injury, you don’t work on mobility or you may sit or drive all day for work. In any event, tight hips can cause, over time, a chain reaction resulting in dysfunctional movement. Over time your hip joints will become tight if not addressed appropriately, you’ll begin to notice issues when performing exercises like Squats and Deadlifts.

Some of the Better Hip Exercises You Should Do?

There are a lot of different directions you could go here. This is an opportunity to use the Jefit app and perform this series of exercises. Complete each exercise below slowly, working through a full range of motion. Perform each exercise as a hip and glute warm-up prior to working out, especially on leg day, and you’ll eventually see an improvement in hip mobility. Some may not be pure hip mobility drills but doing these will in turn improve glute/hip function. Perform each movement for 30-seconds then move to the next and repeat the circuit twice. Over time you can increase your time spent on each one.

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Use the Jefit App

Jefit is an award-winning gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep track of their fitness goals. Not only does it give you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers weight training, cardio and flexibility.

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10 Tips for Helping You Sustain a Healthy Lifestyle

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No one needs to tell us that we’re currently living in unprecedented times. The health of everyone in this country, and worldwide for that matter, is at the forefront of all our minds. It is more important than ever to try and follow a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. How do you know if you’re living a healthy lifestyle in the first place? Harvard Health reports you’re considered healthy if you can answer “yes” to all the following criteria. (1) healthy diet, (2) healthy body weight, (3) never smoked, (4) consume moderate amounts of alcohol and (5) exercise regularly.

What’s Considered a Healthy Lifestyle?

According to Harvard Health, one important component to this type of lifestyle is a healthy diet. Meaning, an “intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids”. In addition, avoid unhealthy foods like “processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.” No smoking in a no-brainer. A healthy body weight according to the site, is a body mass index (BMI), between 18.5 and 24.9. But to be honest, this is not the best metric to monitor, instead focus on your percent body fat. The reason why BMI may not be great is because it doesn’t take into account the amount of muscle mass you have. On the alcohol side, no more than one drink/day/women and two drinks/day/men. A healthy physical activity level means roughly 30-minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week.

Does Living a Healthy Lifestyle Actually Add Years to Your Life?

The research does in fact demonstrate that living a healthy lifestyle can add years to your life. Individuals who met the criteria for all five habits (listed above) enjoyed living longer lives than those who had none: 14 additional years for women and 12 years for men to be exact. People who had none of these habits “were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.” There is also additional research that reports similar findings to this in the Journal of American Medical Association.

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Are you getting a minimum of 30-minutes of moderate or vigorous activity most days of the week?

You probably have the exercise piece down already, especially if you’re using the Jefit app to help record and track your workouts. Here are some additional ways to move towards a healthy lifestyle, in addition to the five criteria mentioned in the research studies above.

10 Ways to Help You Live Better and Longer

Exercise

  • Burn 1,100 Calories a Week. Duke University scientists discovered that this amount of calories expended from exercise prevents the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue (fat). This type of belly fat causes arterial inflammation and hypertension. Are you falling short of this number? Try joining a sports a league. One study reported that people who exercised in groups boosted their average weekly calorie burn by 500 a week.
  • Hit the Weights. University of Michigan scientists found that people who completed three strength workouts/week for two months lowered their diastolic blood pressure by an average of eight points. That’s enough to reduce the risk of stroke by 40% and heart attack by 15%.
  • Find the Time to Exercise. People who exercise for 2 hours/week are less likely to feel stressed than their sedentary counterparts, say researchers from Denmark.
  • Get on Those Daily Chores. Doing 150 calories’ worth of chores a day can lower blood pressure by 13 points, according to Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The reduction lasts only 8 hours, but make it a daily habit and you can lower your blood pressure in the long term.

Diet & Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Drink Five 8-Ounce Glasses of Water a Day. Those drinking this amount of H2O were 54% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack compared to people who drank two glasses a day.
  • Try a Natural Remedy. Israeli scientists found eating one grapefruit a day lowers cholesterol by 20% even in people who don’t respond to statins.
  • Cut Down on Sweets. Tufts University researchers found low-sugar diets had lower levels of depression and anxiety than those who consumed all types of carbohydrates. The happier people also limited their total carbohydrate intake to 40% of their daily total calories.
  • Enjoy Your Joe. Brooklyn College researchers discovered drinking 4 cups of coffee a day lowers your risk of dying of heart disease by 53%.
  • Indulge Your Chocolate Craving. A 15-year study by Dutch scientists found men who ate 4 grams of cocoa/day had half the risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate less. That’s the equivalent of two 25-calorie Hershey Kisses – an amount that can fit into any diet.

