Not Making Any Progress Even After Working Out? Here Is What To Do

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Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or yoga, to reap the sleep-enhancing benefits. (Image: Shutterstock)

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or yoga, to reap the sleep-enhancing benefits. (Image: Shutterstock)

If you find yourself stuck in a fitness rut despite your best efforts, consider reevaluating your sleep health.

Are you putting in significant effort at the gym and strictly following your diet, yet not seeing the results you expected in your fitness journey? It’s possible that despite your dedication to diet and exercise, there is a vital component that often gets overlooked: sleep.

Yes, it may seem underrated, but the quality of sleep you get can have a significant impact on the success of your fitness endeavours.

“Sleep plays a fundamental role in various aspects of our physical and mental well-being. From muscle recovery and growth to hormone regulation and cognitive function, adequate sleep is the underlying essence of optimal health” says Miten Kakaiya, fitness and wellness coach at Miten Says Fitness.

So how do you harness the power of sleep to elevate your fitness journey?

  • No screen time 60 minutes before bedtime“The blue light emitted by screens disrupts the body’s production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep and achieve restorative rest,” says Miten. Aim to disconnect from electronic devices at least 60 minutes before bedtime to signal to your body that it’s time to unwind. “By avoiding screen time before bed, you signal to your body that it’s time to unwind and prepare for sleep, facilitating a smoother transition into restorative rest,” says Miten.
  • Sunlight in the mornings“Natural light exposure, particularly in the morning, helps synchronize your internal body clock, promoting wakefulness during the day and enhancing sleep quality at night,” says Miten. Spend time outdoors or near a window within the first hour of waking up to kickstart your day and regulate your circadian rhythm. “Even a brief period of sunlight exposure can have a significant impact on your circadian rhythm, setting the tone for a more energized and productive day ahead” Miten adds.
  • Regular ExerciseEngaging in moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, cycling, or yoga, for at least 30 minutes stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, and reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Exercises induce physiological changes that promote relaxation and alleviate tension, making it easier to fall asleep and experience deeper, more restorative rest at night,” says Miten. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or yoga, to reap the sleep-enhancing benefits.
  • Mindful PracticesMindfulness is about focusing on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment. Where you cut out the noise around you, and focus on just yourself.

A few mindful practices that improve sleep quality shared by Miten include:

  1. Diffusing lavender essential oil in your bedroom to stimulate sleep
  2. Having dinners early (at least 2 hours before bedtime)
  3. Avoid caffeine products like coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks, diet coke etc. after 3 p.m.
  4. Keeping a watch on your alcohol consumption
  5. Making pitch dark environment in the room before sleeping
  6. Set the room temperature between 16 to 19 degrees Celsius

“By incorporating mindful activities like these into your evening routine, you create a calming environment that prepares your body and mind for sleep,” says Miten.

By placing a high importance on getting sufficient, high-quality sleep and incorporating scientifically proven sleep hygiene practices into your daily routine, you can enhance both your physical and mental performance, bringing yourself closer to achieving your fitness aspirations.

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