Tag: exercises

Natural Ways to Boost Your Growth Hormone Levels

Building muscle is not just about exercising and eating protein. Your muscle growth also relies on hormones and chemical reactions in your body.

One important hormone for building muscle is called growth hormone (GH). It helps build and fix muscle tissues and can really boost strength and performance during exercise.

Besides, it’s also important for healing injuries and repairing tissues in your brain and other organs. Because of its advantages, many people who are into fitness use artificial growth hormones.

But while synthetic GH can make you stronger and improve your appearance, it can also cause lasting health problems.

The good news is that our bodies make growth hormones naturally. There are plenty of ways to boost its levels without risking those side effects.

What is a Growth Hormone?

The pituitary gland makes human growth hormone (HGH), which is important for growth, building muscles, and the way the body uses energy.

Our bodies make more growth hormone when we’re stressed or doing physical activities. This means we can increase our growth hormone levels by changing our lifestyle and diet.

Benefits of growth hormone:

  • Helps you lose weight
  • Increases muscle mass
  • Improves memory and learning
  • Boosts muscle strength
  • Aids in injury recovery
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Strengthens bones
  • Keeps your skin healthy


Both endurance and resistance exercises, like weightlifting and cardio workouts, boost the release of growth hormones in our bodies.

Regular exercise and intense training cause a surge in your growth hormone levels, which helps with more fat loss and muscle building.

Lose some body fat

Too much body fat can lower growth hormone (GH) levels in both men and women. Research indicates that people with obesity have lower levels of GH and other growth-related proteins. However, when they lose a lot of weight, their GH levels go back to normal.

Losing belly fat can help bring GH levels back to where they should be and improve your health overall.

Reduce sugar intake

Research shows that individuals with diabetes tend to have lower levels of growth hormones. High insulin levels, which are common in diabetes, are linked to decreased GH levels. Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity, which further reduces GH production in the body.

Eating refined carbohydrates like pastries and white bread can significantly lower GH levels and cause a sudden increase in blood sugar levels.

Individuals with diabetes typically have 3-4 times lower GH levels compared to those who are healthy.

Intermittent Fasting

Research indicates that fasting for three days intermittently can boost your growth hormone levels by up to 300%.

Fasting significantly raises GH production because it reduces body fat and lowers insulin levels.

Optimal sleeping pattern

During deep sleep, your body releases a lot of growth hormone at different times. This release depends on your internal body clock or circadian rhythm.

If you don’t sleep well, your body makes less growth hormone.

Reduce Stress

Lowering stress through relaxation techniques like massages and deep breathing can improve sleep patterns and lead to more growth hormone production.

Research shows that practicing relaxation exercises like yoga can greatly increase your growth hormone levels.


Using a Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) supplement can boost your body’s growth hormone levels by as much as 400%.

GABA works as a neurotransmitter that calms the body, reducing stress and anxiety. GABA also enhances growth hormone levels by improving sleep quality.

Meal quality

The type of food you eat affects your growth hormone levels. Eating high-fat and high-sugar meals increases the levels of somatostatin in your body. This hormone stops the release of GH.

Eating high-fat meals can lower your GH levels, which can slow down your progress.

The Science Behind the Benefits of Working Out

Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, said that to stay healthy, we need to watch what we eat and how much we move. For a long time, people followed this advice by controlling their portions and staying active. However, in the early 20th century, the focus shifted from preventing health issues to treating them after they occur. As a result, exercise was no longer seen as crucial for good health.

In the last hundred years, exercise has mainly been seen as a way to improve appearance, like gaining muscle or losing weight. But recent research has shown that Hippocrates was right all along. In this article, we’ll explore how exercise can make your life better in many ways.

Anxiety & Stress Reduction

Exercise can help you feel less stressed and anxious before it gets worse and turns into depression. Just one session of aerobic exercise can make your body produce feel-good chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals can reduce tension, improve your mood, and help you sleep better.

When you’re stressed or anxious, you might feel like you have no control over your life. But exercise can make you feel more empowered and accomplished, which boosts your self-esteem.

When you exercise, your body makes more endorphins, which can improve your mood. It also reduces the release of cortisol and adrenaline, which can make you feel bad.

A recent study of 1.2 million people found that those who exercised regularly had fewer mental health issues than those who didn’t.

