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The best way to recover from exercise? Sleep

The best way to recover from exercise? Sleep

A whole heap of really important stuff happens when we sleep. This is essentially the time when our bodies “download” the benefits of any exercise we’ve done, repair damage, and fend off illness.

You can train as hard as you choose, but if you’re not getting that supplementary sleep then you will not be performing at your best, and you’re also putting your body under stresses that it won’t be able to cope with.

Sleep, in the fitness world, has to be considered as the best recovery tool out there.

If you’re lacking in sleep, there’s no alternative to help you meet the same levels of recovery.

A solid eight hours a night is the recommended dose, although there are people who can function on less. If you start your workout on less than adequate sleep, then your function will be seriously impaired, and can be compared to somebody turning up mildly drunk.

Hormones including testosterone and human growth hormone are working hard while you sleep, and helping to repair damaged tissue. When you are rested, your body is able to deal with what’s thrown at it, and this is why you get fewer coughs and colds when you are well rested.

If the choice is between fitting in an extra workout or getting the right hours of sleep – choose sleep every time.

 

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running ultra marathons. In addition to training for her epic runs she finds time for strength training, Pilates and Yoga. .

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