blog-photoThere are so many health benefits to exercising, we ALL know that right?! But did you know that if you’re not getting enough shut eye you’re actually working out for nothing? When we sleep we are in recovery from the day, basically restoring your entire brain and body every night. Thats a huge job for your body! So, it would make sense that we need a good long sleep every night. When I say long, I mean 7-8 hours. I get 8 hours most nights and can not function with less than 7 hours.

One of the most common misconceptions about sleep and exercise is that you shouldn’t time your workouts too close to bedtime. Yes, those late-night workouts will get your blood pumping and can make you feel alert and energized when you should be winding down. Exercising at night doesn’t actually keep you awake however, if you suffer from insomnia try to keep those workouts at least 3 hours before bedtime. Sleep experts, like myself, recommend exercising at least three hours before bedtime, and the best time is usually late afternoon. Exercising at this time is beneficial because body temperature is related to sleep. Body temperatures rise during exercise and take as long as 6 hours to begin to drop. Because cooler body temperatures are associated with sleep onset, it’s important to allow the body time to cool off before sleep.

If you are actively working out and/or trying to lose weight you MUST get to bed before 10 pm to get your best rest. Our bodies do the most repairing and restoring during the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. Your body will have a much harder time shedding excess weight when it is in exhaustion mode. It actually does the opposite and stores your fat. We do NOT want that!

I have been suffering from restless leg syndrome ever since I had my first Lil’Bean back in 2011. I have seen a significant reduction in my RLS attacks since starting with Fit4Mom. That in it’s own is why I can NOT go back to my old ways of not working out and staying up late pinning on Pinterest. (We all know thats pointless anyways, who EVER finds time to put those pins into production?)  Is sleep apnea a concern of yours? This terrible sleep disorder can lead to stroke, heart attack, congestive heart failure and excessive daytime sleepiness. Studies have shown that people who do not exercise have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea.

If you are struggling with sleep and finding time to work out, start small. Studies have shown that just 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day can improve your sleep. If we’re not sleeping well, we’re not eating well…can you say CARBS? Yes, thats what we want when we’re exhausted. Put down the chips! By now you probably realize that health is complex – if one part of the body system suffers, you’re likely to see consequences in other areas of your life. Though diet and exercise are critical components of healthy lifestyles, it’s also important to remember that sleep is inherently linked with how we eat (and how much), how we exercise (and whether or not we lose weight), and how we function on a daily basis. Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is necessary to face the world with your best foot forward. Sleep will help you on the IMG_1868road to good fitness, good eating and good health.

I love that I have 2 days a week with my Body Back class, it keeps me motivated to workout the rest of the week. Sometimes we just need a little support, grab a friend and get moving or even better come try out Fit4Mom’s Body Back class.