Stress Free Lifestyle

  • Try to Laugh More. A 15-minute funny video improves blood flow to your heart by 50%, reported by the University of Maryland. “This may reduce blood-clot formation, cholesterol deposition, and inflammation,” says study author Michael Miller, MD.

Hopefully this article has offered you a little more insight on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. If so, maybe you feel like you’re more equipped now to live a more healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Continue to focus on improving your mind body & spirit a bit more each day.

Use the Jefit App to Help You Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. Not only does it you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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Is it More Beneficial to Workout Before or After Work?

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One of the decisions you have to make when going to the gym is knowing when to actually go. You may be wondering, “should I workout before or after work?” While there is no right answer as it all comes down to your personal lifestyle and preference, in this post, we will help you make the decision. Here are all the things you need to take into account when it comes to deciding whether to work out before or after work.

Should I workout before or after work? Here are some points to consider.

How busy it is

One of the main concerns is how busy a gym is. It’s great to be with like-minded people. However, being in a too-crowded gym is not. However, this can make it too crowded. This may mean that you’ll have to wait to use popular equipment such as the treadmill, squat rack or leg press. Waiting time means that you will have to extend the time you spend at the gym.

Before work is typically quieter than after work. There are some early birds that want to get in a quick workout to wake up and be energised for the day. Then there are those who would prefer the extra sleeping time and head to the gym after work instead. Bear in mind though, this can also greatly depend on your local gym and how often you go. If you go two times a week, then you’ll need more equipment to cover a full body workout. If you go 4-5 times, then you will be needing fewer facilities. So take this into account as well.

There are certain peak times that the average gym has. In the morning, 6 am to 8 am tend to be busier. When it comes to after work times, anything from 5 pm to 8 pm can be busy. A great way to determine when your gym’s peak hours are is to Google it! On the right-hand side of the page, there should be a Google reviews section that contains a graph of “popular times”. You can use this to see whether working out before or after work is best for you.

So if you find that after work is too busy, then try coming in the morning so you don’t have to wait for equipment or rush to get to the elliptical first!

Energy levels

Like we mentioned before, there are early birds and night owls. If you find that you’re too sluggish in the morning, then after work may suit you better. However, if you find that a morning workout leaves you energised and ready to tackle the day, then stick to a before-work workout!

After all, there is no use going to a morning class if you’re going to spend half of it being tired and groggy. Likewise, why go to the gym in the afternoon if you’re too exhausted from work to properly train. Go when your energy level is at its highest so that you can make sure that you are getting an efficient workout that will actually help you progress.

Do you need to eat before a workout?

There is a lot of debate about whether or not you should eat before a workout. However, it’s really up to your personal preference. If you like to train fasted, then a morning workout may be a great option. That way, you can just roll out of bed, change into your training gear and head to the gym. On the other hand, if you need to eat, then bear in mind that this means you’ll have to work up earlier to have a small snack such as a banana with peanut butter. And yes, this will mean having to sacrifice a bit more sleep as well.

Alternatively, you can train after work so that you can make sure you are well fed beforehand. Just be sure that you don’t eat too much otherwise you’ll be too bloated and might get a stitch.

If you’re looking for tips on what to eat before and after a workout, check out this article!

Psychological Effects

Exercising makes people feel great. It releases endorphins that make you happy whether you workout before or after work.

Working out in the morning before work means that you’ll wake up feeling alive and refreshed. You’ll also feel really great knowing that you’ve already gotten your gym session over and done with. It’ll boost your mood, meaning you’re starting the day right (and your family and co-workers will be happy about that too!).

Working out after work has its place as well. Work can be pretty stressful, or you may have had some conflict with your family or friends. What a better way to get rid of that anger or stress out than by exercising it out? Go hard in that group fitness class, zen it out in yoga, walk it off on the treadmill, or lift those weights to lift the stress off of your shoulders.

You’ll also get a better sleep if you workout in the afternoon (but not too late at night!).

Workout before or after work with Jefit

Jefit is a workout log app that comes with a range of features. From the ability to schedule your workouts, track your record, connect with other members, and customize your workout plan, there is not much Jefit can’t do to help you get on track to hit your fitness goals. Download Jefit now!

