KEY 3: PROPER SLEEP AND RECOVERY IS VITAL
COMPONENT TO WEIGHT LOSS
To consider sleep as an activity is difficult. One assumes
sleep to be a phase of inactivity or rest. But, the matter
of fact is, that sleep is that active phase in our entire
day’s routine, when numerous bodily functions are
expedited. The sales data of sleep inducing tranquilizers
and sleeping pills prove the rising cases of sleep
deficiency that owes a lot to the modern lifestyle. While
profound research is available on the importance of
exercise for the body, few embark on the desire to learn
about rest and sleep…yet it is one of the most important
factors in overall health and well-being.
What Is Sleep?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that while the body
rests , the mind and the brain go on a restorative hyperdrive.
Bodily signals are sent to the various organs of to
begin its build up for the next hour of optimum action.
The more sleep deprived a person is, the more the
chances of deficient physical and mental activity, as
you’ve not allowed your body to recover from the
previous bout or prepare for the next. Sleep is a period of
nerve and muscle relaxation which begins a period of
repair and rejuvenation of all the tissues and organs ,
much needed after a day of hectic often strenuous
activity. Sleep is determined by a certain biological cycle
called as the ‘circadian clock’. It depends on the intervals
of certain number of hours of being awake followed by
sleep, and so on. Other elements affecting it could be
the amount of light, stress levels, metabolism levels and
even the medication we may be taking.
The Power of Sleep
Sleep is a powerful energy booster owing to the fact that
while we sleep the process called ‘anabolism’ gets
underway; understood more simply as the recovery
process for cells and tissues through the production of
enzymes and proteins. It in fact counteracts the effect of
‘catabolism’ or the process that occurs as you exercise or
work- out during the day which produces an action
wherein energy is released from cells.This affects the
molecular components of the body. If your catabolism
exceeds anabolism ,little growth will happen . Thus those
who strain themselves with a tougher workout or play an
extra hour, must give their body the extra rest to sustain
their growth of muscle mass, which is directly
proportionate to fitness.
There is no contention to the fact that mental alertness,
concentration levels, communication, creativity,
emotional balance and the productivity levels of an
individual is also affected by the amount of sleep.
The Recovery Process
Prolonged sleep deprivation has been linked to anxiety
and depression . Sleep induces the release of certain
hormones that affect the central nervous system of the
body thus affecting mood and emotional stability. Less
sleep increases Cortisol which is a catabolic hormone and
it decreases testosterone levels that are directly related
to muscle mass gain. Less sleep also means a higher
insulin level that increases your body’s resistance to
While one can not contest the importance of fitness
training including weight training one must understand
the mechanics of what really happens to the body while
this physical stress is being faced. While we exercise or
lift weights, the muscle contracts or crunches thereby
getting compressed or shortened.
This happens when the muscle microfibers compress.
With every stimulus you give to your body, the muscle is
strained to respond. What must however be realized is
that between the phases of stimulus, the muscle needs to
recover from it by building new bridges across the new
muscle groups that are slowly forming. This growth is
only possible when the body rests.
Another disturbing consequence that comes with
compromising on the amount of sleep has is in the raised
levels of cortisone which has been directly linked to more
abdominal fats .While there has been encyclopedic
quantum of research on the benefits of fitness programs,
very little attention is paid to the importance of the body
and its sleep requirement.
Balancing heavy workouts with its milder versions and
adequate breaks from strenuous routines is not only the
best antidote for perfect health, it’s the best way to gain
optimal benefits from your exercise routine
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