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Athletic Majority

Is Your Smartphone Keeping You From Hitting Your Fitness Goals

As you round the corner on a run through your neighborhood, your phone buzzes in your hand. You slow your pace and check the message you just got, tapping out a quick response, and your back to your run. Later, as you’re about to finish the last of your sets at the weight rack, you stop and browse your phone for a few minutes. Then, right before bed, you bath your face in the electric blue glow of your phone screen as you get caught up on the day's news before you turn in.

Our smartphones are an omnipresent part of our everyday lives. It’s easy to see why, they’re infinitely useful, tracking everything from our finances to our steps and calories. But while they might be useful, they might also be having an impact on your physical fitness. Here at Axis Labs, we’re all about helping our customers live their healthiest lives. While this article is certainly no attempt to “scare you straight” and convince you to abandon your smartphone in favor of a brick phone, but merely to shed light on how your phone might be impacting your health in unexpected ways.

Balance Issues

You can talk the talk, and you can walk the walk, but can you do both at the same time? Studies suggest that this might not be possible when you’re playing with your phone. The journal Performance Enhancement & Health found that exercise was impacted by the presence of a cell phone. The study looked at different phone functions, like texting, talking, and music, and then compared their effects on postural stability. 

What they found was fairly surprising. Researchers noted that postural stability was dramatically worsened when subjects were texting and talking but listening to music did not have as much of an impact. The article suggests that by texting and exercising, you’re dividing your attention between two tasks. This results in a greater risk of sustaining an injury during exercise. The most telling examples are in the data itself. Balance and stability declines by 45% when texting and exercising. Talking on the phone worsens balance by 19%.

A Pain in the Neck

We’ve all been warned about hunching over things while we work on them, be they books, keyboards, or in this case, phone screens. As cell phones have become more prominent, so have issues related to the spine. Typically, when we use our phones, our spines are not in an optimal position. Our neck is bent, our shoulders rounded, and our head hangs down. 

This might not seem like a big deal, but when this behavior is repeated over and over again, for hours at a time in some cases, it can have long-term effects on your health. For instance, when you bend your neck 60 degrees to look over your phone, you’re putting tons of pressure on your cervical spine. The human head weighs about 10-12 pounds on its own, but when hung down, you’re putting approximately 60 pounds of pressure on your neck and spine.

Eventually, this could result in the degradation of the natural curve of your neck and cervical spine, which could mean a costly and otherwise unnecessary surgery. Of course, to correct this, you can simply limit the amount of time you spend looking at your phone. But if that’s not always easy to do, simply bring your phone up to head height rather than looking down at it.

Your Pump Passes By

Some exercises require you to keep your heart rate at a certain metric in order to be the most effective. But frequently checking your phone can interrupt your workflow and put longer breaks between sets. This can lower your heart rate, meaning your workout isn’t as productive as it should be.

Phones Make Sleep Difficult

In a previous post, we’ve covered why your body needs its rest, and sleep is the greatest way to restore your body every day. But using your phone regularly before bed or at night may keep you from getting the rest you desperately need. 

Smartphones emit a blue light that suppresses your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body produces to help you fall asleep and maintain a regular circadian rhythm (that’s your wake/sleep cycle). When your body produces less melatonin, you’ll find it’s harder to fall asleep, and even worse, harder to stay asleep. 

Equally frustrating is that smartphone usage before bed keeps your brain active and alert. It’s not uncommon for many people to watch a quick YouTube video before bed, or to send a few emails, or even to read a book on your phone before bed. While you might think this can lull you to sleep, the things you’re engaging with actually wake your brain up, making it difficult to fall asleep.

Finally, your phone is routinely waking you up throughout the night. Every chirp, pop, ding, and buzz can roust you out of your slumber. For instance, in 2014, the National Sleep Foundation found that roughly three out of every four children sleep with an electronic device in their room. The study found that these children slept about 7.2 hours a night compared to the 7.7 hours of children who didn’t. The study found that the devices interrupted the sleep of the study’s subjects.

To combat these effects, make sure to put your phone away at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Just like you need to let your body cool off after an intense workout, your brain needs to relax and unwind after a long day of being stimulated. 

