At Fitness Inspired, we strive to exemplify and help people learn what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. “Wake up and Work Out” and “Follow the Food Plan” are always principles we swear buy during our monthly boot camps. However, maybe there is one thing we need to prioritize just as much as those two things. That thing is sleep. Sleep may be one of the key components in helping you reach your health and fitness goals you have set in short and long term. Here are three things a good night’s sleep can do to help supplement a healthy lifestyle.
1. MUSCLE RECOVERY
When you have a good workout with lots of intensity and resistance, it isn’t during that time you are building muscle. You are actually tearing muscle. Exercise breaks down muscle fibers and it’s during rest and recovery that you build stronger and bigger muscle. When does a lot of that recovery time come into play? Well, while you are asleep of course! Athletes and people who are more active actually are recommended to get more sleep because of this very reason. Get in your 7-8 hours every night, and your muscles might just show a little better.
2. APPETITIE CONTROL
Hunger HormoneStudies have linked sleep to two very important hormones – leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by the fat cells and lowers appetite while ghrelin is a hormone that increases your feelings of hunger. A study published in the journal Public Library of Science: Medicine found that subjects who suffered with a lack of sleep had higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. Therefore, the less sleep you get, the hungrier you will be! Curb those cravings by getting to bed at a decent hour.
3. FAT STORAGE
Your friends and family might notice when you don’t get enough sleep because of your grogginess and negative mood. But you know who else notices? Your fat cells. Scientific Journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that when people consistently don’t get enough sleep, their cells start to become insulin resistant. What that does is increase your blood sugar levels and the synthesis of fat. In simpler terms, if you get more sleep, you are less likely to store those unnecessary pounds. Scare that fat away by just getting a little more shut eye so your cells can efficiently do their job to keep you fit, active, healthy, and happy.
We have all been there. The alarm starts going off early in the morning to wake you up. Yet, you barely got 5 hours of sleep, you feel super tired, so you press the snooze button two or three times before you actually get out of bed. You might not realize it, but these bad sleeping habits are going to negatively effect the rest of your day and overtime for the rest of your life if the habits persist.
When your alarm goes off, you are pulled out of your REM stage of sleep, which is the most restorative stage. If you press the snooze button and shut your eyes again, you go into another phase of REM and your brain ends up in that phase for long after you wake up. This results in you being tired and groggy all day leading to unproductivity and a negative mood. Sleep specialist Michael Breus, Ph.D has studied this multiple times, and says it is so important to swear off the snooze button. Make sure your alarm is far away from your bed forcing you to get on your feet to turn it off. Another option is setting an alarm for a time where you must get up or you’ll definitely be late by hitting snooze.
However, the best method for stopping the snooze button is getting enough sleep. Yet, there are so many people who are consistent with not sleeping for enough hours during the night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you don’t, it could cost you. Research has showed lack of sleep directly correlates with lack of alertness, impaired memory, stress on relationships, and lower quality of life because a sleepy person is less likely to participate in the things they enjoy to do. More importantly, if not getting a lot of sleep is part of your normal routine, it could lead to adverse health effects such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart failure, or stroke. At Fitness Inspired, we encourage channeling your childhood self and setting a bedtime. Go 7 hours back from your wake up time and set that as the time you hit the pillow every night. Make it a routine, because the Circadian Rhythms, or internal clocks our body follows relies on consistency. If your good sleep habits become a part of your normal schedule, you will feel better, perform better, and your body will thank you.
Immediate & Long-term Benefits of Exercise
“Work out, it’s good for you!” is a saying you have heard people say all of your life. Doctors, teachers, coaches, and friends are always preaching exercising is a great way to stay healthy and feel better, but have you ever wondered exactly what that means? What is it about exercise that makes it so good for you? Researchers and people all over the country are realizing time and time again that working out has so many beneficial attributes. Some of these post-exercise effects occur immediately after you finish working up a sweat (which is super motivating for the people like me who love a quick win and that it feels satisfying right away), and others are benefits that occur over a long term period of habitual physical activity. These benefits can be seen in many areas, but some of the best effects are seen in the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of someone’s daily routine. Here are just a few highlights of the greatest benefits working out has to offer in relation to these three sectors of your life.