Heart Health

Regular aerobic exercise helps fight coronary artery disease by delivering more oxygen to the heart muscle and improving lung function. A study presented at the 2009 European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation congress found that a moderate, supervised exercise program can enhance the cardiovascular system’s function.

Physical activity helps reduce the risk of stroke by increasing heart rate and lowering blood pressure and heart disease risk. When you exercise, your heart gets stronger and pumps blood more efficiently. This means it can deliver more oxygen to your body. Exercise also improves cholesterol levels by increasing good (HDL) cholesterol and decreasing bad (LDL) cholesterol. It helps remove LDL from the blood, especially when done regularly.

Bones, Joints & Muscle

Exercise makes your muscles stronger, reduces pain, and gives you more energy. It also helps keep the tissue around your joints healthy by stimulating fluid production. Being physically fit lowers the risk of muscle, bone, and joint problems. Studies show that exercise can help ease the constant pain of conditions like fibromyalgia by boosting mood and reducing pain.

Our bones get stronger when they’re put under stress. Activities like running, which involve a lot of impact, can increase bone density. A study from the University of Missouri showed that running is especially good for building strong spines compared to activities like cycling or swimming.

Another study found that older men who exercise three times a week for 30 minutes can prevent one-third of fractures.

Exercise can also help with back pain. Doing exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles in your back can promote healing and reduce the chances of having more back pain in the future.

Digestive System

Regular exercise is good for your digestion. It makes your breathing and heart rate faster, which helps your intestines move food along and produce digestive enzymes faster. This means food gets to your large intestine quicker. Exercise also helps food move faster through your intestines to your colon.

Exercise is good for your overall health and immune system. Losing weight through exercise can reduce heartburn and limit the amount of stomach acid your body produces, which helps with digestion.

Increased Energy

Exercise may tire you out while you’re doing it, but it actually boosts your energy afterward. Many studies show that regular exercise can reduce feelings of tiredness, both in healthy people and those with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Eating well and exercising regularly, just like Hippocrates suggested 2,500 years ago, are crucial for staying healthy and preventing illness. In this article, we’ve discussed various science-backed benefits of exercise that go beyond just losing weight and gaining muscle. Use these benefits to stay motivated and consistent with your exercise routine, knowing it’s the best thing you can do for your body and mind.

5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep with Yoga and Exercise

At the close of the day, time often slips away too quickly, leaving many of us unprepared to unwind. There are those last-minute emails to be dispatched, dishes waiting to be cleaned, family members requiring our attention, and the weight of tomorrow’s tasks on our minds. This flurry of activity can make it challenging to ease into a peaceful slumber.

This is where pre-sleep yoga enters the picture. The gentle physical movements themselves induce relaxation, and the foundational principles of yoga – such as gratitude, self-compassion, and contentment – when incorporated into your bedtime routine, can also have a calming effect. According to Carol Krucoff, a yoga therapist at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, practicing these principles before sleep can help promote restful sleep.

Try these five gentle poses and exercises to get you all set for sleep:

Yoga Belly Breathing

“If you can only do one thing to get ready for sleep, spend a few minutes focusing on your breathing,” says Krucoff. She’s talking about taking deep breaths using your belly. During the day, you might breathe shallowly from your chest, but deeper breaths fill your lungs completely. “This sets off a series of changes in your body. Your heart rate slows down, your blood pressure goes down, and your muscles relax,” she explains.

Here’s how to do it: Lie down and place one hand below your belly button. Inhale through your nose, letting your belly rise. Exhale through your nose. Repeat this for a few minutes.

Range of Motion Sequence

Here, you will move your joints all around. “This is something that calms you, eases tension, and can even be done in bed,” says Krucoff. What’s more, it helps you pay attention to how your body feels, not just what happened with your family, at work, or what you heard in the news during the day. Do some of your muscles feel sore? Do some feel tired? “Many of us spend most of our time thinking,” Krucoff says. “This practice brings your focus back to your body, which is a good way to get ready for sleep.”

Here’s how to do it: Lie down on the floor or your bed. Move your ankles in a circle. Straighten your legs, then bend your knees. Lift and lower your hips in circular motions. Bend your elbows, then stretch your arms out at your sides. Lift and rotate your shoulders. Repeat as much as you like and as long as it feels comfortable.