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Inactivity Physiology: What is it and How to Avoid it

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We are all coming off a year where – most likely – our workouts and total energy expenditure dropped off dramatically during the course of a typical day. It is totally understandable.

A whole new field of study has developed recently called inactivity physiology.

Inactivity Physiology Defined

The inactivity physiology paradigm can be defined as:

“Inactivity physiology represents a paradigm shift for how we think about how lifestyle causes disease. Simply put, the inactivity physiology paradigm says that “too little exercise” is not the same as “too much sitting” (physical inactivity) and that too much sitting has very potent effects on the body contributing to the most common diseases.”

Think about this for a minute. You get up early to go for an hour run or head to the gym for a long workout. You then hop in the car and drive 30-45 minutes to work. Once you arrive at the office, what happens? That’s right, you sit in front of your computer to work and for meetings. You then typically sit more through lunch and throughout the rest of the day. After work you repeat the 30-45 minute drive home, which is now most likely longer due to rush hour traffic. After you get home you relax a bit, sit and catch the news, sit more during dinner and then watch more TV following dinner.

Well if that is the case, then (most) of the benefits derived from your workout earlier in the day may be erased. Now I know you stressed your body during that hour run or strength workout at the gym. You may think loading your bones and muscles and alleviating some stress is enough. This is all good. Sure, but the issue remains, you’re sitting for eight hours or more each day.

Let’s be honest, we can all increase our activity level a bit more …don’t you think? You need to increase the activity you do throughout the day – above and beyond your exercise session…it’s critical. There is abundance of research showing that additional energy expenditure during the day is vital for long-term health. According to Knudsen and colleagues, “aerobic capacity fell 7 percent in 14 days after reducing steps from 10,000 to 1,500 a day in active men not in exercise programs.  Here are some examples to help avoid this and help add more activity into your day.

10 Ways to Help Prevent Inactivity Physiology

To offset this try adding a few of the following throughout your day to increase daily activity especially while at work:

  • Build a standing work station at the office.
  • Kneel periodically at your desk (when checking emails) and stretch those tight hip flexors.
  • Get up every 20 minutes if you have a desk job and move and/or stretch.
  • If your errands are <1 mile from your house – choose walking/biking rather than driving.
  • Have “walking conference call” meetings at the office rather than sitting at a conference table.
  • Whenever you take calls on a cell phone make sure you get up and walk and talk.
  • Wear a pedometer and add 500 steps a day (goal: 10k/day) see Knudsen research paper below.
  • Turn your lunch into your workout time. Or take a long walk.
  • Limit your TV watching to <10 hours a week.
  • Your goal this week: try to stand one hour each day over the course of the week.

Suggested Reading:

Too Much Sitting is Hazardous to Your Health. Len Kravitz, PhD 

Are We Facing a New Paradigm of Inactivity Physiology? Br J Sports Medicine.

Is Sitting a Lethal Activity? NY Times article by James Vlahos

Genomic Aspects of Exercise, Inactivity, and Health, Frank Booth, PhD

Reference:

Knudsen, S. H., Hansen, L. S., Pedersen, M., Dejgaard, T. et al. (2012). Changes in insulin sensitivity precede changes in body composition during 14 days of step reduction combined with overfeeding in healthy young men. Journal of Applied Physiology.

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How to Get a Fitness Mindset for Success in 3 Easy Steps

fitness mindset

Getting in shape and becoming healthier is one of the most common resolutions that people make. While it is great that people want to make these changes, there are a few steps that you need to take to really put this resolution into action. Rather than tackle it as one large goal, it is best to break your plan into separate parts. The first thing you need to focus on is your fitness mindset for success.

Your mindset refers to your attitude. Your mental state plays such an important role in getting in shape. Without the proper mindset, you may find it a struggle to keep to your health and fitness journey. Cultivate your fitness mindset now so that when the initial motivation begins to slowly wane, you will be able to get through the tough times and stick to your guns.

Here Are 3 Ways on How to Make Sure That You Have the Right Fitness Mindset to Become the Healthier Version of You

1. Know Your Why

Don’t make this another year where you say you are going to do it but don’t. Make this year your year, and that means deciding to commit with the intention of remaining committed. It’s easy to become sidetracked when things become difficult or it takes longer than expected, but this is why you need to go into this with the attitude of sticking to it when the going gets tough.

