Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Sleep Equation- do your hours add up?

April 17, 2013 by  
Filed under Pick My Brain

Exercise, cool down, replenish fluids, eat properly, stretch, and rest. This is the formula for a healthy athlete.

Yesterday, I was picking up my new puppy from day care. As they brought her to me, I was told again how much energy she has and that she just runs all day long. Agility may be her next doggie class. We had a quiet ride home, she had some water and food, stretched out on her bed and fell fast asleep. She’s a dog living in the moment and her body said that it was time to rest.

It then occurred to me that as coaches and athletes we often push ourselves too hard. We have a tendency to think that the more we keep going and the more we do the greater the result. Hard work and dedication is necessary to succeed and so is giving your body time to heal after pushing it to the limit.

Sleep is the primary time when the body recovers from exercise. It is when your body rebuilds torn muscle tissue. Without the proper rest you may be going into your next workout at a disadvantage placing you at a higher risk for injury.

A good after exercise recovery plan has a huge impact on fitness improvement and overall performance. A good night’s sleep will help you train more efficiently.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Sleep is an active physiological process by which your body is busy carrying out vital activities. During a high quality sleep, your body produces Growth Hormones (GH).  A deficiency in GH is associated with increased weight gain, loss of muscle and reduced exercise capability.

Listen to your body! If you are feeling tired, soar or notice a decrease in performance, your body may be telling you that you need more recovery time or even a break.

If you hear someone say they are too tired to train today or work on that project, it may not be an excuse. A little sleep or even a fifteen minute nap may do the trick.

My puppy taught me a lesson yesterday. Live in the present and be mindful of the quality of life you are living.

Ilona..

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