A client wrote me this the other day:
“I’ve had this dilemma recently. Do I take a nap or go to the gym? I haven’t been sleeping my needed 8 hours because of my kids having trouble sleeping through the night.
Any words of advice? Maybe one day gym, the next nap?”
What do you think? Sleep or workout?
You may be surprised that I suggested sleep over exercise to her. My specific suggestion was to take a nap after work and consider a 10-15 minute walk afterwards with her kids. The more and more I work with individuals on weight loss, the more I realize that stress is often causing individuals to keep weight on rather than simply eating too much or not exercising enough.
When you do not sleep enough, the body is stressed and not functioning at its most efficient. If stress hormones run too high your body will hold on to fat rather than not. And if you are tired, you will get delirious and likely not make the best food choices.
Don’t get me wrong, if you overeat and/or live a sedentary life…that is a stressor to the body and will likely cause weight gain! But if you eat too little or workout too much, that is a stressor too!
So, what to do…workout? Sleep? De-stress?
Of course I don’t know the exact right answer….but I know that you should notice how you are feeling. And being honest with yourself regarding how much sleep you are getting, how you are eating, how much you are exercising and how stressed you are feeling.
I know we live in a world of “work hard, play hard” but sometimes if you push yourself too much you are only causing your body to shut down.
Some of us live in a world where we follow the concept “be good to yourself” – maybe that could be just what you need to get you on your way.