Category Archives: Lifestyle

Successful People Prioritize Sleep

Indy Core Fitness Sleep Quality

Successful Living

We’ve all heard it said that if you want to be successful examine the lives of others who are successful. When you study successful people patterns begin to emerge. One of the things they all have in common is they sleep well. And by now, all should know that sleep is vital to good health, longevity, and peak performance.
 

It’s Crazy Out There

Today’s world is a place of hustle and bustle, constant interruptions. There’s always that next thing that desperately needs completing today. Day to day living is stressful. Getting plenty of rest can help combat stress but here’s the problem: Stress can impact rest in a bad way.

What to Do?

Cutting back on caffeine and making bedtime a routine is a start, but quality sleep is also requires good daytime habits. Here’s some things highly productive people do to make sure they sleep well.
Almost all highly successful people get at least 6 hours of sleep, every night. The most successful businesspeople usually get 6–8 hours a night, averaging about 7. Elite athletes usually sleep ten or more hours, with some, like Lebron James, averaging 11–12 hours a night.
Stick to a Schedule
Aside from the amount of sleep successfully people get, they’re also notable for the regularity of their sleep schedule. The healthiest, most productive people tend to go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Even when they travel, they make it their top priority to adjust to their new time zone within a day so that jet lag won’t keep dragging them down.
Stay Active During the Day
Richard Branson goes for a run almost every day at 6 AM. Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes, 6 days a week. Highly productive people make sure to exercise, even when they’re busy. Hell, they exercise because they’re busy. They understand that a good exercise routine doesn’t cost you time- it actually gives you more time, by giving you more energy and a healthier brain.
Get Some Sunshine
In addition to working out, successful people also make sure to get plenty of light during the day. If they work indoors, they keep the lights bright, the windows uncovered; they make an effort to get outside when they can. They understand that bright light signals their brains to stay away and alert- while also making it easier for the brain to understand that night time is sleep time.
 
Both light and exercise during the day will help make it easier to sleep at night. By being more awake and active during the day- by making daytime truly feel like daytime– you heighten the contrast between day and night, reinforcing your body’s circadian rhythm.
Sleep in a Room Designed for Sleep
“Aren’t all bedrooms designed for sleep?” You ask.  Well in theory, yes. In practice?  Not so much.
 
A well-designed bedroom is a room without distractions. That means no TV, no computer and in my own case, no music-making instruments. There should be no light and noise disturbing you at night. And never, NEVER work in your bedroom.  Never. Highly productive people never work in their bedroom and you shouldn’t either.
 
Successful people never bring anything into their bedroom that causes stress. Aside from sleeping, you shouldn’t be doing very much in your bedroom. Having sex, changing clothes, maybe a little light fiction reading before bed, but that’s it. Controlling your sleep environment is one of the best things you can do to sleep better and improve your overall energy level.
Wrapping it All Up
One would conclude that the most productive people in the world are working almost every waking hour. Some of them probably come close, but all successful people understand the importance of relaxation.
 
Highly productive people prioritize sleep and keep it separate it from work. They never bring work into the bedroom- they’d rather work literally anywhere else, even standing at the kitchen counter.
 
Highly productive make sure to stop working at least a half hour before bed. They follow a set pre-bed routine designed to help them unwind so they can de-stress and get to sleep quickly. Just like sleep time, pre-bed relaxation time is held sacrosanct.

All In Favor Of Better Health Please Stand

indy core fitness sitting working risks
Work While Standing

It is now scientific fact that too much sitting is bad for your health.  Human beings are not “designed” to sit for long periods of time. Unfortunately, technology has led to a situation where people are sitting through their workday and then going home to sit some more while watching television or playing an electronic game.  Do you fit into this common profile?  If so, you have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and decreased life-span potential.
Additionally, sitting around is hampering your ability to burn calories.  Studies have linked long periods of sitting to weight gain and obesity.
If you are an office worker and are seated most of the day then you have a problem that puts you at risk.
And there is more to this than your own health concerns.

