When most people hear the word fitness, the first thing they think about is diet and exercise. While these two actions are important to keep fit, they are not the only factors required to stay healthy. In fact, there are three other factors that are just as important but are often overlooked when starting a fitness routine. These factors are sleep, hydration, and de-stressing.
These three elements of fitness can be easier to add to a daily routine but many people don’t do so because they don’t realise how important they are. Once they understand the importance of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and being mentally relaxed, they can actively add them to their routine.
The Importance Of Good Sleep
Sleep is important because this is the time when the body and mind get restored. The body repairs itself by rebuilding worn-out muscles, and other organs. This is also the time when injuries heal. It is during sleep that the body builds extra muscle mass and gets rid of toxins. For anyone who works out regularly, sleep is part of the process of burning fat and improving muscle tone. Without sleep, exercise could do more harm than good for health.
To make sure that they get enough sleep, people need to make an effort to go to bed earlier. Getting home earlier from work, restricting TV and internet time, and having a winding down routine can make it possible to get more sleep. A winding down routine can be as simple as brushing teeth, getting comfortable in bed, and reading a book before falling asleep. Having a night-time routine like this has been found to help people have a more restful sleep.
The Best Way To Stay Hydrated
The human body is made up of 60% water and it is important to maintain this level for normal bodily functions. People feel thirsty when working out and drink a lot of water. However, during a busy workday, when attending meetings, travelling, or even sitting at a computer, they often forget to drink water.
Thirst is a good indicator that the body needs more water and it is important to drink a couple of glasses of water at this time. People sometimes ignore their thirst because they are too focused on work, worried about needing to use the toilet when travelling, or don’t have drinking water nearby. It helps to keep a bottle of water close by at all times, and when travelling, to drink sufficient water after reaching the destination.
How Stress Can Ruin A Fitness Routine
“Stress is bad for you” is a phrase that is heard too often. Not only is stress bad but it can completely disrupt a fitness routine. Stress can be good during a workout but when it continues beyond that, it disrupts the body’s recovery. Stress causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol which makes muscles remain tensed for longer. As long as the muscles are tensed, they cannot be repaired, which can lead to muscle damage.
Yoga and meditation have been proven to reduce stress. But other activities like taking a walk in the garden or park, taking up a hobby, or getting a massage can also help relieve stress and help with relaxation. Lowered stress helps improve sleep quality which as mentioned earlier is another important factor for fitness.
Remember to sleep, hydrate, and de-stress when starting a fitness routine.