New Lily

To Exercise or To Sleep…That is the Question!

Which one? To Exercise or to Sleep….that is the question!! We might as well face it: we can’t do it all. There are no “extra” hours in the day just waiting for us to use for sleep and exercise. I am often faced with the dilemma: sleep or workout? Now in my 40’s, I face this more than I did in my 20’s or 30’s, when it seemed “I could do it all”! I find that the answer has a lot to do with trying to keep balance in my life. We can usually sense when our bodies are sleep deprived. As a mother of nine, and with one child still under the age of two, I can honestly say that I have been sleep deprived for about 20 years!
For me, it really comes down to a bottom line. I guess you could say my bottom line number is three. That is, three days without at least 6-7 hours of sleep (not necessarily uninterrupted) is my limit. After that, I am pretty much toast! I can usually manage two nights in a row, but by the time that third night comes and I have consistently slept less than 6 hours, there is an obvious negative effect. I am much less productive and usually grouchy (my kids would say EXTREMELY so). And I really don’t feel well.
If it comes to that point, and I have planned on an early morning run or a weight workout on that third morning, I have to change those plans! I have learned that I am no good in this sleep deprived mode. A day without a workout is much better than a day with exercise, but also heavy with fatigue. It just isn’t worth it. Even if I could exercise sometime later in the day, I usually skip it.
I have learned something else about this kind of decision: I don’t look back. I try not to let the, “I should have worked out” voice echo in my brain. There is no reason to beat myself up about a good decision. I also ban the, “I’ll get it in later” thought that unrealistically invades my mind. When I decide I’m too tired, I’m too tired…all day. Otherwise, I simply become frustrated when I can’t fit in a workout (which is usually the case anyway). It is much better to tell myself to rest on this day, and push myself a little harder the next.
Again, its all about balance. If exercise becomes too important, and it starts to negatively influence the other parts of my life, I need to back off! Importance of sleep.

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