That’s right. It’s not nutrition, not your workout, or how much water you are drinking.
Although they all play an extremely important part of your health and fitness journey..SLEEP is your money maker.
Let me first preface this: If you are apart of the crowd that thinks “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”…don’t even bother reading. Your quality of life will suck, and when you’re dead-you are just dead. This is all about living a life full of health and vitality.
“Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”
Well, seems pretty important I would say…just by reading that alone.
Think of it this way; take a triangle and flip it on it’s head. At the very top is SLEEP, next layer is HYDRATION, next layer underneath that is NUTRITION, and the itty bitty point of the bottom of that upside down triangle is…YOUR WORKOUT.
I know for many that can come as a surprise. I always tell my clients this and they are always surprised/shocked.
This is an example of an ideal day: You wake up refreshed because you got your 7-10 hours of sleep (everyone is different). Energy is already up and you feel ready to face the day with a pep in your step. Mentally-you have your goals and you are ready to demolish them. You hydrate throughout the day. You eat sensibly, because when you DON’T sleep well-your body releases the hormone ghrelin AKA the hunger hormone, causing you to be-you guessed it-hungry. The hunger is there not because you are actually hungry, but simply because you did not get enough sleep. This where overeating of the wrong types of food comes into play. When this hormone is secreted, your body wants energy in the form of sugar and starchy carbs to combat that lack of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. Ironically, this is also the same hormone that is secreted when you get the “munchies” when you ingest marijuana. ‘Food’ for thought. (pun intended)
Anyway-if you slept well, this hormone stays in check and is only released if you are truly hungry, but it’s very controllable and a normal part of your day. You will also be more motivated to work out and your performance WILL increase.
All of what I just mentioned…your ENTIRE day will be better and you will reach your goals faster if you get the proper sleep you need.
**That is exactly why SLEEP is the most important part of your fitness regimen. Your workout (if it’s an hour) is only 4% of your day. 2% for 30 minute workouts. Your recovery begins as soon as that workout is over and you are in your stretch/cooldown. Your recovery continues with your post workout nutrition and hydration and goes right into the NEXT night of sleep. During sleep is also where your muscles recover. When you are weightlifting for example: you are creating micro tears in your muscle fibers. This is the feeling that makes you “sore” the next day. Sleeping good, eating properly, and hydrating enough are what heals these micro tears and helps your muscles to become stronger for your next workout. Stronger muscles will lead to more muscle mass and therefore less body-fat.**
Did you just hear what I just wrote above?! Read it again.
If you are wanting to maximize your fitness potential according to your goals, the recovery is where it’s at. When you recover with good sleep, hydration, and nutrition, you become STRONGER and more fit.
The understanding of this cycle is of the UTMOST importance for you to reach your goals and keep them for the long haul.
As always feel free to ask me anything. I train in the Charleston area and would love to pass this and much more information to you if you are in need of a personal trainer.