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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tips from the Trainers: Getting enough sleep

Let's talk about something that most of us don't get enough of even though it is within our control...SLEEP! While it can seem difficult to get adequate sleep when our days are long, hectic, and stressful, sleeping is the single most important thing that we do every night. Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your health and fitness and sabotage your wellbeing both psychologically and physiologically.

When you're sleeping, your body is busy at work repairing, restoring, and getting stronger. This is why babies sleep so much- because their bodies are growing and changing just like ours when we are working out.

Another reason to get more sleep? Inadequate sleep can lead to weight GAIN! According to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, those who sleep 5 hours or less a night are 60% more likely to be overweight than those who sleep 7-9 hours a night. Also,
  • Staying up late can lead to mindless eating and weight gain.
  • You are more likely to overeat if you are tired.  
  • Sleep deprivation increases hunger by altering levels of leptin and gherelin, hormones that regulate appetite.
  • The longer you are awake, the more you will likely eat. 
  • If you are tired, it will also affect your exercise program. The body needs enough rest to perform during and recover after exercise.
The harder your body is working, the more sleep you will require. Getting seven or more hours of sleep each night may seem like a dream for most of us (pardon the pun), but doing so could add years to your life. You can actually strenghthen your immune system and combat high blood pressure and diabetes by getting enough exercise and sleep. Concerned about the wrinkles that you see in the mirror? Skip the expensive night cream or Botox and try a free dose of sleep instead. They don't call it beauty rest for nothing!

By Cassie Nelson
Mama Bootcamp Coach, West Sacramento

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