So when you decide to get healthier, know your why. Your why determines why you want to make these changes and this is what you will have to remember every time you think of quitting and giving up. It is what sets you up for success. If you don’t know what your why is, then just ask yourself why are you doing it in the first place?!

You may want to become fitter, get more energy, lose weight, gain muscle, become stronger.

When you hit setbacks and obstacles, go back to your why. When you feel like quitting and giving up, think back to it. Doing so will give you a renewed sense of determination and motivation. Then, you can keep going with a fitness mindset set up for success.

2. Set Your Goals

Now that you know your why and have the right mindset, set your goals. Saying things like, “I want to lose weight,” is not good enough. It is too generic and broad and does not give you any direction. You need to set smart goals and be more specific when naming your goals. A trick is to follow the S.M.A.R.T principle which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Once you have done that, write your goal down on a piece of paper or post-it note and stick it somewhere you can easily see it every day. For example, above your desk or door. Also, put it in places where you have the most trouble with. If nutrition is your downfall, then put it on your fridge where you can see it every time you feel temptation.

3. Find a Support Group

Just remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Get a support group that knows your mission and can help you get there. They will also hold you accountable.

Find a workout/gym buddy. This way, your workouts can be more fun and sociable. If you are a fan of group fitness, then your class can be workout friends. If you like running, it doesn’t need to be a solo venture. Try finding some local running groups in your area that you can join. You will also be less tempted to skip out on the Sunday morning run if you know you will be letting other people down.

But it doesn’t just stop there. Your support group can even extend to an online community. There are plenty of fitness apps, Facebook or Twitter groups as well as other social media pages. Take advantage of them.

For example, Jefit has a membership page on Facebook where Jefit members can post and share any tips and wins with each other. Even if you have hit an obstacle, it is great to turn to your support group so that you can get encouragement and advice. It can really make a difference in your health journey.

So the first step into getting in shape is to train your mind first. Get in the right fitness mindset from the start so that you can better your progress in achieving your goals. Without the proper mental state, then you are automatically diminishing your chances of success.

Join a Supportive Community

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has an extensive exercise library database, as well as the ability to update and share your workout log. One of the best parts of Jefit is that it comes with a community forum and member-only Facebook page. Here, you will be surrounded by like-minded people who can help you! Join now for a fun, motivating, and encouraging support system!

fitness mindset

7 Simple Healthy Habits to Kick-Start Your Health Journey

simple healthy habits

If becoming healthier is on your bucket list for 2021, it can be quite daunting to think about the task ahead of you. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it may seem. In fact, there are easy and simple healthy habits that you can start implementing into your everyday, soon-to-be, post-pandemic life, to help get you in the right direction. Want to know what they are? Keep reading!

Ease into your health journey with these 7 simple healthy habits

1. Include incidental exercise

If you are looking to work out more in your daily life, then including incidental exercise is a great way to amp up your efforts. It refers to the exercise we get from our day-to-day activities such as walking. We often get it in small doses throughout the day but after a while, this can all accumulate and actually help us become healthier.

One of the best ways to include more incidental exercise is to start taking the stairs instead of the elevator or lift, especially if you are only going a couple of floors down/up. By taking the stairs, you can get your body moving a lot more and your heart rate up. If you climb two flights of stairs to get to work, that’s four flights of stairs a day, and twenty altogether by the end of the work week!

If the station or your workplace is near you, then you can also try cycling or walking to work instead of driving. This can easily add an extra 20 minutes of exercise to your day. And the best thing is, incidental exercise means that you are not going out of your way to get moving. It is just choosing healthier and better options.

As you can see, by including incidental exercise and making it one of your simple healthy habits, you can really amp up your health and workout efforts.

2. Stretch/exercise while watching TV

A 2016 study revealed that “On average, American adults are watching five hours and four minutes of television per day.” That’s a lot of time spent sitting in front of the TV doing nothing but watching. So, why not use this time efficiently?

By stretching and exercising while watching TV, you can essentially kill two birds with one stone.
You don’t even need any equipment, just use your bodyweight and what you have. For example, air squats are great moves to do using just your bodyweight. If you have a couch or bed near the TV, then why not do some tricep dips? You can even do modified push-ups against the furniture during ad breaks.

If you do have dumbbells or resistance bands, then take advantage of them as well. Try doing some bicep curls or tricep extensions.

Not only can you get in some exercise, the TV can keep you distracted from any exhaustion or tiredness you may feel.

