More people than ever are aware of the necessity of exercise to get to peak physical health. However, only about 1 in 5 adults get the amount of exercise that is suggested by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Physically active people live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancer.
So why aren’t people working out? While there are many reasons why people are not engaging in more physical activity, one often overlooked component is sleep. More than 100 million Americans are sleep deprived, and that leads to overwhelming tiredness during the day, leading many to forego any form of physical activity.
Sleep is an essential component of physical health.
How Does Sleep Affect My Fitness?
Sleep provides a time for rejuvenation of the body and gives athletes a boost in their performance. It provides not only muscular recovery, but also balances hormones and provides help to a person’s mental health.
Researchers at Stanford University’s School of Medicine found that basketball players’ speed increased from 15.5 seconds to 16.2 seconds and their shooting accuracy increased by 9%. The athletes reported decreased fatigue levels and improved practices and games.
With just a simple change, athletes saw immense improvement in their performance, showing that sleep has a great effect on how well your body can perform. Make sure to get enough good-quality sleep to make the most of your workouts and achieve your physical goals.
How can I maximize my workouts for better fitness and sleep?
Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic physician, encourages people to schedule workouts for first thing in the morning. 45 minutes of exercise can reduce food cravings throughout the day.
Additionally, Dr. Kelly Glazer Baron from the Feinburg School of Medicine at Northwestern University found that getting a poor night’s sleep leads to a shorter workout the next day. She ran an experiment to see if regular exercise could help insomniacs sleep better, and concluded that “the workouts seem to start muting a person’s stress response. Her or his underlying physiological arousal is dialed down enough for sleep to arrive more readily.”
Not only does sleep help improve your fitness level, exercise can also eventually improve your sleep. In order to establish a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle, sleep, exercise, and nutrition all work hand-in-hand to improve a person’s overall Sleep-Life Balance.
Find out more about how to improve your fitness through our Sleep-Life Balance Program.