Friday, January 13, 2012

Diet, exercise and sleep.

My baby girl is keeping me up at night. Hannah sleeps for three...sometimes four hours at a time before she wakes up in search of a meal that can only come from me, myself or I. Before Hannah, one might describe me as a heavy sleeper. I'd hit the hay around 10:00PM every night and I'd be out cold until my alarm went off the next morning around 6:00 or 7:00AM.

I'd wake up feeling refreshed, totally ready to start my day.

"Start my day" = Working out.

I credit that energy to all the zzzzz's I'd get. Sleep, of course, does the body a whole lot of good. Study after professional study has proven that fact over and over again. As we dream about all sorts of things, our bodies rejuvenate themselves. Our metabolisms get a jump start, and our immune systems check their defense mechanisms. Our muscles relax, grow and heal. All of this, from the metabolic activity to the muscular mayhem...all of it is directly related to our health and well being. Which, in turn, means that it also pertains to our diet and exercise.

Sleep, you might say, is the third wheel in the diet/exercise relationship.
It's like a soap opera, really. Without all the cheesy acting.

Let's go through some bullet points.

• The greater amount of sleep you get, the more energized you might feel. The more energized you feel, perhaps the better your workouts will be. On the flip, if you don't sleep well, you won't want to exercise—so make sure your quality of sleep is of the highest possible caliber for your very own body.

• Workouts don't really make you sleepy, although they do fatigue your body. There's a difference, which is why you might not sleep well if you hit the exercise too close to your bedtime. Your muscles might feel tired, but you've actually just revved up your system. ('Cuz, you know, of all that blood and oxygen you've just sent spiraling through your body. Not exactly the essence of calm needed at bedtime, am I right?)

• Our diet provides the fuel from which we get some of our energy. If we don't eat right, we don't have said energy which means we're more prone to feeling sleepy at odd times throughout the day—another way to kill your drive to exercise. In addition, The National Sleep Foundation reports that people who don't get the right amount of sleep have much bigger appetites than those that do (it has something to with hormones), leading to a link between lack of sleep and obesity. And if there's a strong, hormonal link like that...well, there's only so much a bout of exercise can actually accomplish.

Today's Dose of Fit?

No matter how hard you work at the gym, no matter how particular you are about your diet, you must make sure that you're getting the right amount of sleep. Remember, it's the third wheel. You can roll with it, or let it drag behind—which do you think'll make it easier to move through life?

Besides, someone has to get some sleep for me these days. Oh, don't worry. I'm getting enough to keep me going, but I'm certainly not getting enough to keep me going like I used to. Although I'm not really working out right now. Still not physically up for that, but anxiously awaiting the day that I am.

Until then, I soak up every late-night moment I get to spend with my daughter. And for those moments that I just can't keep my eyes open, well...let's just say that I am very thankful for my iPhone and all of its engaging apps: Feeddler collects all of my favorite blogs in one readable location, which keeps me up-to-date on the things of this world. Most recently, I've learned that heart attacks are pretty uncommon during marathons. And that an exercise hormone might fight obesity and diabetes. I like my foodgawker app, too. It teases me with recipes for granola cups, chicken enchilada wraps and more. All of this distracts me from my sleepiness as little miss gurgles and slurps her fair share of milk. I'd hate to fall asleep on her, after all.

And so, as I hit "publish," Hannah is beginning to squirm and squeak in her Rock 'n Play. One check of the clock indicates that feedin' time is just about upon us. So I leave you with a

Question: What should I add to my Feeddler? Know of any great sites that I might like? (They don't all have to be fitness related...I do like other things, ya know!) Link me in the "comments" section below.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...