Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Beyond the Gym---Sleep Tips

1. Knowing How Much Sleep You Need
Adults should sleep at least seven hours of sleep in order to maintain optimal health. According to the research conducted by the Center for Disease Control, "more than 1/3 of Americans fail to meet that minimum on a regular basis."
Every person is unique and an exact specified quantity of sleep might not be just what you need.  It is important to take into consideration not only the quality of your sleep, but also the timing.
In order to determine what is best for you, Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, suggests an experiment. Go to bed when you’re sleepy (and can fall asleep within 30 minutes of crawling under the covers) and sleep until you wake naturally, without an alarm clock. If you sleep soundly and don’t feel sleepy during day, you’ve hit on your ideal sleep timing and duration.  
It might take several attempts to nail this one but the effort will pay off.
Everyone sleeps better when they've have a physically productive day.  Research published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found those who engaged in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity weekly had better sleep quality and less daytime sleepiness than their more sedentary peers. The take-away is that intense activity appears to increase the quality of our deep sleep pattern.  As a result, we feel more rested and repaired.
3. Unplug from Devices
Browsing Facebook, Netflix, Email, and the like tends to suppress the release of our sleep hormone, melatonin.  This interrupts the sleep cycle and can have a profound effect on the quality of our sleep.  Furthermore, getting all pumped up while binge watching The Walking Dead can really impact pleasant dreams. :)  Gamaldo suggests "a no-screens-in-the-bedroom rule".
New research predicts that by 2021, most Americans will be using fitness trackers commonly worn on the wrist.  
Despite the valuable data they can provide, there is quite a bit of information that should be mainly viewed as anecdotal.  They do, indeed, track wonderful quantities of information.  It is important to note that the information is not all considered helpful if it results in a sense of "anxiety and insomnia because you’re so hyper-vigilant about your sleep stats.”
So, while the information can help you be more aware and vigilant about your sleep pattens, don't fret so much about the details that you inhibit your ability to actually enjoy yourself and rest.  Your health may just depend on it. 
Information shared from

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Beautiful Weather

Beautiful Weather in St. Louis!!

How do you enjoy the 50 degree sunny days? Here's some ideas in case you need some motivation to get outside!

Take the dog for a walk
Hike through Castlewood State Park
Bike ride on the Katy Trail
Horseback riding
Monkey Bars at the park
Jog around Creve Coeur Lake
Geocache at your local here for info on Geocaching 
Fly a kite with the kids

Monday, February 26, 2018

Don't miss out!
Early Registration is Open

Beyond the Gym is offering an eight week online training session for 25% off. Early registration ends March 12th. You can choose from two programs. 

LEVEL 1: General Fitness

A basic program appropriate for someone who wants to start at the basic level of fitness OR a person with higher intensity workout who needs to add a metabolic warm up. Zero to minimal equipment is needed. 

LEVEL 2: Metabolic Conditioning

A program designed for someone who needs a more intense workout routine. More advanced than the level 1 program. Some experience with fitness recommended. Access to free weights or gym membership required. 

Don't miss out. Registration is limited. Sign up at

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Importance of Sleep


          Fit Tip

February 2018

Did you know that the majority of all our recovery and repair happen while we are sleeping? Sleep is related to the regulation of naturally occurring Growth Hormone (GH) and Cortisol. Sleep is a major modulator of endocrine funtion, particularly as it relates to hormonal release. Growth Hormone is responsible for cell growth and repair. It maintains tissues and organs throughout life and could be responsible for slowing the effects of being overworked and aging. The release of GH is stimulated through intense exercise and during sleep. Its presence can increase exercise capacity, bone density, and muscle mass… all while decreasing body fat through the liberation of fatty acids.

Cortisol, however, can become elevated during bouts of sleep deprivation and daily stress. It’s presence causes changes to a long list of bodily regulatory systems such as fat metabolism, blood sugar, immune responses, and anti-inflammation. Some of the most high-achieving people use naps as a way to recharge. From professional athletes to top corporate executives, it turns out that a nap is exactly what is needed to ward off mind numbing drowsiness. Research shows that a 15-30 minute power nap can improve cognitive abilities, increase productivity, and release growth hormone that aids in weight loss.

Need Power Nap Tips?  😴
Be consistent!
-15 to 30 min seems to be just the right amount
-approx. 8 hours after waking
-Dark room, sleep mask, or cover face, keep warm
-Control noise with a fan or white noise app

Leo Stoff is the owner and lead trainer at Beyond the Gym in St. Louis, Missouri. He can be found at and on FB @four9fitness