Prioritize Your Health with Axis Labs

Like all things in life, using your phone requires balance. There’s no denying the uses it has, but that shouldn’t justify overuse. Instead, find time to separate yourself from your phone, especially when you exercise. You’ll find that you enjoy the time you spend away from it and that when you do use your phone, you’ll use it intentionally.

When you’ve put down the phone, it’s time to pick up the great pre-workout and fitness products offered by Axis Labs. Lab-tested and gym proven, all of our products are designed to fit naturally into your health and wellness routines and to enhance the effects of your exercises. Browse our collections and order today.

Staying Strong As We Get Older

Staying Strong As We Get Older

There are a few obvious signs that we’re getting older. For instance, our hair grows more silver, you have a greater appreciation for classic rock, and your friendships grow stronger. But there are less obvious signs of aging as well. 

Of particular concern for men is the gradual loss of muscle mass as they age. More than just “dad bod,” men can begin to lose as much as three to five percent of their muscle mass every decade after age thirty. This means that with time, your ripped pythons start to look more like limp garter snakes. 

But just because your aging doesn’t mean you have to give up on your muscles. With a little hard work, dedication, careful planning, and the right supplements, you can maintain your muscle mass longer, meaning you’ll keep that muscular physique into old age.

What Causes Muscle Loss As We Age? 

As we age, it gets a little harder to get out of bed or to jog that extra block, or lift that final set. It’s not for lack of trying, it’s actually because of an age-related condition known as sarcopenia. This condition begins to appear most notably in older adults, ages 65 and older, but the effects of sarcopenia can be felt as early as your 30s. 

Of course, sarcopenia isn’t something to dread, it’s just a natural part of aging. There’s no specific test to measure it or to diagnose it for that matter. It’s just the gradual loss of muscle mass, and as a result, the lessening of strength and mobility. That said, a growing body of research is beginning to suggest that there are factors that accelerate the development of sarcopenia, including:

  • A lessened ability to convert protein into energy
  • Not getting the calories or protein needed to sustain your muscle mass
  • Lowered concentrations of key hormones like growth, testosterone, and insulin
  • A reduction in the nerve cell signaling the brain to move the muscles

Men and women experience muscle loss in different ways and have to face different results as well. In men, sarcopenia is tied closely to the lowered production of testosterone. This leads to a decreased libido, a depressed mood, lessened stamina, and smaller muscle size. In women, the declining production of testosterone affects their body’s use of estrogen. This means that their muscles often wither faster than men’s.

The Importance of Maintaining Muscle

After reading the above, it might be natural to shrug your shoulders and say, “well, if it’s natural, maybe I should just go with the flow.” That’s an understandable reaction, but not the right one. 

The fact is, maintaining your muscle mass is a crucial part of aging gracefully. After all, even into old age, we still want to be doing the things that bring us joy, and for the most part, those things involve some level of physical exertion. 

Losing muscle mass makes even mundane tasks like tying your shoes or getting dressed a real challenge. A loss of muscle mass also leaves you at an increased risk of contracting illnesses like diabetes and may lead to you becoming obese. Losing muscle mass doesn’t just keep you from crushing your sets in your 80s, it keeps you from completing the basic tasks that make up daily life.

A loss of muscle mass can also dramatically affect your appearance. Without well-maintained muscles, you might notice that you age more rapidly. Your face might suddenly have sunken cheeks and more defined wrinkles. 

Not only can muscle loss interrupt your lifestyle, but it can also interrupt your financial plans. A study from 2004 found that the United States spent roughly $18 billion in 2000 to address healthcare costs related to sarcopenia. Your healthcare costs can jump significantly if you have complications stemming from muscle loss.

So How Do You Keep Your Muscles Longer?

The importance of maintaining your muscles should be clear, and fortunately, so are the steps to keeping your muscles healthy and strong even into old age. In fact, the advice is so common, you probably already know it.

Yes, it’s simply diet and exercise.

For regular readers of the Athletic Majority blog, you’ll know that we cover diet and exercise pretty much all of the time. It’s not a bad idea to read some of our back posts to get caught up on some strategies you can start using today to keep your muscles and diet in shape. But let’s take a look at a few ways you can maintain your muscles as you age.