Knee Hug

If you have problems with your back, the knee hug can be very soothing, says Krucoff. Back pain is one of the main reasons people go to the doctor, and it can also keep people from going to work, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Sitting hunched over a desk all day can cause discomfort, but this exercise can help alleviate it.

Here’s how to do it: Lie down and bring one or both knees up to your chest. You can do one or both, depending on what you can manage. If you can bring both knees to your chest at the same time, gently rock from side to side to massage your spine.

Shoulder Shrug

Many people often feel tension in their neck and shoulders, according to Krucoff. This tension can become even worse if you spend your day working on a computer or staring at your smartphone.

Here’s how to relieve it: Sit on your bed with a straight back and good posture. Breathe in, raising your shoulders up to your ears and squeezing your arm and shoulder muscles tightly. Breathe out and relax your shoulders, pulling your shoulder blades downward. Do this a few times.

Corpse Pose

If you do yoga, you might know this as Savasana, the final pose in class. “It seems easy to just lie down and do nothing, but it’s one of the hardest poses because you need to let go of physical and emotional tension and clear your mind,” explains Krucoff. But don’t worry about getting it perfect. Just lie down, stay still, and try not to think about anything specific. This will help you relax. Krucoff calls it “relaxed alertness,” which might sound strange, but it’s about noticing any thoughts or feelings without getting stuck on any one.

Here’s how to do it: Lie down with your arms at your sides, palms up, and relaxed. Close your eyes and pay attention to your breath going in and out. If your mind is busy, recognize the thoughts and imagine them floating away.

Why You Should Create an Exercise Schedule

You’ve begun your path to fitness. After a couple of months of dedication, you’ve made significant progress. You’ve shed fat, gained more muscle, and witnessed a better version of yourself in the mirror. You felt a sense of happiness and achievement.

Yet, your journey is ongoing. Fitness isn’t just a single event, whether you’re an elite athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or a complete beginner. It’s essential to understand that it has a starting point but no final destination.

An exercise schedule is a structured plan that outlines specific times, days, and activities for your workouts, helping you establish a habit. On average, it takes about 60 days to create or break a habit. Having a regular exercise schedule enhances consistency, promotes fitness awareness, minimizes mental resistance, and ultimately turns fitness into an automatic, pleasurable habit.

Makes you feel happier

Exercising makes you happier because it releases endorphins, especially when you follow a workout plan. When you finish a planned workout, it gives you a sense of achievement because you set goals in the past and now meet them. But skipping your scheduled workout can lower your mood and energy, so sticking to your plan for better mental and physical health is important.

Makes fitness more holistic and fun

Fitness means different things to different people. Some want to build muscles or improve flexibility, while others aim to lose weight. Some just want to be healthier overall. Regardless of your fitness goals, it’s important to consider your overall health and fitness. For instance, some weightlifters might overlook things like cardiovascular endurance while focusing only on strength and power.

Having a well-planned exercise schedule can help you find a balance when you have multiple goals. This way, you can prioritize your workouts and not overly concentrate on just one aspect of your fitness.

Helps you organize your life

We understand that staying fit can be tough, especially when you have a lot going on in life, like studying, work, family, and friends. Having a workout schedule can make it easier to manage your time. It helps you get ready for your workouts, and you can even squeeze in short exercises or quick routines when you’re busy. Regular exercise can make your workouts more effective and help you achieve both short-term and long-term fitness goals.

Makes you feel more motivated.

Having a workout plan can help you stop procrastinating and stay motivated. Many people find motivation in following a structured plan. Research has proven that writing down your goals significantly increases your chances of success and sticking to your plans.

Allows you to track your progress

An exercise schedule simplifies the process of recording your progress in workout apps or a journal, which is important for tracking your fitness journey.

Promotes sustainability

Injury is a common reason people lose progress in their fitness journey. A muscle strain can cause pain and stress, making it hard to continue with your gym routine. To avoid this, stick to a balanced exercise schedule that includes rest and workout breaks. This way, you can get the most out of your workouts while allowing your body to recover. It helps you build a long-lasting fitness habit.