  • Studies in call-centers have found that those who handle calls while standing close twice as many sales as those who are seated most of the day.
  • This has not gone unnoticed in the world of business and now many companies are outfitting their work areas with desks that can be quickly raised for standing work or dropped for seated work.
What the heck is a standing desk?
  • A standing desk, sometimes referred to as stand-up desk, allows you to stand up comfortably while working
  • Modern versions of the standing desk, sometimes referred to as height-adjustable desks, are adjustable to that the height can be quickly changed so that you can alternate between standing and sitting.
  • As noted earlier, businesses have taken notice that the height-adjustable desks have both health benefits and productivity benefits.
Standing Lowers Your Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity
  • Weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than you can burn. Conversely, weight loss occurs when you take in fewer calories than you are burning.
  • Standing for half of your workday has been shown to burn an additional 170 calories per workday.  That can add up to about 1,000 additional calories burned per week.
Using a Standing Desk Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels
  • The more your blood sugar levels increase after meals, the worse it is for your health and this is especially true for those with type 2 diabetes.
  • A recent study of 10 office workers showed that standing for 180 minutes after lunch reduced the blood sugar spike by 43%.
  • Another study showed that alternating between standing and sitting every 30 minutes throughout the workday reduced blood sugar spikes by an average of 11%.
  • The harmful effects of sitting after meals may explain why excessive sitting is linked to a 112% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • These studies show that using a standing desk at work can lower blood sugar levels, especially after lunch.
Standing Reduces Your Risk of Developing Heart Disease
  • The idea that standing is better for heart health was first proposed way back in 1953.
  • A study found that bus conductors who stood all day had half the risk of heart disease-related deaths as the seated bus driver.
  • Today science has a better understanding of the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.  Studies suggest that standing on the job when compared to prolonged sitting may decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 147%.
  • How harmful is sitting all day?  Even an hour of intense exercise may not make of for the negative effects of a day spent seated at a desk.
  • There should be no doubt in your mind that spending more time on your feet is beneficial for heart health.
Does Your Back Hurt?  Try Standing
  • Back pain is the most common complaints of office workers who sit all day.Several studies were completed on employees who suffered long-term back pain.
  • 32% of the participants reported improvement in lower back pain after several weeks of using a standing desk.
  • A CDC study found that use of a sit-stand desk reduced upper back and neck pain by 54% after just 4 weeks.
    Removal of the sit-stand desks reversed some of those improvements within a 2-week period.
Feeling Moody and Fatigued?
  • Standing desks appear to have a positive influence on overall well-being.
  • In one 7-week study, participants used standing desks and reported less stress and more energy throughout the workday.
    Upon returning to their old desks, all of the gains were erased.
  • These findings align with broader research on sitting and mental health linking sedentary time with an increased risk of both depression and anxiety.
Productivity Benefits
  • A common concern about standing desks is that they hinder daily tasks, such as typing.
  • While standing each afternoon may take some getting used to, standing desks appear to have no significant impact on typical work tasks.
  • In a study of 60 young office employees, using a standing desk for 4 hours each day had no impact on characters typed per minute or typing errors.
  • Considering that standing improves mood and energy as well, using a standing desk is more likely to boost productivity rather than hinder it.
Standing Up For Longer Life
  • Studies have linked increased sitting time and early death.
  • Again, there is a strong association that prolonged sitting increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  This two conditions can appreciably reduce longevity.
  • In fact, a review of 18 studies found those who sit the most are at a 49% greater risk of dying early than those who sit the least.
  • Another study suggested that reducing sitting time to 3 hours per day can raise the average American’s life expectancy by 2 years.
  • Avoiding the problems that can arise from prolonged sitting may help lengthen our lifespan.
It’s Time to Take a Stand

This is why sitting less and standing more is such an important lifestyle change.
Most office supply companies who sell office furniture will have sit-stand desks.
If you decide to switch to a sit-stand desk you should start out splitting your time 50-50 between standing and sitting.

Myth #1: Cardio is the Only Way to Lose Weight

Which of the following pictures depict the best form of exercise for weight loss?

If you chose the dumbbells in the picture on the far right, then you are correct!

It is a common misconception that long-duration, steady-state cardiovascular exercise, such as riding an exercise bike, using an elliptical, or running on a treadmill for an extended amount of time, is the only way to decrease body fat and lose weight.

First, it is important to mention that this form of exercise is beneficial and should not be taken completely out of an exercise program. In fact, HIIT exercise training and interval training are very valuable forms of exercise. However, hours of cardio and nothing else is not the most effective way to reach your weight loss goal.

So, how much do you need to exercise to lose weight?

The American College of Sports Medicine is a nationally recognized leader in the fitness industry. Otherwise known as ACSM, this organization gives the following guidelines regarding exercise with the goal of weight loss:

ACSM recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent significant weight gain and reduce associated chronic disease risk factors. For most adults, this amount of physical activity can be easily achieved in 30 minutes/day, five days a week. Overweight and obese individuals will most likely experience greater weight reduction and prevent weight regain with 250+ minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity. ACSM also recommends strength training as part of this health and fitness regimen, in order to increase fat-free mass and further reduce health risks.

How does strength training help you lose body fat?

In addition to improving your body composition, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) also describes how resistance training contributes to fat loss.

