Sleep & Hydration
Welcome to week 5.
This week we are going to be talking about 2 of the most important factors in your fitness journey, yet often the most overlooked also. Sleep and hydration.
Lack of sleep
Let’s talk about sleep first and starting with the effects it can have on you if you aren’t getting enough. Are you experiencing any of the following?
- Trouble concentrating
- Impaired cognitive ability
- Foggy memory
- Tiredness (obviously!)
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Mood swings
- Hunger problems
- Weight gain caused from a build-up of cortisol
Now we don’t know about you, but to us these sound-like things we don’t want any of our Xercise4less members experiencing!
Benefits of sleep
Now you know all the negative effects a lack of quality sleep can have, let’s look at some of the positive effects of consistent quality sleep that’s going to take your transformation to the next level.
- Less stress – sleeping more helps regulate the hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to unwanted fat gain and muscle wastage, which is a big no!
- You’re more focused – a lack of sleep causes poor cognitive functioning as mentioned above. Consistent quality sleep allows your brain to function properly and enables you to focus and perform cognitively better throughout the day.
- You have more energy – sleep is when the body recovers from all the stresses of the day, both mental and physical. These stresses take a toll on your body and it does most of its recovering during your sleep cycle. More energy means more productive workouts!
- You strengthen your immune system – the risk of getting ill is reduced. Meaning you’re less likely to break from routine in your fitness journey.
- Improved heart health – a regular sleep pattern helps keep stress and inflammation on your cardiovascular system minimal. This lessens the chances of you having a stroke or heart attack.
As sleep is so important, we have put together some of our top tips on how to get a great night’s sleep. Check them out below!
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol late at night
- Avoid napping throughout the day
- Create a sleeping schedule and stick to it!
- Sleep in a cool environment
- Make sure your room is nice and dark
- Avoid any technology an hour before bed
- Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable
- Exercise regularly (you’re already doing this!)
- Practise relaxation techniques before bed. Mindfulness is popular and there are plenty of apps available to download.
- Consider supplements that promote a deep sleep. Melatonin is a great supplement that helps you relax. Just remember to check with a doctor that you are okay to take any new supplements!
Let’s take a quick look at the other factor that can impact your transformation; hydration.
The benefits of staying hydrated are huge to your health! Some of them you may find surprising.
- Improved metabolism, mood and tissue function.
- You will be less bloated – yes, you read that right! By drinking more water, you will be less bloated. When you’re hydrated, you hold less fluid in your tissues, meaning you can weigh less. You also improve your bodies ability to remove toxins.
- Your ability to lose fat is improved due to better liver functionality.
- Your metabolism improves – the transportation and discretion of nutrients around the body improves.
- Digestion improves – water plays a big role in breaking down food. The better your food is digested the better the nutrients from the food are distributed to organs in the body.
- Improved joints – water acts as a lubricant to your joints, meaning improved functionality and increased performance.
Sleep and hydration are two key factors that can easily be over looked when you are trying to reach a goal, and in reality, they are both easy to control.
If you know you don’t sleep well or drink enough water, try making them both a priority and improving them both. We are sure once you do then you will see a huge difference in your performance and transformation!