We live in a culture that goes “full speed ahead” more often than not. Self-care is thrown around a lot as an idea and concept, but not used as a practice. When you don’t prioritize some of the most basic forms of care, your mind and body can both suffer. That includes getting regular exercise and getting enough sleep.
Be honest – when was the last time you got enough sleep? If other things are taking priority in your life, it’s time to make a change. Understanding why exercise and sleep are so important can help to spark that change. Let’s cover a few of those reasons so you can find the motivation to “get back to basics” with your self-care.
1. Improved Mental Health
Both exercise and sleep have been linked to mental wellness. Exercise is a natural mood booster. You’ve probably heard of the term “runner’s high,” but no matter what type of exercise you do, you’ll feel happier both during and immediately afterward.
Getting enough sleep is a great way to reduce stress and fight off the symptoms of anxiety and depression. On the contrary, not prioritizing sleep can make those symptoms worse.
2. Improved Physical Health
There’s no denying the physical benefits that come from regular exercise. No matter your goals, prioritizing physical activity can help you lose weight, build muscle, and maintain your stamina. More importantly, it can improve your cardiovascular health and boost your immune system.
While sleep might not seem important for your physical well-being, it’s crucial! When you sleep, your body “repairs” itself, which is especially necessary if you’re exercising regularly. Sleep also helps to strengthen your immune system, so you’re less likely to get sick.
3. Reduced Risk of Disease
Both of these actions can help to lower your risk of certain conditions and diseases. That includes heart disease, diabetes, and even different types of cancer.
While exercise and sleep don’t serve as “cure-alls,” and can’t completely prevent conditions, they can improve your overall health so it’s less like you’ll be affected.
4. Improved Concentration
Do you ever find that you have a hard time focusing? Maybe you’re not as productive at work as you want to be. Or, maybe your personal relationships are struggling because you can’t concentrate on conversations.
Both sleep and exercise can help! They have been proven to boost focus and cognitive abilities. Not only is that important for everyday tasks at work, but it will also keep you safer when you need a quick response time – including when you’re driving.
5. It Can Lead to Healthier Habits
Everyone is busy. Schedules are crazy. You might struggle to find five minutes of free time in a day. Unfortunately, that busy lifestyle can lead to unhealthy habits – including not getting enough sleep and remaining sedentary most of the time.
When you choose to make sleep and exercise priorities in your life, it can lead to the adoption of other healthy habits, too. You’ll start to recognize the benefits of taking care of your health, which can motivate you to eat better, be more mindful, and recognize areas of your life that need more attention.
No matter how busy you are, prioritizing sleep and exercise is a choice. By finding time for both in your everyday routine, you’ll tap into the “feel good” centers of your brain to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and more. And, as you can see, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the incredible benefits.
If you’re struggling to find time for either of these things, consider what else is taking precedence. Is it worth it? How can you shift your priorities now to improve your overall well-being? By taking a look at your schedule and what’s important in your life, it’ll be easier to adjust those priorities.
A coach can help you set up the steps toward these better habits. Reach out now!
Woman hiking from Wix Media