Sleep you way to success
Many people are too tired or say that they don’t have enough time to maintain a regular fitness program. One of the biggest motivators to getting exercise is simply to be rested, healthy and energetic – impossible without enough sleep. Science teaches that it takes a certain amount and quality of sleep to:
- Metabolize carbohydrates properly,
- Maintain leptin, growth hormones, proper blood pressure and insulin resistance,
- Keep a positive attitude through decreased anxiety and perceived stress.
Most people fall off the exercise wagon after about three weeks. Their motivation for it crashes when they do not maintain or change to healthy sleeping habits. Without enough sleep, it becomes difficult to get motivated to go out and get proper exercise. In fact, the main excuse for not getting enough exercise is either being “too tired” or having “no time.” Often, it is the combination of both, making it extremely difficult to maintain a balanced life.
It generally takes about 7 hours of quality sleep for most people. Too few achieve that with today’s busy lifestyles. People often get the sequence backwards, working on sleep after getting going on a new exercise routine. Or worse, getting no sleep or less sleep than before. This is often because the exercise is simply added to the existing busy schedule.
Here are ten ways to ensure fitness success. A large part of the process is to ensure the program will stick.
- Get plenty of sleep – track your sleep.
- Set realistic goals and timelines for your fitness program.
- Join a clinic or group to surround yourself with motivated people.
- Track you progress.
- Tell everyone about your goals.
- Make it fun – mp3 player – music or business audio books – fun sports…
- Do not over train.
- Reward yourself – but not with a lot of food.
- Book it in hard – be consistent (5 times a week, not 3).
- Get professional help – personal trainer.
The point about 5 times per week rather than the 3 times often prescribed is important. It is really hard to form a habit at 3 times because there is often a conflict knocking out one of the days, reducing it to 2 which is useless. To build it into a habit, 5 times will work because even with 1 or 2 getting rescheduled or knocked out, there is enough there to make it work. Sometimes all 5 will work out which is fine.
By building proper sleep into the fitness routine up front, more time is created overall. As the process becomes more streamlined, productivity goes up. Often, there is also less wasted downtime during the day. Someone who is rested and fit doesn’t need to head off to quiet corners or feel the need to head to a fast food joint for a break as often as others. Someone who isn’t as tired likely won’t be as hungry either.
Happy Training and Sweet DREAMS