Hey there readers! The new year kicks off the start of resolutions for many people. To give a helping hand, I thought I would give a small reminder that good things can take time. What am I referring to exactly you might ask? I’m referring to the one of the most popular choices for a resolution. If you're thinking hot yoga, scuba diving, or even interpretive dance, then you're actually not that far off. You just have to think broader. Yep, I’m talking about exercise. It comes in all forms. So, what am I looking at when I bring up exercise? Sometimes, the thing that gets overlooked when exercising is sleep. Let’s look at this underrated champion.
Sleep plays a hand in multiple factors of everyday life, from rejuvenation all the way to cognitive support. PubMed Posted an article that read, “Longitudinal studies revealed that a shortening of sleep duration (< 6 h) is associated with an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.” (Riemann, D. et al., 2011) Not sleeping and trying to workout definitely sends you backwards instead of forwards, to say the least. Nothing would be worse than making less progress each time you hit the gym. The Journal of Pediatric Psychology shared an article that read, “Poor sleep is characteristic of many youth mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…” (Van Dyk, T. et al., 2016) With effects like this in youth, it’s safe to say older generations need to be careful as well. The last thing anyone wants happening is to start on a resolution only to become depressed halfway through and quit. That’s one of many possibilities when it comes to skipping sleep while trying to achieve exercise.
PubMed Central also shared an article stating, ““Athletes, both professional and amateur, are susceptible to rhabdomyolysis after participating in extreme workout routines. The excessive breakdown of muscle caused by intense weight lifting releases myoglobin into the bloodstream and can lead to accumulation in the kidneys…” With possibilities like these, it’s imperative that people don’t overdo it! That means, resting the appropriate amount of time when you're supposed to.
Sleep is the best form of rest anyone can get, to state the obvious. One of the most important things with exercise is giving the body enough time to recuperate from the day before. Sleep.org shared this bit of knowledge that read, “A weightlifting session at the gym may leave you powered up for a night out on the town. It turns out that sleep is crucial for strength training recovery and helps with muscle repair after a strenuous workout. On the flip side, inadequate sleep can interfere with the body’s ability to recover after lifting weights and inhibits the body’s ability to build maximum muscle strength." (How Sleep Adds Muscle | Sleep.org, 2021) No matter what stage of you life you are in at the moment, never forget that you need to be able to rest like a champion. You may not be working towards a gold medal or even a championship. Yet, the one thing you should remember when it comes to being happy and healthy in your own skin is your secret weapon. That’s right. I’m talking about sleep. So for those of you who think sleep is for the lazy, remember that your mental health depends on it.