During the ad breaks, you can intensify the workout where you don’t have to look at the screen. After a one-hour show, that’s basically an extra hour of exercise you snuck into your day. By doing this when you are watching TV, you can start to build some simple healthy habits.

3. Track your workouts

Another great simple healthy habit you should implement in your daily life is tracking your workouts. There are many great apps out there, like Jefit, that makes this step so easy and simple.

Tracking your workouts can really help you in making progress in your health and fitness journey. By actually recording everything that you did, you can see how you have improved, what has helped improve it and what hasn’t. Then, you can make adjustments as needed.

It can also show you how far you’ve come when you are in need of some motivation.

4. Plan your exercise times

Despite the best intentions, people tend to skip over the gym sessions and say, “I’ll go tomorrow”. A way to get out of this habit is to plan your gym times and schedule it in your calendar like it is an important meeting. You wouldn’t just dismiss your meeting with a client because you were tired, or didn’t have time—you would stick it out and see it through.

That is exactly how you should see your workout times.

Start making a habit of scheduling in your gym sessions in your calendar and change your approach to it as though it is a meeting you cannot miss. This will help you maintain your gym schedule and get that exercise in. Eventually, going to the gym will become a natural habit.

5. Choose water over other drinks

When you go out, do you opt for a soft drink or maybe a juice? These can dramatically increase your sugar intake. Another one of our great simple healthy habits you can implement now is by always choosing water (besides the occasional treat).

We all know how important and how great water is. So imagine how much healthier you will be if you increase your water intake? It may be hard at first but it will be well worth it in the end.

6. Fill half your plate with vegetables

We tend to neglect our veggies and struggle to meet our minimum daily servings. To rectify this, start by filling half your plate with vegetables first. This way, you can make sure that you are eating whole foods that are not only delicious but great for you.

7. Find a support group

So while this isn’t exactly a healthy habit, finding a support group can really help you stick to your simple healthy habits. By interacting with like-minded individuals, you can really have a great supportive and encouraging network to turn to during times when you are struggling, when you want to share a win and when you want to train in a group!

Jefit can help you stick to your simple healthy habits

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. Not only does it you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training, cardio and stretching. Start keeping your simple healthy habits with the help of Jefit!

simple healthy habits

Fit for Life: 6 Habits for Healthy Aging

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Many men fool themselves into thinking they can wait to focus on their health until sometime in the future when they’re less busy; however, the habits we develop and maintain in our 20’s and 30’s end up shaping us and are important for healthy aging.
That’s according to Dr. Martin Miner, Regional Medical Director of Vault Health, who’s an expert authority on aging successfully and integrative men’s health. 
Dr. Miner spoke with Jefit and has revealed seven important habits that most men over 30 are NOT currently doing to improve their health and should be:

Realizing that your body is communicating with you

Becoming acutely aware of your own physical and emotional feelings is something many men neglect to do, and it has a negative impact on their health as they age. Dr. Miner says: “Take command of your feelings and life, and learn to take actions that steer the ship the way you want to go.”

Going to the doctor when you’re not sick

Seeing a doctor regularly can help the doctor find problems early or even before they start.

Rethinking your typical daily diet

The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows, eating fewer calories can boost health. But Dr. Miner says you should also make sure to get adequate nutrients, vitamins, and fluids to ensure healthy aging.

Exercising consistently (instead of intermittently)

Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also lowers stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and mood.

Taking stress reduction seriously

The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease. Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you live and age well. In addition, testosterone levels are reduced in response to stress according to studies. stress, testosterone,

Investing in your relationships

This is more crucial than ever coming off the heels of this pandemic when many people have slipped into isolation. Studies show that meaningful relationships and a strong social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. If you don’t currently have an active social life, look for opportunities to reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Seek out like-minded others at work, church groups, volunteer activities, gyms, alumni groups, or any other group that corresponds to an interest of yours.

Healthy aging isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care, says Dr. Miner. Ideally, you’ll have already been practicing healthy habits throughout your life. But even if you haven’t, it’s never too late to start taking proactive steps to maintain and even improve your health. 
The good news is, it’s never too late to adopt new habits and improve your lifestyle.

Use Jefit app for your workouts

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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Losing Body Fat Short Term Improves Life Long Term

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Today, much of the population struggles with being overweight. The mortality rate of the population worldwide is higher for obesity-related conditions than for anorexia-related issues or starvation. Our obesity rates result from a variety of factors, such as excess consumption of fast food, food manufacturers bombarding their products with harmful ingredients, and our excessive sedentary lifestyles. The result is an eventual increase in body fat over time.