Pump Up With Protein

By chowing down on high-quality sources of protein, you’re offering the body the amino acids it needs to build muscle. When you eat good protein, you’re getting plenty of the amino acid called leucine. This amino acid is great at building muscle and can be found in tasty foods like greek yogurts, lean meats, fish, soy, edamame, and tofu. 

But you also have to be strategic with how much protein you eat and when you eat it. For instance, most American diets ramp up their protein intake throughout the day. Breakfasts usually consist of a little protein (if anything at all), lunch has more, and we end the day with a pile of protein at dinner. But how much is right for you? We hate to say it, but it depends. Most dietary specialists suggest that about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is about right.

That’s about 56 grams a day for men and 46 grams a day for women. Of course, this amount can vary based on your lifestyle and activity level.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to get your protein in from a wide variety of nutritious sources. That means you can get protein from foods like:

  • Egg yolks and whites
  • Skinless turkey and chicken breast
  • Cuts of beef like sirloin, tenderloin, and flank
  • Low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, whey, and yogurt
  • Tilapia, tuna, salmon, and cod
  • And much more

Exercise Smarter, Not Necessarily Harder

Exercise is the other part of maintaining your muscle mass. But the kind of exercise you do has to be fairly focused. You’ll want to gear your workouts toward building strength and power. Strength is great for moving heavy objects, but power is how fast and efficiently you move. In fact, many argue that power is the key to completing many of the daily tasks you use your muscles for.

So to develop strong and powerful muscles, Harvard Health recommends a Preparation and Recovery Training program. Essentially, this program is designed to help you make use of all of your muscle groups in one session. That session should include exercises that target the major muscle groups in sets of 12 to 15. This should be done two to four times a week to see the best results.

You’ll also want to get a good amount of cardio each week too. Aerobic exercise aids in developing your body’s response to insulin. Insulin plays an important part in repairing and maintaining your muscles. At a minimum, you’ll want to do about 30 minutes of intense cardio three or more times a week. That can be biking, walking, or swimming.

Use the Right Supplements

The right amount of protein is a great first step in offering your body the nutrients it needs, but it’s certainly not the last one. It’s also important to supplement your diet with vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutritional products. 

Take, for instance, vitamin D. Many of us are deficient in this vital vitamin without even realizing it. But low levels of vitamin D can lead to issues like decreased muscle strength, worsened injuries, and slower recovery times. Even when we’re young, these are issues we don’t want to deal with. Numerous studies have linked adequate vitamin D levels to improved muscle growth and maintenance. For instance, a study from 2018 showed that low levels have been associated with heightened risks of falls and proximal weakness. The same study noted that vitamin D treatments are safe, effective, and affordable. You can simply ask your doctor to measure your levels, then take a recommended dosage of an over-the-counter supplement.

Another nutrient you can supplement safely is essential fatty acids. While many of us get enough of these through our diet, some struggle to get enough. Essential fatty acids are remarkable for their anti-inflammatory properties. This means that things like injuries and muscle soreness can be alleviated when your body has a regular resource for its fatty acid needs. Essential fatty acids can be found in sources like fish, which is chock full of Omega-3 and Omega-6. 

Stay Fit With Axis Labs

Leading an active and healthy life should be a life-long goal. While aging and muscle loss is a natural process, you don’t have to let it impact your quality of life or keep you from doing what you love. 

That’s why we’ve designed a series of nutritional supplements and products that can be easily integrated into your daily routines and can result in the changes you’re looking for. In addition to other vitamins and supplements, you can also make use of high-quality supplements like our testosterone boosters, keto products, and our amino recovery supplements. When you pair these supplements with regular diet and exercise, you can help maintain your muscles and stay stronger longer. All of these products are carefully crafted in our lab and tested for potency. Additionally, we offer a line of high-end CBD products that are designed to fit into your health-conscious lifestyle.

Browse our line up of products today and order yours now!

Quick Tips for Beginner Bodybuilders

Quick Tips for Beginner Bodybuilders

Check your social media feeds on any given day, and you’re sure to see someone make a post about going to the gym, taking a hike, or trying out a new diet. If it seems like everyone you know is trying to get fit, it’s because they are. Over the last decade, the number of people with a gym membership has increased by more than 33%. The market for commercial weight-loss products and programs grew by nearly a half-billion dollars from 2016 to 2017. Americans everywhere are focused on changing their health and wellness habits and getting in shape.