How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

Not enjoying exercise isn’t a moral failure. It’s simply a matter of personal preference and doesn’t make you lazy or broken. Despite this, exercise is undeniably beneficial for the body. So, how can you incorporate exercise into your routine if you don’t like it?

For coaches, how can you assist clients with this challenge without sounding like the fitness police?

Experts with extensive experience in helping people have shared five effective strategies and over a dozen practical tips in this article. These can help you or your clients make exercise more enjoyable and less of a struggle.

When you’re deeply passionate about something, it can be challenging to grasp why others don’t feel the same way.

However, there are several valid reasons why someone might not enjoy or desire exercise. For example…

Past experiences

If you remember feeling left out during sports or having a bad experience, like getting hurt, you might not want to participate in physical activities at all.


Some individuals experience pain when they move. It can make their chronic pain, injuries, or health issues worse.


Some people don’t enjoy the sensations of moving, breathing heavily, or sweating. Exercise equipment and group classes might not be designed to accommodate individuals in larger bodies or with disabilities. This can lead to physical discomfort and feelings of shame or not fitting in.


When exercise feels like a duty, a form of punishment, or a test of physical extremes (like “no pain, no gain”), some individuals might choose to avoid it altogether.


Some individuals, like my friend Dave, who enjoys a good beer, are put off by the fitness culture. They don’t want to become a “gym enthusiast” or be part of a “spin fanatic” group; their interests lie elsewhere.

Doesn’t physical activity bring happiness to people?

Exercise can release endorphins, often called a “runner’s high,” which can contribute to mental well-being. However, this enjoyable hormone boost isn’t always consistent.

Stop trying to exercise.

Yes, you read that right. “Quit trying” might seem like unusual advice, but let us explain.

If exercise feels incredibly difficult and unpleasant, the best approach could be to remove it from your list entirely. Here are a few reasons:

Firstly, the more you struggle against your own resistance (or your clients’), the stronger that resistance tends to become. On the other hand, if you stop telling yourself you “have to” exercise, you might find you’re more inclined actually to do it.

And remember, you’re not OBLIGATED to exercise.

Sure, it’s beneficial for your health, but you’re the one steering the ship in your life. You have the freedom to decide how you use your time and energy.

That being said, if you’re interested in exploring physical activity without any added pressure, take a look at these tips.

Experiment with doing nothing.

Try something unusual: Restrict your movement for a few days and observe the results.

“When clients say they don’t want to exercise, I tell them, ‘That’s fine, don’t do it. In fact, don’t even move. Just stay in bed and do as little as possible.'”

What happens?

“Most people eventually find themselves wanting to move on their own. They’ll say, ‘Wait a second, I actually want to get up and move around a bit. I feel like taking a walk.'”

This isn’t about trying to force yourself into wanting to exercise; it’s about understanding when and if your body naturally desires movement. You might realize you have a greater inclination for physical activity than you thought.

Focus on other ways to improve your health.

According to PN Coach and Holistic Nutritionist Sarah Maughan, “If you’re not inclined to move, remember that there are many other ways to enhance your health. You can concentrate on improving your sleep, managing stress, or fine-tuning your nutrition. Exercise isn’t the sole factor for a healthy life.”

Among the various health-enhancing choices, what appeals to you the most? Consider making it your current priority.

Build your bucket list.

Your bucket list items might naturally motivate you to become more active, like preparing for a cycling tour in Amsterdam or climbing a volcano in Hawaii. Alternatively, they might not.

Nevertheless, the “bucket list” exercise can reorient your attention toward your personal aspirations, which can be motivating and rewarding, regardless of your choice.

Create a list of activities you wish to experience in your lifetime. Then consider: Which of these can you begin pursuing today?

Embrace the “everything counts” philosophy.

Believing that your daily activities contribute to your fitness goals can positively impact you.

A study from Harvard University discovered that when people consider activities like housework or child care as exercise, it can enhance the physiological benefits of those activities. This placebo effect can improve physical fitness without altering your daily routine. So, recognize how your daily activities are already benefiting your health and well-being.