If you’re currently overweight or obese, losing body fat can reduce your risk of developing many health complications that could potentially be serious. Even a slight weight loss (and maintenance) of 5 percent of your current total body weight can offer health benefits. Shedding those extra pounds can be akin to pulling teeth, though! And as we get older, our metabolisms tend to slow down, compounding the problem even further. Therefore, we must make the distinction of approaching weight loss as a healthy, sustainable lifestyle involving balanced nutrition and exercise instead of a diet or, worse yet – a dreaded crash diet!

Let’s take a look at some reasons why staying lean and getting into shape will help you and your life in the long run.

Reduced Risk of Developing Diabetes

Being overweight increases your chances of developing type-2 diabetes. One’s BMI plays a strong relationship in diabetes and insulin resistance. The more excess weight your body carries, the more resistant your tissue and muscle cells become to the insulin hormone. People who have type 1 diabetes also need to keep their weight under control. An abundance of fatty tissue can make it difficult for insulin to work correctly, leading to raised insulin levels and trouble controlling blood sugar.

Lower Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure can pose chronic health problems—the risk of developing high blood pressure triples for adults with excess weight issues. On the positive side, each pound of weight loss can lead to a drop of one point in both the upper (systolic) and lower (diastolic) number readings in your blood pressure measurements.

Less Joint and Knee Pain

Did you know that around four pounds of extra stress get placed on the knee joints for each additional pound you carry? So, for example, A 150-pound person who is 10-pounds overweight will add 40 more pounds of pressure to every step. But that same person would experience a 30-pound pressure relief if they achieved a total body weight loss of 5 percent.

Reduced Heartburn

The bad news is extra body fat places excess pressure on your stomach, which can force a reflex action of stomach acid up into the esophagus, resulting in that fiery heartburn discomfort. The good news is dropping weight relieves some of this pressure and eases the effects of heartburn.

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Extra Energy!

By losing some weight, you’ll feel more energized! The more body fat you accumulate, the harder your body has to work to carry out essential functions and movement, resulting in that sluggish and lethargic feeling. The body needs more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule that powers every cell, which is why you feel tired. However, when you manage to shift the body fat, you use up less ATP resulting in higher energy levels for all the tasks you wish to carry out! Overall, you feel better and healthier.

Improved Sleep

Overweight individuals are more susceptible to having poor quality of sleep and possibly even experiencing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a troubling condition characterized by multiple pauses in breathing occurring throughout the night. Reducing weight can often minimize sleep apnea episodes, letting the person finally catch a good night’s sleep!

Increased Self-Esteem

In short, losing body fat and getting in shape makes you feel good about yourself on all levels – body, mind, and soul! You look better, which in turn boosts your self-esteem. You have more confidence to tackle daily interactions and feel more positive about life in general.

Following a healthy and balanced diet that includes all your macro and micronutrients is key to shedding body fat. Your daily meal plan should involve each of the major food groups, as well as vitamins and minerals. The primary food groups include proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats and oils, dairy or non-dairy alternatives, fruit and veg, and vitamins and minerals. Be sure to practice sensible portion control as well. A good rule of thumb for the portion size of protein and starches is the size of the palm of your hand. The rest of the meal should be constituted of plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, and salads. In addition, be sure to integrate exercise and movement into your life routine.

We can take some inspiration from the way the French maintain their diets. They tend to remain in shape naturally. But, how do they do it, you ask? In general, they don’t indulge in overeating, and avoid processed foods and instead opt for fresh, natural ingredients. They will typically enjoy a small healthy breakfast, including cereal, yogurt with fruit, or muesli or bread. Lunch and dinner will include conservative portions of meat, veggies, and carbs, and some cheese and coffee to round off the meal.

More Apt to Exercise

Ensure exercise, movement, and activity are a part of your daily routine and that you enjoy them. It could take many forms, such as the gym or home training and doing cardio, weight training, strength, or resistance training. Or you might be someone who likes sports or activities like tennis, swimming, yoga, and other outside or indoor activities. Focus on building your lean muscle up, as muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, thus speeding up your resting metabolic rate.

The ultimate goal of fat loss is to improve your overall health and well-being, so you can lead a long and prosperous life and experience a good quality of life right into your old age. If you feel stumped and overwhelmed about tackling weight loss on your own, you might find it helpful to consult the following wellness services.

Use Jefit App

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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