Go Go Go! So much of our world today encourages, almost rewards, a constant “on-the-go” lifestyle. Whether it’s going from one activity to the next or having an all-or-nothing attitude about working out, sports performance, etc., it is almost as if we are rewarded for never taking a break.
But! What if you performed better BECAUSE you took a break?
What if you performed at a higher level BECAUSE you took a break?
Research shows that rest and recovery can actually lead to greater physical, mental, and emotional results. What does this look like, and how can we make it happen?!
Good rest and SLEEP are vital for a healthy lifestyle. Check out the following 10 reasons why good sleep is important:
- Poor sleep is linked to higher body weight. Research shows this to be the case for both adults and children.
- Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories. Sleep regulates the hormones associated with appetite. Poor sleep affects these hormones, making it more difficult to read hunger and satisfaction cues.
- Good sleep can improve concentration and productivity. It can maximize problem-solving skills and even enhance memory, compared to a lack of sleep which can reduce cognition and memory.
- Good sleep can maximize athletic performance. Greater awareness can also reduce your risk of injury during a workout or recreational activity.
- Poor sleepers have a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Seven to eight hours of sleep really makes a difference in one’s risk.
- Sleep affects glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes risk. Healthy adults can develop prediabetes in as few as six days of sleep deprivation.
- Poor sleep is linked to depression. This link goes both ways – those who experience depression have been found to develop sleep disorders and vice versa.
- Sleep improves your immune function. One study, in particular, found that those who slept less than seven hours of sleep were almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who sleep eight hours a night.
- Poor sleep is linked to increased inflammation. There are even links between poor sleep and inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Sleep affects emotions and social interactions. Recognizing important social cues can affect healthy relationships.
You may even have a personalized reason or two as to why you need your sleep. And your motivation may vary from season to season. It is simply important to keep a healthy sleep schedule.
Now that we have established how important sleep is to your healthy lifestyle, let’s discuss basic rest and recovery from exercise. The magic word is consistency – consistency with your workouts, yes, but also consistency with your recovery. For example, many studies find working out or exercising on MOST days of the week to be most beneficial for health and physical goals. “Take a break” between high intensity workouts, allowing yourself to rest completely from any type of workout OR incorporate medium intensity or low intensity workouts, focusing on a variety of muscle groups and types of exercise. Proper rest can benefit your progress in a couple very important ways:
- A day of rest allows your body to repair tissues that may have been damaged during the physical stresses of mechanical exercise. While this “damage” is somewhat necessary for muscle growth, it is easy to overdo it and increase your risk for injury versus progress.
- A day of rest allows your circulatory system to perform its job more efficiently – removing any metabolic by product from exercise and delivering nutrients and oxygen to your muscle groups.
So while the world is Go Go Go trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle, take a break, breathe, and rest. Your health, your productivity, and so much more will thank you for it!