But they’re not always successful. Even as the market for and number of gyms increases, Americans’ fitness levels are still low. There are obvious factors that contribute to this, like the easy availability of fast food, increased levels of stress and falling hours of sleep, and medications that have the side effect of weight gain. But there are also less obvious reasons. The same social media feeds that are flooded with images of people lifting weights can also intimidate others from going in the first place.

Axis Labs is committed to helping our customers build the best version of themselves. More than just providing high-quality sports and nutrition supplements, we also provide resources that you can use to get fit. So close that Facebook tab and dive into these quick tips for beginner bodybuilders.

Check-In with Your Doctor First

If you haven’t been to a doctor’s office for a while, probably the best first step you can make in starting your bodybuilding journey is to set up an appointment with your care provider. Even if you’re not sick or feeling unwell, your doctor will have some recommendations about diet and exercise that is tailored to your unique health history.

Not only that, but having a sense of where you are healthwise provides you with concrete datasets that you can measure as you get fit. As for tests to measure your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, glucose, and bone density. As you make progress, you can have these metrics measured again to see your changes over time.

Establish a Regular Training Schedule and Plan

Going to the gym just to be there isn’t doing you and your bodybuilding work any favors. You need to follow a routine that you carry out during every trip to the gym. You can find a variety of plans online, or you can work with a personal trainer or employee at the gym to establish a routine.

Set a few days each week that you’ll go and work out and stay disciplined about it. This will help you make exercising a habit and will prevent you from slacking off or creating excuses to go. Not only that, but following an exercise schedule keeps you from over-exercising, and ensures that you get adequate rest which helps your body recover.

Set Goals for Yourself

If you’re just getting started in bodybuilding, it’s likely that you’ve already got some goals in mind. But those goals are only useful if they’re SMART. Make sure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. When goals have all of these elements, you’re more likely to achieve them. You should plan on having several goals that you create and complete throughout your bodybuilding journey. Your goals will change in response to your progress and your interest.

Make Smart Dieting Decisions

Professional bodybuilders and sports nutrition experts alike all agree that diet is just as critical a part of the bodybuilding experience as exercise is. An easy thing you can do is to cut back on processed sugars and pre-packaged foods. While they might be convenient and tasty, they aren’t great for you.

Instead, focus on getting lots of vegetables and fruits and prioritize protein. Protein is a vital part of building muscle, and when you work out more, you’ll need more of it. If you’re looking to change up your eating habits, check out our blog series on the ketogenic diet. Axis Labs is a fan of this diet plan, as it encourages your body to burn the fats it’s stored up. This low-carb, high-fat diet can help you lose weight, which makes your muscle gains all the more apparent.

Remember that Rest is Required

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of bodybuilding, especially when you notice improvements soon after starting. As a result, some beginner bodybuilders fail to offer their bodies the rest they desperately need. Instead, they over-exercise, which can lead to injuries that can throw off your bodybuilding schedule.

The end goal is for sustainable, deliberate growth of your muscles and strength, and part of that process is resting regularly. If you’re feeling motivated, you can take “active recovery days” that still allow you to rest fully but give you the satisfaction of staying active.

Use the Right Supplements

Using sports supplements is a great way to optimize your efforts in the gym, and enhance the effects of your dieting. For instance, some supplements are designed to help your body recover more quickly from exercises, like Branched Chain Amino Acids. Others are crafted to help kickstart your body into exercise mode, like pre-workouts. Some, like our testosterone boosters, are meant to help you sustain your gains and help you exercise more effectively at the same time. You can even use supplements like CBD to help with a wide variety of aches, pains, and other issues.

Start Your Fitness Journey With Axis Labs

Bodybuilding is all about crafting the best version of yourself, and we’ve got the products that do just that. Lab-tested, gym-proven, we have the products and stacks you need to make the most of your bodybuilding efforts. Browse our selection today!

Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels

Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels

Here at Axis Labs, some of the most pressing questions we get are from customers who are interested in boosting or maintaining their testosterone levels. As such, it's a topic we’ve covered before across a variety of blog posts. That said, there's always more to learn about this ever-evolving topic.

If you've already reviewed our blog on the reasons why you need to increase your testosterone levels, and have dispelled some common myths about testosterone boosting, then you might be looking for natural ways you can increase your testosterone levels. Fortunately, increasing your testosterone naturally is easier than it sounds. Check out what we found and see if the information below can enhance your health.

Get Some Sun or Vitamin D

Thanks to the conveniences of modern life, many of us spend more time inside than outside. While we might be comfortable inside, it's not doing our testosterone levels or health any favors. Several studies have found a link between vitamin D and increased testosterone levels. A study from 2011 compared two groups of subjects. One group was supplemented with extra vitamin D and the other was given a placebo. The supplemented group showed an increase in their testosterone levels, while the placebo group showed no significant changes. In addition to taking a vitamin D supplement, you can get this vital vitamin naturally by spending some time outside. Vitamin D is typically produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and the rest is gained from your dietary choices. 

Getting outside and enjoying the sun or taking a vitamin D supplement could be an easy way to help increase your testosterone levels naturally.

Avoid Estrogen-Like Compounds

In both males and females, you'll find testosterone and estrogen. These are the hormones that drive the growth and development of males and females through puberty. Typically, you'll find higher levels of testosterone in males than females, but as males age their testosterone levels decrease while their estrogen levels increase. This can lead to symptoms like a decline in muscle mass, fatigue, low libido, and increased body fat. While your body produces estrogen naturally, it's important to avoid adding any estrogen-like compounds into your diet or lifestyle. In order to do this, you should minimize your exposure to BPA, parabens, and the chemicals often found in many types of plastics. 

The sources of these estrogen-like compounds may surprise you. BPAs can be found in places like cash register receipts, keg liners, and plastic water bottles. BPA has been linked to prostate cancer, vitamin D deficiency, and other health complications. Other estrogen-like compounds, like phthalates, can be found in the synthetic scents used in candles and beauty products. They can also be found in laundry products, nail polish, and even vinyl shower curtains. To avoid these compounds, look for products that are BPA-free.

Change Up Your Diet

Whenever you ask your doctor for easy ways to improve your health, they will always come back to two things: diet and exercise. We’ll repeat it again here because it's very true for your testosterone levels as well. Simple changes to your diet can have an effect on your T-levels. First off, start by cutting out packaged, processed, or pre-prepared foods. While these are tasty, you pay the price in high calories, inflated salt and fat content, and loads of extra sugar. All of this leads to increased weight gain which can further suppress your testosterone levels. Not only that, the trans fat found in many processed foods has been linked to decreased testicular function.

Instead, mix up your menu by eating a balanced diet that includes lots of leafy greens, proteins, and carbs. If you're not sure what to include in your new testosterone-friendly diet, here are a few foods you can consider:

  • Ginger: A 2012 study suggests that daily ginger supplements for about three months can help increase testosterone levels by 17%. Other studies have found that ginger can have a positive impact on sperm health in other ways as well. It's no wonder that humans have used ginger for medicinal and culinary needs for centuries.
  • Oysters: Zinc plays a vital role in overall testosterone health. Oysters can offer more zinc per serving than any other food. If you're not one for oysters, you can also find high levels of this mineral in foods like shellfish, red meat, beans, and nuts. To ensure that your body is completely absorbing the zinc, make sure you're taking copper as well.
  • Pomegranates: Including pomegranates in your diet has been shown to increase testosterone levels in not only men but women as well. A 2012 study had participants drink dark pomegranate juice for 14 days. At the end of the study, both male and female subjects saw a 24% increase in their testosterone levels. As an added benefit, they also saw subjective improvements in their mood and objective improvements in their blood pressure as well.
  • Essential Fatty Acids: A study from 2017 suggests that the intake of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids was connected to an increase in testicular volume. The study suggested that these essential fatty acids may have an effect on testicular function.

