Welcome back to this week’s edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays where we are talking about one exercise topic for two minutes and giving you three reasons why you should follow our advice. Now this week, we are talking to those of you who may be feeling a little sleep deprived. For whatever reason, you aren’t catching enough Z’s, but you still want to exercise. What things do you need to keep in mind with your workouts in order to make sure your body gets improved by your workouts and not just broken down further?
1) Stay Consistent With Your Movement
Exercise Tip Number One When You Are Feeling Sleep Deprived: Stay consistent with your movement. A lot of times when people are sleep deprived, they like to skip workouts and skip movement opportunities. But, sometimes this is actually the thing that will help you sleep. So, make sure your workouts stay consistent, even if they have to be a little bit different than the norm.
Action Step: Plan on moving around for at least 20 minutes every day. Skipping your workouts means you lose out on the health-promoting benefits of exercise, which can actually start to help you sleep better.
2) Focus On Squeezing Muscles
Exercise Tip Number Two When You Are Feeling Sleep Deprived: Focus on squeezing your muscles during your workouts instead of trying to exert a lot of energy. When you shift your focus from how hard you are pushing to simply squeezing your muscles, that can help to shift your exercise from exercise that uses your body to exercise that builds or rebuilds your body. This shift leads to they type of exercise you will absolutely need to be doing when you are sleep deprived.
Action Step: Instead of focusing on your heart rate, the amount of weight you are lifting, the number of reps you are doing, or how fast you are running, focus instead on squeezing your muscles. This will make a huge difference as to how your body responds to your exercise.
Related: E10 – The Exercise Pyramid
3) Change Your Exercise Intensity
Exercise Tip Number Three When You Are Feeling Sleep Deprived: Change the intensity of your exercise. When you are sleep deprived, make sure you are still exercising and you are focusing on squeezing your muscles during your workouts, but also give yourself permission to cut back on the intensity of your workout. This can mean cutting back on the total amount of time you are working out, the amount of weight you are lifting, or how challenging you are making your workouts. Your body is already fatigued, and exercise will fatigue it more, so make sure that you cut back on the weights so that you can still get some of the health benefits of exercise without overtaxing your system.
Action Step: Consider performing your regular workouts at 50%-70% of the volume and intensity that you normally do. This will be slightly challenging, but should feel stimulating to your body instead of being detrimental.