I see people dragging in the gym sometimes and I want to ask them, "How much sleep do you get on a regular basis?" That's probably not the best way to strike up a rapport with someone in the middle of a chest press but it does make me wonder about something; do folks know one of the biggest detriments of an exercise program is the lack of a regular sleep schedule? Rest is needed to help you recover and allow your body to repair itself. Exercise not only helps you get in great shape but it also causes muscle fatigue. For example, when you perform strength training exercises, tiny tears occur and this requires the proper recovery time. That's where sleep comes into the equation. Studies confirm that sleep is the best way to recover. In general, we need between 7-9 hours of sleep every day. Although sleep needs vary for everyone, the point is this; you have to rest well in order for your body to recover, rebuild and recharge. Taking a day off or sleeping longer will make all the difference in your fitness performance, your mood and your overall productivity. So the next time you want to press your way to the gym on "fumes" re-think your strategy. Whether you workout in the morning or evening, be sure to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep. Trust me, you'll notice the difference and experience incredible results.
P.S. Now for all you moms and caregivers out there you may be saying, "Yeah right, I'm going to sleep with a nursing, screaming all-the-time infant/toddler and exercise? Ha-ha! Well, stay tuned, I've got some upcoming posts dedicated to the sleep deprived - we have a unique challenge and it's worth more posts!
Remember, you'll ALWAYS have too much to do so get some sleep.