Have you been using your time during the COVID-19 quarantine to catch up on your sleep? Your body won’t just thank you throughout the workday — it will reward you when you work out! 

Once restrictions lift, and you’re able to return to your local fitness center in South Jersey, we’re sure you’ll want to continue focusing on better sleeping habits, rather than returning to your old, tired ways. Why? Allow us to explain.

It seems pretty obvious that resting your body for the recommended seven or eight hours a night would give you more energy to exercise. However, so many active people think sleep is a luxury they can’t afford — and don’t really need. We’re so used to running ourselves ragged and running on caffeine or energy drinks. We don’t feel compelled to commit to a consistent quantity, much less quality, of sleep. 

Research shows that people who exercise more need more — not less — sleep in order to get the most out of their workouts. While you might “feel” OK with only a few hours of sleep each night, your performance in the gym will suffer without proper rest. Lagging performance means fewer gains, which leads to frustration and burnout. Without quality rest, the harder you push yourself to reach your goals, the more stress you put on your body, ultimately leading to injuries.

Sleep affects more than just your energy level. It also:

  • Restores the immune system, which wards off disease and aids in healing and recovery from exercise.
  • Helps to regulate the endocrine system, which controls hormone production and secretion — including testosterone and human growth hormone.
  • Boosts brain activity, which helps you make good choices regarding your eating habits and motivates you to hit the gym.

Some studies have linked inadequate sleep to increased appetite and lower resting metabolic rate, both of which make it more difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. 

You might be thinking, “Easy for you to say! My life is hectic and stressful! Getting enough quality sleep is easier said than done!” The good news is, you don’t have to completely overhaul your life in order to improve your sleep patterns and get more restful sleep when you’re actually in bed.

We included some simple suggestions in this infographic.

Here at Kennedy Fitness: A Jefferson Health affiliate, we strive to help our members and their families achieve a better quality of life with a multifaceted, balanced approach to wellness. It’s crucial to move our bodies, either in the gym or in one of our free online fitness classes on Facebook and YouTube. It’s just as important to eat right, rest, and recover.

We hope you’re taking the time to invest in your overall health. We can’t wait to see you back in our workout classes in Mt. Laurel, or any of our six other Kennedy Fitness locations, very soon!