Think you have to perform tree pose to find mindfulness in movement? Think again. A trauma-informed personal trainer shares her journey to healing through strength training, and how to make exercise work for your mental health.
Discover the exercise prescription that will help you enjoy more minutes of sleep each night, and add more years of good health to your life.
Resistance training is a winner when it comes to increasing strength, enhancing muscle tone, improving bone health and leaving you feeling fit, strong and powerful. And that’s just the beginning. We now have more evidence that strength-based exercise adds value in other surprising – but extremely important – ways.
HOW STRENGTH TRAINING IMPROVES SLEEP
In a recent study, scientists have found that by including strength training in your workout routine you can add up to 40 minutes more sleep each night– 17 minutes more than you get from simply doing aerobic exercise.
The time you spend building strength you win back in sleep – and then some!
Over a week, three hours of strength training can lead to over 4.5 hours of extra sleep. So the time you spend building strength you win back in sleep – and then some!
On average, study participants in the resistance exercise group shaved 20 minutes off the time they spent lying awake each night. They reported falling asleep three minutes earlier on average than those who were doing either no exercise, aerobic exercise, or a blend of resistance and aerobic exercise.
These findings fly in the face of common recommendations that insomniacs or anyone struggling with sleep deprivation should add more aerobic activity to their day. “While both aerobic and resistance exercise are important for overall health, our results suggest that resistance exercises may be superior when it comes to getting better z's at night,” comments lead researcher Angelique Brellenthin, from Iowa State University.
The resistance exercise group shaved 20 minutes off the time they spent lying awake each night.
Even just one night of bad sleep can be dangerous
New research reveals all it takes is one night of poor sleep (less than six hours slumber) to significantly harm mental and physical wellbeing. If you have six consecutive nights of poor sleep, you can suffer severe emotional and physical issues such as body aches, gastrointestinal issues and respiratory problems.
HOW STRENGTH TRAINING CUTS THE RISK OF EARLY DEATH
But it's not just longer nights, a longer life is also on the cards when you dial up your strength-building efforts.
We’ve long known resistance training can help lower the risk of death, but there’s been scant evidence showing how much strength training you actually need. Now, thanks to a global analysis of 16 individual studies conducted over the past three decades, we can reveal the answer.
As little as 30 – 60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activity each week can help reduce your risk of dying by up to a fifth. Strength training alone is linked to a 10% to 20% lower risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer. However, the maximum life-lengthening benefit comes when you combine muscle strengthening and aerobic activities. This combination is linked to an even greater reduction in risk of death from any cause (40%), heart disease (46%), and cancer (28%).
Interestingly, ramping up your strength training to the extreme won’t necessarily pay off. Research shows doing more than 60 minutes of resistance exercise a week doesn’t lead to an increase in the life-lengthening benefits.
Bryce Hastings, Les Mills Head of Research, says that given the numerous stressors of modern life and the prevalence of insomnia, these findings couldn't come at a better time. “It simply highlights the breadth of benefits that come from a well-balanced exercise regime.” He recommends a weekly routine of two resistance exercise training sessions focusing on the major muscle groups, with three to four cardio sessions and one flexibility and mobility-based session as the ideal prescription.
Article originally published here - https://www.lesmills.com/fit-planet/health/strength-and-sleep/
Be more creative, improve focus, lessen anxiety, sleep better, and curb dementia risk. Sound too good to be true? Canadian neuroscientist Dr. Jennifer Heisz has unearthed the one type of training that delivers maximum neurological benefit – and has mapped how different types of exercise nurture our minds in different ways.
The past 2 years have been extremely tough on us all and it has impacted us in different ways, but I think one thing is for certain, we have all had to focus a lot more on our health.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed health and wellbeing to the forefront of everyone’s mind, whether that involves overcoming obstacles like the closure of gyms, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, or having the extra time to form some new, healthier habits.
With another period of lockdown restrictions currently in place and the coldest winter months on the horizon, it’s vital we look at how we can not only support our physical health in the coming months but also our mental health.