Now that we have your attention, it’s about time we talk about this one thing that you need to get fitter, healthier and dare we say, happier: SLEEP.
I am sure you have read or heard before how important sleep is. Well, we are saying it’s the ONE AND ONLY thing you need to live a healthier and fitter life. Big claim, right? Well, we dare to say it because if there is one consistent factor we see in clients that affects their performance, mood, food choices, mental clarity, stress…it is LACK OF SLEEP. Everyone wants to get more done in a day, and with our hectic lives, sleep is usually the first activity to be sacrificed.
We see a lot of people at SVPT and can honestly say that the one issue that keeps coming up with clients is their lack of sleep, or living in sleep deprivation. They think it’s their training program or diet that is not working but actually it’s the fact that they just simply are not getting enough sleep!
Proper sleep means normal energy levels. If you are trying to get in shape and sculpt your body you will definitely need energy. People who feel sleepy can’t find the energy to work out, prepare a healthy meal or simply take a walk.
On top of lack of energy, sleep deprivation also means that your body won’t have time to recover from training. In case you didn’t know, your body needs some time to repair muscle tissue after a workout and also restore chemical balances.
Here are a few other things that can happen with a lack of sleep (no citing sources here, but you can ask your doctor and the internet):
- Memory Issues
- Mood Changes
- Weakened Immunity
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Weight Gain
- Poor Balance
- Risk of Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Decreased Performance/Endurance
- Injuries Won’t Heal
You cannot crush fitness goals in a consistently sleep deprived state. Normally we would say that consistency is the real key to fitness success, but without sleep you can’t apply consistency.
Sleep is one of those things that needs to be trained, and made into a routine. The body loves routine and homeostasis. Make a plan to go to bed at the same time for 2 weeks. Yes, even on the weekends. Commit to getting a solid 8 hours for 2 weeks and see what happens to your energy, recovery and quality of life.
We dare you.
A well-rested body (and mind) is a force to be reckoned with!
Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT*D, CFSC