Archive for the ‘Athletic Performance and Light’ Category

Working out in the morning is often the best way to get into a workout program and stick with it. But recent research under way at Appalachian State University suggests that there are other benefits to morning workouts, too.

Photo by Jhayne via Flickr

Dr. Scott Collier’s research subjects exercised at 7am, 1pm, and 7pm, and then were monitored for sleep cycles and blood pressure. Subjects were between 40 and 60 and exercised moderately for 30 minutes. The study found a 10% decrease in blood pressure throughout the entire day and a 35% dip at night, as well as longer and more beneficial sleep cycles ONLY for the group exercising at 7am.

Lowering blood pressure is a proven strategy to avoid a heart attack. And who wouldn’t like to sleep better?  Yet if you’re a night owl who has a hard time waking up in the morning, it may feel impossible to get up early for workouts. That’s where light assistance comes in. Exposure to light at 500-3,000 lux can reset your inner clock so that you almost feel like a morning person. Then you can gain the most from the  morning exercise.

Here’s what we recommend for easier morning wake ups and exercise:

  • Use the Biobrite Sunrise Clock to make it easier to wake up and feel alert.

    Photo by lululemon athletic via Flickr

  • Use light therapy in the morning to re-train your inner clock so that you’re less of a night owl. *In fact, with a  light visor, you can work out and receive light benefits at the same time, wearing it on a walk or a stationery bike.

By combining light therapy, and a morning exercise routine, you’ll reach your 2013 fitness  and health goals in no time.

http://www.news.appstate.edu/2011/06/13/early-morning-exercise/

Photo by Brisbane City Council via Flickr.

There’s an amazingly simple and effective way to improve your athletic performance—sleep at least ten hours a night. Cheri Mah at The Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory has been studying the effects of 10 hours of sleep for athletes in a variety of sports for years. In a typical study, she asks collegiate athletes to follow their usual sleep schedule for two to four weeks, and she studies their performance over that period. Most typical schedules are 6-9 hours a night. Then she studies their performance over the course of five or more weeks in which they sleep ten hours out of every 24 hour period. When schedules did not permit the athletes to get ten hours of sleep in a night, they compensated with daytime naps.

Here’s a taste of the results:

Swimmers: Athletes swam a 15-meter sprint 0.51 seconds faster, reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks, improved turn time by 0.10 seconds and increased kick strokes by 5.0 kicks.

Basketball Players: Players ran 282-foot sprints 0.7 seconds faster. Shooting accuracy during practice also improved: Free throw percentages increased by 9 percent and 3-point field goal percentage increased by 9.2 percent.

Tennis: Serve accuracy improved 23%.

A number of the athletes studied set personal records during the period for which they were sleeping ten hours a night. It’s enough to make anyone who takes sport seriously take notice, but how can you adjust your sleep schedule to accommodate ten hours of shut-eye?

We recommend the BioBrite SunRise Alarm Clock. The clock’s sundown routine lasts 30 minutes, and by the end of it you will be in deep slumber. It provides gradually fading light that convinces your body that it really is time to go to sleep. Set the sunrise routine to gently awaken you like a rising sun for ten hours later, and then get ready to train. The research shows that an ongoing period of ten hours of sleep a night makes a real difference. You might even surprise yourself. 

The team from Triathanewbie.com has decided our clock is awesome for athletes. Waking up to a warm light which promotes good sleep habits sure beats the buzzer. Rising at 5 AM for a quick workout at the pool is made so much easier with the BioBrite EZ Wake in Sea Green. Check it out on their list of important links.

They state:

“This easy-to-use alarm clock wakes you up gently for your morning training. It has a light that simulates a sunrise right in your bedroom so that you are not jarred awake with a loud alarm, but with a calm light that’s comfortable on your eyes. For those of you who are concerned that the light won’t wake you up, there is a sound alarm that you can set as a back-up. You can also use the light to read before going to bed!”