“I can’t exercise today… I need to sleep-in today.”
“I’ll start tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep.”
We’ve all been there, right? Juggling the idea of hitting the gym or getting some extra shut-eye, especially after a cozy night’s sleep. But, let’s break this down a bit.
Have you noticed how exercise and sleep are like best buddies? When they team up, it’s like having your morning coffee and a smile to go with it. You work out, you snooze better, and that good sleep powers up your energy for the next workout. It’s like a happy dance of wellness.
When the relationship is healthy, you exercise regularly, which helps you sleep better. And when you sleep better, you typically have more energy for exercise. It’s a virtuous cycle of mutually reinforcing behaviors.
But then …
When one buddy takes a day off, things get a bit wonky. Bad sleep? Say hello to a lack of exercise motivation. And when exercise takes a back seat, your sleep routine might decide to play hide-and-seek.
It’s a bit like a chain reaction. Stay up late watching TV? Double up on coffee to stay awake? Maybe a bit more wine to relax? Suddenly, the dance party of exercise and sleep turns into a bit of chaos.
Why does this matter?
Well, this buddy system isn’t just for a good night’s rest; it’s a key player in the game of a long and healthy life.
Each interruption to one half of the partnership has the potential to negatively affect the other.
It stands to reason that a harmonious relationship between exercise and sleep will have a positive effect on your health. That, in turn, should increase your odds of living a long life.
If that’s true, then a less-than-ideal combination of behaviors should have the opposite effect, putting you at higher risk for premature death.
The Sweet Spot…
Studies have shown that people who nailed both exercise and sleep had the lowest risk of calling it quits too soon!
The best–known exercise guideline—get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity—has been linked to lots of health benefits.
The sleep guidelines are similarly straightforward.
The U.S. National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours per night for adults younger than 65, and seven to eight hours for those 65 and older.
In general, the farther one gets from those ranges, in either direction (yes, longer than recommended sleep is equally bad for health!), the worse it is for your long-term health.
Here are some tips that help most people …
With physical activity, don’t sweat the details.
At least not when it comes to mortality risk.
A simple and positive public-health message is:
- Exercise is really good for you, both now and in the future.
- More is usually better than less, but anything is better than nothing.
- Virtually anything you do will contribute to a longer, healthier life. Just pick something you enjoy enough to do consistently.
- You don’t have to do everything!
That last point is especially important.
“Motivation ends where obligation begins.”
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep.
You know the official recommendation: seven to nine hours of sleep per night for most people.
Many people assume the midpoint—eight hours—is the perfect amount.
But is it?
“There are many people who think everyone needs eight to eight and a half hours of sleep per night, and there will be health consequences if they don’t get it. But that’s as crazy as saying everybody has to be 5 feet, 10 inches tall. It’s just not true.”
What matters most is how you function on the amount of sleep you get.
So what’s best for you then?
This is where coaching can be really valuable. Because you don’t have to figure it out by yourself. And you don’t always see what your Coach can see.
Book your free consult on exercise or sleep here and let’s tailor a plan that fits seamlessly into your life, ensuring that you not only get a good night’s sleep but also enjoy a vibrant, active lifestyle.
In health and inspiration,