Immediate Effect: Right after a good workout sesh, you immediately feel better all around. You might feel less bloated and lighter on your feet, but the blood also is pumped to your muscles so they will show better post-exercise.
Long-term Effect: Overtime, exercise will contribute to a slimmer waist. Not only do we all want a slimmer waist for aesthetics, but a slim waist is a huge determinant for good health. One study showed that women with higher waist sizes correlated positively with higher risk of heart disease and cancer, even when the higher waist size was found on someone with average body weight.1 A smaller waist not only looks good, but it leads to a longer life!
Immediate Effect: After a good sweat, especially early in the morning, you have the clear mind and motivation to rock your day and the tasks that need to be accomplished. Many people report after a good workout, they are able to focus better.
Long-term Effect: Working out may lead to you being ultimately more successful. 66 year old billionaire Richard Branson says that his number one tip for ultimate productivity is exercise. Even former President Obama and CEO of Apple Tim Cook are known for habitually finding time to exercise even with their busy schedules.2
Immediate Effect: You become happier after you exercise! Not only are you more inclined to smile and be in a good mood, but when you push through a hard workout, you get an immediate sense of accomplishment that can set the tone for the rest of your day.
Long-term Effect: Studies have proven working out reduces depression in the long term. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body. That’s why exercise is suggested to treat mild to moderate depression. Exercise also improves sleep and self esteem which contribute to a good mood overall.3
Let's hear the long-term benefit that makes you the happiest in the comments. YOU ROCK!
1.You don’t have to worry about working out the entire day!
When you workout early in the morning, you not only start off the day feeling refreshed, but you also don’t have to worry about getting your exercise in for the rest of the day! It’s so easy to make excuses to avoid working out. Feeling sluggish? Have to run errands? NO EXCUSES! Wake up and get it done before the excuses and distractions kick in! Exercising in the morning will improve your adherence to exercise and allow you to form healthy habits in all aspects of your life. Check out this article to learn more
2. Early exercise makes you feel like a rockstar...and you are!
Getting your work out in early makes you feel confident and ready to take on anything that comes your way! Some of the most successful people are found starting their days with morning workouts. Empower yourself by making morning exercise a habit which will lead you to find success in many parts of your life in addition to your health. You will also see improvements in your body image and self confidence! Be the happy and healthy person you strive to be. YOU’RE A STAR! DON’T FORGET IT! Check out this article to learn more
3.Exercise is the new coffee, without the extra calories.
Working out will get your brain stimulated and alert. Who needs this fancy latte (and the extra calories) when you can exercise, get pumped, and burn calories?? Exercise will cause more ATP to be produced, leading to more available energy for you throughout your day to get and keep you going all day long. Check out this article to learn more
4. Your sleep habits will improve!
Having trouble sleeping? Try this solution without the prescriptions from your doc ! Exercising early in the morning is proven to improve sleep habits and allows you to experience deeper sleep cycles. This leaves you feeling well rested and ready to get up the next day to workout and fuel your fire once again! Check out this article to read more
5. Exercising regularly boosts your metabolism!
Exercise IS the best way to boost your metabolism. Get up and get moving to get your metabolism fired up first thing in the morning! And we learned and talked about in #1 that when you exercise in the morning bright and early it increases adherence. Better adherence to exercise= an even better metabolic effect. When you work out, you have an increased calorie burn not only during the exercise, but for hours after. You are also improving your body composition by increasing lean muscle mass which leads to a higher metabolism and calorie burn even when you're sedentary! Whether its a morning walk with your furry friend or Fitness Inspired Boot Camp ;) (had to haha), Get after it and see the improvements! Check out this article to learn more
So do you Wake Up & Workout?
If you answered with a victorious, throw your hands up "Yes, ALL the time!" then I would love to hear your biggest benefit you see in the comments that you make working out right away in the morning a priority.
If you are on the other side of the equation and have not YET...made exercising a priority regularly I want to hear from you too and let's hear your biggest hurdles and a strategy to get through them.
I am a passionate, adventure-seeking, fitness entrepreneur who loves having fun, my family and friends, a challenge, and creating a positive impact (to name a few :))!