sleep

The high demands of training

Since little, I was taught that being active was a natural part of life. Moving, using our body  - instead of just passively living in it- develops coordination, proprioception and is the foundation of learning skills. I was playing outside, running around with my bicycle, doing sports... Few years later, when I started weight training, it didn't take me long to figure that results required sacrifices. I wasn't playing around anymore, I wanted to see my body changing and being able to do extraordinary stuff. I was a young girl ready and willing to step it up. L10_6705

me at 23ish training at Gold's Gym, Miami Beach

If you train with purpose you need a certain lifestyle. This lifestyle has high demands and you make daily decisions in favor or against it. Not always you can put your training as first priority, but you should always try: only so you'll see the changes you wish to see, or the skills you wish to learn taking form.

Your energy and performance level depend on sleep, diet, habits, rest.

A sleepless night doesn't kill you, but if you train you know what a key role sleeping plays in recovery. There is no progress without sleep, and often you'll have to pick between a night of party (fun!) or a night of sleep (sometimes boring) that will assure you a great condition for training hard the day after. I used to turn down all parties! But then I learned that I can always come home early and still get good sleep, or planning a day off the day after I have a night out.

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I definitely partied on my B-day :D

Diet is something else that has a huge impact on training. You are what you eat, seriously! So be a broccoli :) lol just kidding, but vegetables should be ALWAYS included in your meals, if not all, most! Also lean protein, complex carbs, healthy fats. AND A LOT OF WATER. Simple, clean food you can distinguish the ingredients in it. Example of something I'm having often lately: brown rice, olive oil, steamed veggies, smoked salmon, lemon juice.

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I love local markets!

You also need good habits. There's a time to eat, a time to train, a time to sleep, a time to work. I know sounds boring, but your body is a simple machine that performs best when it's used to something. Even with training, pick a time and make your body used to the fact that you train at lunch time or late afternoon. This also will help to remind yourself to be more consistent without forgetting sessions.

Another good habit has to do with avoiding drugs and alcohol. I still have to find an athlete who do drugs or drink and doesn't find it deadly on the body (one drink sometimes is fine, binge drinking is not). A trained body is a highly functional body and it's very susceptible to drugs, drugs are not for the healthy athlete who cares about their performances and have love for their body.

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healthy body happy bending Last but definitely not least...Rest. Sometimes you need to do nothing! It's precious time your body needs to recharge. Rest is not sleep, it's actually having a day a week or two where you don't physically tire yourself. It's somehow hard to take days off when you're used to train every day, you either worry that a day off will halt your progress or you actually don't know what to do with your time off - lol I had that feeling many times. But now I take time off to rest and be lazy and drive around or watch a movie, because I remind myself I work hard so I feel I deserve it :)

Strong. Capable. Confident. Healthy. Younger: definitely consequences that are worth the sacrifices!

ZZZZZZ

I feel bad because I haven't been posting regularly, but a fitness philosopher like me can't just open the laptop and type, I gotta have either a good training/nutrition topic to discuss or some sort of inspiration, deep thinking, meditation, self-examination process going on. I'm sorry you have to wait for one of those lol. Today my brain is in a vegetative state so forgive my grammar or if I say some nonsense, but I'm lacking sleep from last night and that's what happen: I'm SLOW.

There are several things that happen in your body when you don't sleep:

1. Suppressed immune system

2. Attention deficit

3. Moodiness (sleep and mood are regulated by same chemicals)

4. Increased appetite: Guess what? You're not craving carrots and spinach. You want the WORST sugary and fatty bastard foods. One simple reason this happen is because your body release more ghrelin (hunger inducing hormone) and less leptin (hunger suppressing hormone). Go figure why not the opposite? I'd stay awake 24/7! JK...

5. Fight or flight state: Body registers stress. Body isn't a very bold guy, ... whatever you do you're in danger. Ehy I just didn't sleep last night, relax dude! NO. Body feels the need to increase blood pressure, blood glucose, cortisol and heart rate. DO NOT drink coffee to wake up! Make things worst.

One thing I know for sure is that night sleep is not the same as day sleep. The real restful recharging sleep happens at night. Any other time is BS. So if you had a bad night's sleep, survive the day and drag yourself to bed EARLY.

I go through periods where I sleep like a baby and others where I wake up every night, usually around 1 or 2 am, and it takes me an hour or so to fall back asleep. I noticed in the past when I used to diet very hard my sleep was awful. I'd wake up at 3am craving my breakfast... sleeping hungry is the worst! On the other hand, training intensely is a great sleep booster and body relaxer.

I took benzodiazepines every now and then when sleeping was just too hard for me. They work like magic, but it's easy to get addicted and you better have a doctor's prescription if you're taking them... they're not candy.

So in other words... I'm really looking forward to my bed tonight.

Buonanotte!