Benefits of Sauna and Steam Rooms

We all deserve to relax in luxury and be pampered from time to time. What better way is there to do that than in a sauna or steam room? Not only do sauna and steam rooms feel amazing but they both have individual and collective benefits on your health!

sport aston steam room

Both sauna and steam room also have collective benefits one of which is the benefit they have on your skin. Both these facilities open up your pores and increase blood circulation which will aid you softening your skin. Whilst aiding softer skin, use of a sauna and steam room can eradicate impurities in the skin.

A sauna is great for relaxing muscles, relieving tension in the body as well as minimising joint pain. This is ideal for someone who suffers with joint pains or has injured themselves. Regular use of a sauna can aid recovery and get you back to full fitness sooner!

On top of this, as mentioned above heat produced from the sauna is a great way to relax muscles. This can be beneficial to everyone who has had a tough workout in the gym and help your muscles feel at ease again sooner, allowing you to work out the next day feeling fresh again. Rapid recovery and releasing tension within your muscles is key to progressing, as you can work out intensely day in and day out.

As students we all feel stress, with endless deadlines quickly approaching, exams to revise for and in the case of second years finding that work placement in such a short time. Why not reduce that stress in a simple and relaxing way? Saunas are a brilliant way to reduce stress levels you may feel on a day to day basis. The heat from the Sauna helps the body to release endorphins; a feel good chemical that has been proven to reduce the effect of stress, whilst also aiding sleep.

Just as the sauna has its own individual health benefits, so does the steam room. The heat from the steam room opens up your airways which alleviates congestion and improves your breathing. The wet heat from the steam room thins and opens the mucous membranes in the body, which helps to relieve the pressure. This can be beneficial for anyone who’s feeling slightly under the weather or suffers from asthma. In addition to this use of the steam room increased metabolism which can aid with weight loss.

So sauna and steam rooms are brilliant! They not only help you feel good, they make you look good and help keep you healthy all by sitting still!

Benefits Of Swimming - 5 Reasons Your Should Start

Swimming is an excellent way to exercise for any age and ability. Here are 5 benefits to swimming that demonstrate how swimming can aid your health and fitness:

1) Low impact 

Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without high impact to your bones and muscles. When the human body is submerged in water, it automatically becomes lighter. If you are immersed just to the waist your body bears only 50% of your weight. Sink to your neck and let the water bear up to 90% of your body weight. This also means that the pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints

2) Increased Muscle Tone and Strength

Ever see an overweight dolphin? We didn't think so. That's because swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone, especially compared to several other aerobic exercises.

Take running, for example. When a jogger takes few laps around the track, that jogger is only moving his or her body through air. A swimmer, on the other hand, is propelling through water, a substance about twelve times as dense as air. That means that every kick and every arm stroke becomes a resistance exercise and it's well known that resistance exercises build muscle tone and strength.

3) Improved Flexibility

Unlike exercise machines in a gym that tend to isolate one body part at a time (like a bicep curl machine, for example); swimming puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. The arms move in wide arcs, the hips are engaged as the legs scissor through the water, and the head and spine twist from side to side. Plus, with every stroke, as you reach forward, you're lengthening the body, which not only makes it more efficient in the water; it also helps give you a good stretch from head to toe.

4) A Healthier Heart

Swimming also helps improve the most important muscle in our bodies: the heart.

Because swimming is an aerobic exercise, it serves to strengthen the heart, not only helping it to become larger, but making it more efficient in pumping, which leads to better blood flow throughout your body. 

5) Weight Control

Swimming is recognised as one of the biggest calorie burners around, and it's great for keeping weight under control.

The exact number of calories you burn, of course, depends on your own physiology and the intensity with which you exercise, but as a general rule, for every 10 minutes of swimming: 

  • Breast stroke will burn 60 calories
  • Backstroke torches 80
  • Freestyle lights up 100
  • Butterfly stroke incinerates an impressive 150.

To boost the calorie-burning component of swimming, consider using intervals in which you work your hardest for short bursts and then recover. You can pick up a SwimFit Card on the pool side that have structured workouts for you to follow.

