Getting enough sleep is good, so why can’t I sleep longer instead of getting out of bed to workout?
Ahhh, a very common question. Especially this time of year when the air gets colder and the days get shorter. Sometimes it can be really tough to resist the temptation to hit the snooze.
Here’s the thing. It’s not really a question of which is better than the other. It’s all about striking that perfect balance for health between both. If you’re getting at least seven hours of good sleep at night, that’s going to give you the energy for an effective, prolonged workout session. And the better the workout session, the better you’ll sleep.
However, less sleep means less motivation to get moving. Either your session will be shorter and less vigorous, or you won’t workout at all. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting nice deep sleep, because that is more restorative and better for your memory, performance, and overall physical health.
Sacrificing either sleep or exercise will adversely impact the other activity, and both are very important. And if you’re like the average person, trying to squeeze an adequate amount of both into a hectic schedule can be quite a feat. The trick is to find things in your life that you can swap for exercise while still maintaining a healthy sleep schedule.
Early to bed early to rise
Getting to bed 20 to 30 minutes earlier on work days can make it easier to get up in the morning, avoiding the snooze button and getting in a quick morning workout.
Make your commute a workout
Probably not feasible in the winter, but when it’s warm try walking or biking to work if you’re close enough. If you take a bus, get off a few stops earlier, or park your car farther away to extend your walking time.
Sneak in a lunchtime workout
Have an hour to eat your lunch? Try eating your lunch quicker so you can have 30 minutes to get outside and walk. Snowing outside? Walk around the office. You’ll get the last laugh on any chuckling co-workers when they can’t fit into their pants in the spring.
Workout while working
Desk job? Strengthen your core by sitting on a stability ball. Keep dumbbells at your desk to fit in some reps, like curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches.
Take the kids with you
Got a young one? Two? Save the money you would spend on a babysitter and invest in a jogging stroller or a baby trailer for your bike.
Make it a date
Got a significant other? Get them into the early morning or after-work workout routine. It’s always easier to keep to a schedule when someone is there to keep you honest. Single? Invite your friends to workout with you.
Don’t just stand in line
In line at the grocery store or shopping mall? Don’t just stand there. Do lunges, toe raises, and squats to sneak in a quick workout. Again, nuts to the laughing on-lookers.
Uproot the couch potato
Binge watching has become the way to watch TV these days. But if you’re catching up on your favorite show, it doesn’t mean you have to just sit there. Do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats while you watch. Before you know it, you’ll have an hour of exercise under your belt and you’re caught up on your favorite show!
The biggest trick to keep your motivation. Once you get into a workout habit, it can be tough to break. Set your goals to instill that early motivation, and you’ll be well on your way to good health in no time.
If you need some help setting up a workout routine to complement your physical therapy, our staff at Girard and East Liverpool can help you design a routine and schedule that will meet your needs and promote better rehabilitation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.