Exercising regularly, eating well, and… hitting the snooze button? It might not seem intuitive, but according to health experts, more sleep might be what you need to reach your fitness goals. By getting your recommended 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night, you can support post-workout recovery, promote healthy hormones, and have more energy to crush your next gym session.
How Getting Enough Sleep Helps You Reach Your Fitness Goals
When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, sleep is often the missing puzzle piece. High-quality sleep can significantly impact both our mental and physical health. Getting in your nightly 7-9 hours decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. And when it comes to reaching your fitness goals, good sleep helps in three big ways.
It might feel like you’re getting the most benefit when you’re actively exercising. But in reality, your body does most of the heavy lifting while you’re asleep. Sleep gives your body time to recover, conserve energy, and repair and build up the muscles worked during exercise. Not convinced? Consider the fact that Lebron James averages 12 hours of sleep per day, and Serena Williams claims sleep is her secret weapon.
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, regulating many essential body system functions. And when it comes to healthy, balanced hormones, sleep is essential. Although the brain releases several vital hormones during sleep, one of the most important for fitness is growth hormone.
According to Sara Gottfried, MD, good sleep is crucial to hormone health. “When you cut sleep, you reduce your levels of growth hormone, and you may be less able to repair injuries and more likely to accumulate belly fat,” Gottfried says in a recent Healthline article.
You know you need a good night’s sleep to conquer the day. The same is true when it comes to conquering your workouts. Just one night of restricted sleep can lower your cardio endurance and limit your maximal muscle strength. In fact, exercising when you’re already tired could do more harm than good.
According to personal trainer, Cathe Friedrich, exercising while you’re sleep-deprived can derail your immune system, hurt your body’s ability to repair your muscles, and interfere with your cognitive function, making it harder to focus on proper form.
Catch More Zzzs to Reach Your Fitness Goals
At Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club, we believe in the power of living a healthy life and strive to support our members, both in and out of the gym. If you’re ready to reach your fitness goals, you might start reaching for the snooze button more often. Don’t worry. We have group exercise classes throughout the day to fit even the busiest schedule.