Include CBD Into Your Routine

The CBD and testosterone link is more complex than you might realize and this hemp-derived compound may help you raise your testosterone levels. By limiting your subjective level of stress and anxiety, you’re also limiting the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream. Cortisol can have an impact on your testosterone levels in a negative way. Additionally, CBD could be used to help you get a better night sleep. When you’re fully rested, research has shown that you have higher levels of testosterone. Finally, CBD can be used to help your body recover from injury or regular exercise. The natural anti-inflammatory effects of this hemp-derived compound can help you maintain your core body temperature, meaning you recover faster and help your body produce more testosterone.

Don’t Hesitate to Use a Supplement

In some cases, you may benefit from the use of a testosterone boosting supplement. At Axis Labs, we use lab-tested and gym-proven formulas that make use of natural ingredients like zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and ashwagandha. When these ingredients are balanced, the supplements can help enhance your testosterone levels.

 

Find Your CBD and Testosterone Boosting Supplements Today

Managing your testosterone levels is easier thanks to the CBD and testosterone boosting products offered by Axis Labs. Made from premium ingredients and lab-tested for purity and potency, our products can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. We offer a variety of testosterone-boosting stacks to fit your lifestyle and our CBD products come in forms like pills, tinctures, topicals, and even gummies, so you can easily fit them in your busy schedule. Check our complete product lines and in order your own today.

Work Hard: In And Out Of The Gym

Work Hard: In And Out Of The Gym

In Japan, there is a modern business trend that looks to the past for inspiration. Inside board rooms, workspaces, and factory floors, you’ll find employees at all levels practicing business bushido. Steeped in the ancient tradition of the warrior, business bushido preaches the value of hard work, loyalty to the company, commitment to quality, and personal growth. It’s a mindset that helped many Japanese businesses rise to global success in the 1970s and 1980s.

While we won’t encourage you to bring a samurai sword to work or the gym, we will encourage you to bring the same mindset you bring to your workouts into your next business meeting. Why’s that? It’s because study after study has found that regular and disciplined exercise can make you more productive and successful at work. Don’t believe us? Then it’s time to join Axis Labs as we explore how your reps could help boost your revenue.

The Importance of Fitness

In our day-to-day lives, fitness plays a larger role than many realize. More than just a lean physique, staying fit keeps us healthy, allowing us to do more and live longer. With regular exercise, you’ll have more energy to complete projects at work, and reps at the gym. You’ll feel mentally and physically stronger. Being a regular at the gym means you have a healthier immune system and you’re less likely to develop chronic illnesses like Diabetes. If nothing else, getting frequent exercise means you’ll sleep harder, meaning you're better rested for the next day.

That’s all fine and dandy in our lives outside of work and the gym, but if you’re looking to enhance your business acumen and turn heads at work, how does exercise help? Check it out.

Exercise Keeps You Alert

We’ve all been there. You get to work, eyelids still droopy with sleep and the last remnants of morning breath on your tongue. You stumble to the break room and pour yourself a cup of cheap coffee and start the workday. But by mid-afternoon, your demeanor hasn’t changed, no matter how many foam coffee cups now litter your desk.

We all struggle to stay alert at work sometimes, but the secret to finding the energy you need to focus can’t be found at the bottom of a coffee cup. Instead, it’s in the gym. Exercise stimulates blood flow to your brain. With more blood flow, your brain has the resources it needs to stay alert and focused. You’ll feel more awake at work, which means you can complete projects more accurately, saving you headaches later.

Another reason that exercise improves your mental acuity is that a certain part of your brain is engaged during your workout. The hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory. When you exercise, the neurons within this part of the brain fire up. An active hippocampus means your cognitive functions improve, which helps with spatial learning.

Quick Tips For Staying Alert at Work

When it’s already been a long day and you’ve only been at work for 20 minutes, don’t reach for an energy drink. Instead, grab a coworker and go for a quick walk around the office. Often, just a few minutes of light exercise is all it takes for you to regain your mental focus and clarity, helping you get through that stack of paperwork or loading up those shipping pallets.

You’ll Feel Less Stressed at Work

When nearly every job listing out there casually states that you’ll have to work in high-stress environments, you have to wonder just how stressed out everyone at that job must be. But that doesn’t mean you have to be. Your trips to the gym could help you feel more relaxed at work, even when everyone around is pulling their hair out.

