According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 Americans do not get ample zzz’s on a regular basis. This is an alarming number, especially since sleep is one of the most vital things we need to do if we want to improve our health. Truth of the matter is, a good diet, regular exercise, and quality sleep make up the holy trinity of better health. So if you have all three, you can be sure to get in good shape.
How Sleep Affects Your Fitness
You might be thinking, fitness and sleep are polar opposites so how are they related? Exercising requires you to be active and push your muscles to the limit to get them in better shape. Sleeping is resting where you only really lay down and let your slumber consume you. So how come you need sleep if you want to be more fit?
The answer here is pretty simple: sleep gives your body the chance to recover and recuperate from your exercise. The misconception is that sleep is a static activity but in reality, your body continues to be very busy and active while you’re off to dreamland.
While you catch some zzz’s, your body is off to repair and build strained muscles from exercising. Quality sleep also causes the body to release growth hormones that are necessary to build lean muscles.
Lots of experts actually believe that lack of sleep is one of the biggest hurdles for a lot of people to lose weight and bulk up. You can definitely spend hours at the gym or cut down as many carbs as you want and still not see your desired results if you don’t properly catch some shuteye. If you don’t give your body the chance to adequately recover and recuperate, chances are slim that you’ll get the outcome you are working so hard for.
Sleep vs Exercise
Unfortunately, for most of us, having 24 hours in a day is not enough to do everything we want. As a result, some folks choose to sacrifice sleep just so they can have more time to squeeze in more activities.
This is why it’s not surprising that there’s a raging debate about choosing sleep over hitting the gym. Some people think that it’s fine to miss out a few hours of shuteye than to skip a gym day. Experts, on the other hand, believe otherwise.
The thing is, sacrificing your zzz’s just so you can have the time to workout is not ideal. Why? For starters, you may not have enough energy and focus to do an effective exercise if you didn’t get enough sleep. If you’re sluggish, sleepy, and not energetic, you might not be able to execute routines properly. It can also be a safety issue, especially if you intend to work with some heavy weights and high-powered machinery.
Swapping sleep for a workout can also lead you to rely on sweets and carbs to power up your body during the day. This can be counterintuitive if you’re trying to create a nice caloric deficit in order to shed some pounds. The calories you’ve burned from your workout can easily be replaced by indulging yourself on something that will energize and perk you up by midday.
Creating a Balance Between Sleep and Exercise
So what should you do if you’re struggling with getting enough sleep and still having the time to exercise? Here are some tips that might be able to help you.
Work on a sleep and workout schedule.
To ensure that your workouts and sleep work harmoniously together, it’s important that you create a good schedule for both. Allot yourself some time for sleep and do the same for exercise. This way, you can be sure to do both.
Having a regular routine is important for quality sleep, so it will be greatly beneficial if you time your activities right. Scheduling your visits to the Little Gym or Anytime Fitness is up to you but try to make it consistent. It’s also recommended to avoid doing very strenuous activities late at night or right before bed time as they might stimulate your body and prevent sleep from coming right away.
Do some workouts that will help improve your sleep.
Sleep and exercise are mutually beneficial. If you do it right, regular exercise can help you sleep better and sleeping well will give you the energy you need for great workouts.
For example, doing yoga in the evening can be great for your sleep. Doing cardio in the morning is perfect as such exercises will get your blood pumping.
Follow the right steps to improve your sleep.
Making an effort in improving your sleep by following the most basic tips would also help you out. It might seem cliche but better zzz’s has a formula and it works for a lot of people. Give it a try and you might just find yourself making the most out of your slumber and workouts in no time.