5 Best Cardio Exercises To Do In The Comfort Of Your Home!

Why do cardio at home? Well, for starters, it is convenient, and you can do most of the exercises without paying for a gym membership or for any extra equipment. Also, it saves time while bringing almost the same results as going for a running session in the outdoors. You also don’t need lots of space to do most of the cardio exercises at home. With some creativity in the mix, you can create a killer cardio routine that will bring results in a short amount of time. We have prepared a list of best cardio exercises to do in the comfort of your home, so sit back, relax, and learn with us!

Rope Jumping

Rope Jumping

Jump rope is one of the best cardio exercises just by the fact that it is very simple to start with and burns a lot of calories (approx. 220 calories in 20 minutes). All you will need is obviously, the jump rope, a good pair of shoes, and some space in your room; coupled with lots of patience. The jump ropes are not expensive and are easily packable for travel.

In this cardio exercise, you essentially turn a rope with handles while jumping over it repeatedly. If you do this exercise for the first time, you will probably trip over the rope a lot, so make sure to time your jumps well. Also, for starters, turn the rope with your wrists for the best results. Once you get the hang out of this exercise, you can do a few variations, like jumping on one foot, alternating your feet, double turning the rope, and jumping with knees high.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

Another effective jumping cardio exercise gets a spot on this list! Jumping jacks are especially effective, as they burn 100 calories in 10 minutes, and don’t require any special equipment or skills. All that you will need for this exercise are a good pair of shoes and a healthy heart.

So, what you are doing in this exercise is jumping repeatedly to your feet width and circling your arms overhead at the same time and back. Now, the jumping jacks can tax your joints, so make sure to know your limits. There are some variations if you want to up the game, such as doing a squat and then jumping in the air (that is called a plyo-jack) or steeping your feet out instead of jumping.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

This is one of the best cardio exercises to do at your home as it is high intensity and engages your core muscles. With this exercise, you raise your heart rate and build your strength and endurance. Also, you don’t need any prior special knowledge or skills to do this exercise, as its concept is fairly simple.

How do you do this exercise? First, get into a push-up/plank position. Then, you just move your knees forward and backward from this position. Keep your back straight for the most optimal results. As you begin doing this exercise, you will feel pain on your wrists, arms, and shoulders, but that is okay. This is the sign that you are strengthening all the joints!

Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps

This is a high impact cardio exercise that is very efficient in burning calories in a short amount of time. Along with this, you will also strengthen your leg muscles! Before doing this exercise, make sure that you have no knee problems, as squat jumps will put most of the load on your knees.

This exercise is very simple to do. Start from a squat position, then jump as higher as possible, and land back in the squat. Afterward, it’s all about repetition. Make sure to land as softly as you can to protect your joints. When you feel comfortable doing something more advanced with this exercise, you can try some variations, such as doing the jumps with your hands behind the head (prisoner squat jumps), or touching the ground when you squat (frog jump).



Now, enter the hardest cardio exercise on this list! It can burn over 100 calories in 10 minutes. That is, if you can endure this exercise for so long! For burpees, we recommend doing the previous exercises to make you acquainted with high-intensity cardio exercises. Also, patience is rewarded here too!

To do a burpee, squat to the floor first. Then, jump with your feet to the plank position. Afterward, jump back in, and return to the stand-up position. Now repeat as much as you can. When you get comfortable with the basic variation of a burpee, there are some more variations for you, such as adding a push-up to the mix or stepping with your feet backward instead of jumping.

These are the 5 best cardio exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. They are beginner-friendly and are a great starting point in improving your cardiovascular health through exercise. You don’t need any special and expensive equipment to get to the form that you are dreaming of.

What Type of Exercises Should You Be Doing?

There are two main types of exercise: cardiovascular and strength training. Cardiovascular exercise, which is also known as aerobic exercise, targets your heart and lungs and includes activities such as walking, running, cycling (or spinning), and swimming. Strength training, which is considered anaerobic exercise, targets your skeletal muscles and includes weight lifting, sprinting, and isometric/plyometric exercises. So the type of exercise you should be doing depends on what you want to accomplish by exercising.

You need to determine your fitness goal before you can figure out what type of exercise regimen you should ascribe to. Most likely, your body type will play a factor in determining what you hope to accomplish through exercising. Both types of exercises are excellent for your health, but cardiovascular exercises are more closely associated with the overall longevity of your health and quality of life, while strength training exercises strengthen your muscles and bones and improve your metabolism.