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Sleep On It Sleep and Fitness Performance

Sleep has a huge impact on your fitness performance and results, especially weight management.

When it comes to taking care of yourself, you often read about eating healthy, drinking enough water and of course getting adequate amounts of exercise.
However, what many people fail to realize is that sleep is one of the most important factors your body needs to function to its highest capacity possible. Sleep doesn’t just affect your mood and cognition; it actually has a huge impact on your fitness performance and results, especially weight management.

When we get the ideal amount of sleep, everything in our body is positively affected, our hydration levels are up (we look younger when hydrated), our stress levels go down (reducing internal inflammation) , our muscles are in a further state of recovery (which means better performance) .
All of these factors lead to better, stronger, more energized fitness performance – which means more noticeable, and faster results! (bye bye cellulite.)

When we feel tired and run down the first thing we do is reach for caffeine and sugar to spike our blood sugar and give us a jolt.

Your body ingests many toxins on a daily basis from food and pollution and cleaning out these toxins makes your body work extra hard to keep itself going. When your body is working hard at detoxing itself, there goes energy that could have been otherwise used for an extra loop around the park. However when we sleep we are not exposed to many of these factors and this physical and mental down time, allows your organs to work at full steam and catch up to rid our bodies of toxins.
Also when we feel tired and run down the first thing we do is reach for caffeine and sugar to spike our blood sugar and give us a jolt.
Yes, a candy bar or a doughnut helps to wake you up, but it’s a temporary fix. In just a couple of hours you’ll be just as tired, if not more so, with a few unwanted calories ahead.

To help ensure a restful nights’ sleep, try incorporating the following relaxing exercises into your bedtime routine to help prep the body for optimal sleep.

Hold each move for 1-2 minutes.

1.    Legs up the wall: sit on the floor facing the wall, recline so that you are lying on your back and at the same time extend your legs up into the air and rest them against the wall.  Make sure that there is minimal space between your hips and the wall.  Lets arms rest by your side with palms facing up.
2.    Goddess stretch: Lying on your back on the floor or bed. Place the bottoms of your feet together and allow the knees to fall open to each side, a la frog’s legs. Rest the arms at each side with the palms facing up.
3.    Child’s Pose: Sit comfortably on your heels on the floor or bed. Bring your torso forward so that your forehead comes to rest as you also allow your chest to lower as comfortably as possible to your knees.  Arms are reaching forward resting on the bed.

If you take that extra hour or two for sleep you end up with more energy and better health to help take on the world!

This world is crazy enough, everyone is always multi-tasking and running at a 90 mile per hour pace to try and get things done.
You say to yourself “I don’t have time to sleep 8 hours”, but what you’re not realizing is if you take that extra hour or two for sleep you end up with more energy and better health to help take on the world!
Sleep is not something you can ignore, your brain and body will tell you when you’re not getting enough sleep, the key however is to listen and follow through.

Katherine Greiner

A New York City based fitness expert and small business owner who enjoys cooking and singing as forms of exploration and creative outlet. Katherine’s daily “mantra” is one seeking personal freedom and compassion for all.

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