Boost Your Yoga and the Benefits

Yoga is an ancient art with its roots stretching back to the Stone Age. Back then, they had aspects of physical poses, self-restraint and spiritual transcendence, but times have changed and even more, poses have been produced. You’re probably familiar with the majority of common stretches such as the Downward Dog pose. But did you know that Hatha Yoga focuses specifically on the physical fitness side of things, meaning strength is essential.

Here’s some of the benefits of yoga, alongside a look at some of the ways to boost your yoga performance. If you feel your strength or flexibility is stopping you from getting the most out of your practice, read on.

Benefits of yoga

Yoga can reduce cortisol

Cortisol is the body’s primary “stress hormone”. Cortisol not only contributes to those familiar, unwelcome feelings of stress and anxiety, it also promotes the breakdown of tissue around the body, including muscle. When cortisol levels are chronically high, you can expect to feel terrible, and struggle immensely trying to gain mass. Several studies have found evidence that practising yoga regularly can significantly reduce cortisol levels.

Yoga can improve joint health and reduce pain

Many experienced athletes and gym-goers gain joint injuries and chronic pain at some point in their sporting career, however, this can be avoided. Attending Yoga on a regular basis may just be the cure.

Studies have found that yoga is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as for osteoarthritis of the knee, with yoga improving joint function and reducing pain.

Yoga may improve breathing

Asthmatics and those with other breathing conditions often struggle to perform to the best of their abilities in athletic activities, and can sometimes be put off going to the gym as a result.

If you experience asthma and struggle with more intense workouts, yoga might be a golden solution. Studies show that yogic breathing exercises help improve lung function and “vital capacity” (one measure of lung health).

Yoga improves flexibility

Everyone knows that yoga improves flexibility, and everyone can think of a few situations where improved flexibility could be useful.

It turns out that this particular benefit of yoga isn’t just folk wisdom. A 10-week, 2016 study found that yoga significantly improved flexibility and balance in college athletes.

Yoga can improve sleep

Sleep is far more important for overall health than many people realise. Sleep deprivation can damage your blood sugar control.

Of course, sleep is also essential for proper recovery following exercise, particularly in the case of muscle growth.

Evidence shows that yoga can improve sleep across various dimensions, including by helping people get to sleep faster, helping them sleep for longer, and helping them to feel more rested as a result of their sleep.

Techniques to improve your yoga performance

Don’t be put off if you don’t feel flexible now, because, we are here to help you improve your yoga performance – check out our yoga class timetable.

Do more yoga (with bands)

The best way to improve any activity is to do more of it. Using yoga bands can help you ease into tougher moves.

Do some weighted stretches

Various exercise methodologies have made use of weighted stretches in the past. As long as they’re performed safely, these exercises can be a tremendous asset in the fight against tight muscles.

Typically, weighted stretches are performed by relaxing the body in various positions and allowing the weight, and gravity, to push the stretch. You could perform a weighted pec stretch, for example, by holding two dumbbells in “fly” position and letting your arms stretch out to the sides as far as possible.

Do more push-ups and shoulder exercises

Yoga contains many movements that mimic the push-up in one way or another, and which put tension on the shoulders. Be prepared – practice your push ups and train your shoulders in a gym session once a week.

Managing Exam Stress Through Exercise

Discover how exercise can help you stay on top of your game and prevent stress during exams.

A healthy body means a healthy mind. Take care of yourself during the exam period by eating well, sleeping well and exercising regularly.

Exercise helps to oxygenate the brain and release tension, helping you to keep calm, mentally relax and study more efficiently.

1. Take breaks

You spend a great deal of time sitting at the computer or with your head in a book when revising for exams. You can’t revise effectively for excessively long periods, so take regular breaks to stay productive. A simple walk to the shops or a 20 minute gym session can be enough to help you clear your head so that you return refreshed to your studies.

2. Create a routine

A balanced routine of work and play is essential during revision and exam time. It might feel like you’re too busy, but try to maintain a regular exercise schedule - aim to get active at least every other day for at least 20 minutes. 

Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, reducing stress and helping you to get good night’s sleep - but avoid stimulating activity just before bed, to give your brain time to wind down.

3. What works for you

Plan your exercise during periods when you know you generally won’t study. Some people work better in the morning, some at night – if you plan your exercise around your study schedule then you won’t miss out on valuable revision time.

4. Active choices

If your exam is close to where you live, why not walk there instead of driving or taking the bus? A short walk before an exam will help you to relax and focus your thoughts.