The workplace, whatever it may look like for you, is a source of stress. In fact, for nearly half of all Americans, it’s a significant source of stress in their lives, even when they’re done for the day. While you might have developed stress-management strategies to make your workday a little easier, organizing through calendars and color-coded folders will only do so much. But exercise can go a long way in helping you stay stress-free at work.

Exercise has a neurochemical effect on your brain. With regular aerobic exercise, your body starts to reduce its levels of stress hormones. Cortisol, in particular, is your body’s built-in warning system. When you get stressed, the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream increases, keeping your body in a heightened state of alert. That means you’ll struggle to calm down after a tense day at work. But exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that your brain releases when you feel good. For the runners out there, they talk about hitting their "runner’s high" after a certain period of prolonged aerobic exercise. This means their brain has released the endorphins, which not only helps them feel mentally better but physically better too. Endorphins are natural pain-killers that help your body relax and recovery after an intense workout.

When you’re less stressed at work, you can more clearly identify problems and solutions. You’ll feel more level headed when dealing with Janice in accounting when she gets on your case about a late payment request, and you’ll feel more creative when working.

Quick Tips for Busting Stress at Work

If you’re working a fast-paced job or have short breaks, consider high-intensity interval training. These are collections of workouts that can be done very quickly and don’t require any special equipment. There are a ton of smartphone apps that can walk you through a HIIT workout while you’re waiting for your coworkers to get back from the coffee shop or after your lunch break. The rush of endorphins will help keep you feeling calm even on those crazy days.

Exercise Can Help You Learn New Skills More Quickly

Say you just got a promotion and you have to learn a new computer program. Or you suddenly have to learn a new task to get through the workday. Whatever it is, you’ll want to learn these skills quickly in order to stay on top of your workload. Detailed notes do their part to help you retain the information, but hitting the gym for a few extra minutes each week might be just as effective.

Studies have found that regular exercise can help increase your brain’s capacity for prioritizing tasks and projects and even improve your memory. Why is that? It’s for nearly the same reasons as to why exercise keeps you more alert. Your hippocampus controls the learning and memory parts of your brain. With time, your hippocampus begins to shrink. This is a natural process, but it has frustrating consequences, like shortened attention span or a sense of forgetfulness. But with exercise, you can actually help increase the volume of your hippocampus. This leads to improvements in learning and memory.

More than just beefing up your hippocampus, exercise helps repair your body in other ways. By reducing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body, along with encouraging growth in other areas, your body is more ready to learn and retain new information. That’s because your brain is developing new blood cells, which helps to maintain your existing brain cells.

Quick Tips for Improving Your Working Memory

Our brains are naturally ready to identify and play with patterns. That’s why having an exercise routine is so great for your memory. Consider exercises that involve slow and focused movements, like tai chi. By memorizing these distinct patterns and motions, your brain will be able to memorize other things at work more quickly.

So, How Much Exercise Do You Need to Get That Promotion?

While some of you are likely waiting for us to say something like "be able to lift five times your own body weight," or "run a marathon every day," the reality is that just doing a little more than many of us are already doing is enough.

Many researchers suggest that you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. That’s only 150 minutes every week. Some already get much more than that each week, and if that’s the case, this isn’t a sign that you should suddenly dial back your training schedule. Stick with it.

In addition to how often you exercise, it’s also important to consider when you’re doing it. There’s a growing body of research that suggests that your brain will benefit from a work out when it’s completed before or even at the same time as a learning activity. A study found that not only did workers feel they performed better at work if they exercised during the work day, but they also felt better about their work and their general well being. So what does that mean for you? It means if you can squeeze in a few reps at work, you’ll probably feel better about that presentation you’re about to deliver.

Enhance Your Workday Workouts With Axis Labs

When you’re ready to take your performance at the gym and at work to the next level, you’ll need all the support you can get. Offer your body the supplements it needs with the pre-workout and recovery products offered by Axis Labs. Carefully researched and crafted, and lab and gym tested, our products can help you make the most of every workout. Browse our complete lineup of products then order your own today.

While you’re at it, check out our exclusive Facebook group, All Axis Pass. Not only will you find a great community of fitness enthusiasts, but you’ll also be the first to know about exclusive offers and new product releases!