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Most people don’t know how the right amount of sleep impacts fitness.
When it comes to working out, you probably know that what you do in the gym is important. You probably also know that what you eat and drink are just as crucial (if not more so). Do you also know the effect that sleep has on your ability to stay fit?
The better rested you are, the better your mind and body function. Sufficient sleep helps motivate people to stick to their exercise plans and workout more often. The more sleep time you get, the more likely you will be to complete or continue on with your exercise regimen.
Getting enough sleep not only gives you more drive, willpower and strength to maximize your workout, but its effects on concentration, mood, and focus can make you more efficient and better prepared for that workout.
Conversely, not getting enough sleep can actually make exercise feel more difficult. Being under-slept won’t affect your cardiovascular and respiratory responses to exercise. It also won’t affect your aerobic and anaerobic performance capability or muscular strength. That means exercise wise there is no reason sleep will lessen your physical capabilities. However, you will fatigue faster on less sleep, making it feel tougher to work out to your maximum capacity. Even after just one night of not sleeping, cardiovascular endurance performance can decreases — simply because it simply feels so much tougher.
That’s not to say that suddenly getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night will turn you into a professional athlete. Extra sleep won’t necessarily make you faster, stronger, or improve your times or performance. But a lack of sleep has been linked to physiological responses that can inhibit your performance.
Here’s the main point and what you should really take away from reading this. Getting enough sleep and getting regular exercise are both important. How do you decide which one takes priority? You really shouldn’t put yourself in that position, because you absolutely need both. You only have one body and you only have one life.