In a NASM article entitled “Resistance Training Tips,” author Fabio Comana says that resistance training contributes to, “the preservation of, or an increase in muscle mass and bone density, and an elevated metabolic rate that effectively helps us burn more calories and lose unwanted body fat.”

To achieve your 2017 fitness goals, call Indy Core Wellness & Fitness at (317) 430-0063.

Myth #4: You Have to Do Aerobic Activity to Lose Weight

Lose the Misconception You Have to Do Aerobic Activity to Lose Weight

By: Matt Nicholson

While aerobic activity is certainly important and can greatly contribute to weight loss, there is a common misconception that aerobic activity is the only exercise that will lead to weight loss or that strength training will add muscle mass and cause weight gain.  “We naturally lose muscle mass as we age, so we need an activity that helps us maintain muscle mass as we get older”, says Rania Mekary, a researcher with Harvard School of Public Health.
Continue reading Myth #4: You Have to Do Aerobic Activity to Lose Weight

FIT in Your Recovery

By: Megan Lambert

Previous posts have addressed topics such as foam rolling, voodoo flossing, stretching and flexibility, as well as active recovery techniques. Adding on to this theme, in the third part of the FIT series, we will discuss how to practically apply recovery techniques in your busy schedule.

5 simple ways to incorporate recovery techniques in your daily life:

  1. Take a break every 1-2 hours.

If your job includes sitting in an office chair or staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day, then this tip is especially applicable for you. Every few hours, make a conscious effort to stand up, walk around the room, do a few stretches. Give yourself a short break. Not only will your muscles thank you, but you may even return to your task more alert and focused.

  1. Carry a lacrosse ball in your purse or briefcase.

When you have a random five minutes at the doctor’s office or are waiting in the school carpool line to pick up your daughter, you could spend those five minutes scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or, you could use a lacrosse ball to target sore muscles from your workout the day before!

  1. Carry a gallon jug of water with you.

Are you drinking enough water every day? One way to hydrate is to keep a gallon of water in your car. That way, when your water bottle is empty and you are out of the house, all you need to do is fill it up again and keep drinking.

  1. Foam roll or stretch while watching TV.

It is easy to get sucked into mindlessly watching television to unwind at the end of the day. And it is a good thing to unwind! But, what if you devote 20 minutes of the hour in a half you spend on the couch working on your flexibility and mobility? That 20 minutes will go a long way toward reaching your goals.

  1. Start your morning with a mobility exercise.

Before brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast, or taking a shower, begin your day by performing one movement that will benefit your body and help your mobility. Some examples include rolling the bottom of your feet on a lacrosse ball, performing 10 slow squats, and doing a hip stretch. This way, you set a precedent at the beginning of the day that you are going to resist the urge to ignore your sore muscles and help your body recover.

FIT in Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

This is the second article in our three-part “FIT” series, which discusses practical ways to implement an exercise routine, a dynamic warm-up, and a workout recovery into your daily life. Specifically, this article discusses what to do before your starting your workout. We already covered how important it is to carve out time in your daily schedule to exercise, but did you know that it is equally if not more important to prepare your body for exercise?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of warming up your muscles before activity as well as give you 10 simple movements that you can include in your routine.

Visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or contact us at (317)430-0063 to inquire about our personalized training programs and how we can help you reach your fitness goals!

Benefits of a warm-up:

Injury prevention

Just like a NASCAR driver wouldn’t begin a race without first warming up the car’s engine, so you should increase the temperature of your “vehicle” (your body’s musculature system) before beginning your “race” (your daily workout). By performing various dynamic stretches and movement patterns, you prepare your body for more rigorous movement. For example, performing body weight squats or sumo squats prepares your body a set of barbell back squats.

Improved mobility

The exercises found in a dynamic warm-up are based upon movement patterns such as squatting, jumping, rotating, etc. These are movements that citizens in our modern society struggle to complete on a daily basis. Dr. Kelly Starrett illustrates this point well in his book, “Deskbound.” Because of our modern society, many people sit at work all day, sit in the car, sit when they eat, sit when they watch TV…you get the idea. Because of lengthy amounts of sitting, basic movement patterns are inhibited. Therefore, a good dynamic warm-up will help counteract the biomechanical deficiencies that prolonged sitting can have on your body.

Decrease stress on heart

According to an article from the American Heart Association, “by slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart.” Meaning, performing steady state cardiovascular exercise, such as using an elliptical or riding a stationary bike, can increase your heart rate gradually rather than suddenly or all at once. Various exercises such as jumping jacks, jump rope, and skips can also accomplish this goal.

Sample warm-up:

Jumping jacks

Standing hip circles

Arm circles

Inchworm

Carioca

Body weight squats

Jump rope

Open book stretch

Walking straight-leg march

High knees