Being a mom is not an excuse to pass on the habit of going to gym and getting fit, and this was emphasized recently here on Geek Mamas. It can be empowering to have some ‘me time’ and being able to spend a few hours in a day losing some of the accumulated weight during pregnancy.
Of course, it doesn’t stop there, as you can do more research into how to get the best #BodyAfterBaby. Among the many things about fitness and health for moms, it’s important to note the role of sleep and why it should be a non-negotiable part of your fitness regimen.
On catching enough Zs
When you’re a new mom, juggling your own and your baby’s needs can be quite a challenge. This may take a toll on your health – especially when it’s your restorative evenings that are on the chopping block. It’s especially ironic considering that all moms know the importance of their child’s sleep, but don’t exactly prioritize their own.
As it turns out, so many Americans lack sleep everyday that sleep loss is now considered a public health problem. Harvard Health summarizes the effects of inadequate sleep in six different areas of life: learning and memory, metabolism and weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health, and risks of disease. In fact, the quality and quantity of sleep you get on the regular is so consequential so much so that Time Magazine likens it to the fountain of youth. For moms looking to get fit, adequate sleep helps regulate hunger and appetite hormones while also regulating the way a person’s body processes and stores carbohydrates.
A three-fold challenge
When thinking of getting fit, two things usually come into mind: eating healthy and exercising regularly. However, more and more research is pointing to another pillar in terms of achieving and maintaining a healthy physique: Sleep is just as important, and sometimes even more so, than diet and exercise.
Sleep gives you energy, and prepares your body mentally and physically for your gym time, making sleep an extremely important part of your fitness regimen. Fitness expert Jim White tells Leesa, “When you’re tired you’re less likely to work out, and your body produces more of the hunger hormone leptin, which can lead to overeating. Your muscles recover during sleep – you can’t get truly to a high level of fitness without enough sleep.”
The effects of sleep are so profound that White and other fitness experts would recommend sleeping in after a late night over pushing your body to exercise with just four hours of sleep, which a lot of moms are prone to doing. Success Magazine argues that you need all three parts of fitness – regular exercise, healthy diet, and adequate sleep – to achieve and maintain a healthy body.
At the end of the day, healthy living is something you can do on your own pace. Finding a gym that also houses a daycare center may be invaluable for moms looking to get fit, while learning more about the importance of sleep gives additional reasons to maintain the lifestyle. Let us know how things are going for your #BodyAfterBaby journey in the comments!