Sleep! Getting enough sleep (between ~7-9 hours) every night is the key to keeping yourself well. It doesn't just restore your energy, it's essential in keeping your immune system strong, which is particularly important this time of year. This coupled with regular exercise gives your immune system a huge boost. Today's workout will do you much better than that vitamin C supplement...
This workout starts with 30 kettlebell swings and ends with 30 goblet squats. In between the 2 we're doing a 10 minute EMOM of 10 burpees. What the hell is an EMOM? Every minute on the minute. Every minute you do 10 burpees, and you do that every minute for 10 minutes. In the end you do 100 burpees total. Intense! But fun. Try it with me, it takes less than 15 minutes.
Modify burpees as needed, but do not skip this workout. You can even do half burpees: jump feet into plank, then jump your feet back to your hands and jump up. No pushup, no dropping your chest to the floor, you can do this, let's go!
This was so intense, I really struggled and really pushed myself, but I felt amazing afterward. When workouts are on the shorter side like this they are incredibly energizing.
Even with energizing workouts being part of your day though, it's still imperative that you get enough sleep. If you're chronically sleep-deprived, or just more often than not getting less sleep than you should, you likely find yourself getting sick pretty easily. Even if you're shaking your head and saying nope not me, you are still doing your brain and body a disservice by depriving it of adequate rest. Immunity isn't the only thing that fails from lack of sleep, your mood suffers, you can become irritable and short-tempered, and your memory and information processing can be severely hindered. I have unfortunately experienced this when cramming in college; you stay up so late to make sure you study everything, but then when you get so little sleep after doing so, your brain is too tired to allow access to all those new memories of information, they might as well be lost. This was always deeply upsetting to me after putting in so much work; it became so difficult and frustrating to try to concentrate and really focus on unlocking that new stored information. Sometimes you can still do it, but the immense struggle to do so is not worth it. It's easier to give yourself an extra couple hours to sleep to better process and store the information in a readily retrievable area.
Lack of sleep will also keep your body sore for so much longer after a tough workout. You put all that effort in to really destroy that routine, now put the same amount of effort into resting those hard-worked muscles. Sleep is when your body goes into repair mode. When you're at rest it can finally really get to work on cellular repair of the small muscle tears you've made and work on the overall cleaning up of dead cells and generation of new cells around your system. Your body does this all day long when awake too, but it has to expend a lot more energy on simultaneously getting you around, using your brain, digesting, etc, so when you're asleep it gets to really focus and hunker down on solely clearing out the old, building new, and repairing cells to make us increasingly stronger. When you don't get enough sleep, it greatly slows and hinders your body's ability to do this. The less time you leave for repair to take place, the longer it takes to complete. This goes for colds and sickness too; when you get a few good nights of sleep it can really knock the illness out of you quick, but when you only get a few hours it seems to drag on endlessly with symptoms never improving. Take that day off from work, or if you just can't afford to, make sure you go to bed early and get your sleep. Let your body heal itself by giving it one of the most indisputably powerful tools: rest.
And don't even get me started on hanger, it's only about a million times worse when you're sleep-deprived. When you don't get enough sleep, your body produces hormones in different amounts that alter how much energy it wants you to take in, and thus how hungry you feel. It tries to compensate with food calories to give you the energy you're lacking from skimping on sleep. You ever notice how much better all junk food seems when you're tired? Irresistible sometimes, right? Thank ghrelin for that; the production of this hunger-inducing hormone increases when you get less sleep, and the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin is produced in much smaller quantities. Usually there is a much better balance between the two, your appetite is stimulated when your body really needs food, and then it is satiated for a period of time after. This imbalance that occurs can greatly impact weight loss efforts and lead to weight gain even in those not working to lose weight. Don't let lack of sleep sabotage your efforts in establishing healthy habits! DVR your shows for later; don't stay up for one more episode of the show you're binge-watching on netflix. It will be there tomorrow, you can find out what happens after you get your 8 hours in. Losing sleep is not worth the havoc it wreaks on your body.
Personal Trainer, Yogi, and Wellness Coach.
Lover of tiny animals and objects. BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Plant-based. Read More...