REST+GROW
The importance of sleep

8

January

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Ahhhhh, Sunday. REST DAY. Not only does my house take a true “rest from work” day, but we also take the day off from training (along with Thursdays). According to our crossfit programming, they call it “active rest” which basically means.. have fun and do something leisurely with your family (walk, swim, hike, play, etc) but nothing that’s going to tear you up. We typically train 5 days a week (but let’s be honest, some weeks it’s 3 or 4) and we ALWAYS take at least 2 TRUE rest days of no lifting. Our training days look like 15-20 minutes of just strength training (heavy lifting on one major muscle group like bench press, deadlift, back squat, etc), followed by 20-30 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These change every day and include things like sprints, pull ups, push ups, kettlebell swings, wall ball, burpees and rowing. All the things that make me want to die, basically.

Believe it or not, the actual lifting activates the muscle (telling your body to keep it because it’s useful) and breaks it down (which is what causes the soreness to the point that it’s hard to sit on your toilet without holding onto something). Then, the process of repair comes through proper FOOD and REST. Your muscles actually do their growing when we are NOT using them and when we are sleeping! Getting adequate sleep is KEY to your progress. I know, moms of young ones like me, this may be laughable. But even trying to shoot for getting to bed a little earlier can benefit you a ton! Sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts.

The connection between sleep and weight gain (or a stall in weight loss) is hard to ignore. Research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women who are sleep deprived are a third more likely to gain 33 pounds over the next 16 years than those who receive just seven hours of sleep per night. And with all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes far beyond just looking better and seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.

While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.

Sidenote, you know what gets me out of bed in the morning? Knowing I can go about my day in clothes that I can move freely in AND feel good in– they are basically the excuse to FEEL like you live in pajamas all day, but really you look put together because it’s “activewear.” I have to be careful or else I will never put on another pair of jeans or other “real clothes” for the rest of my life.

So if anyone got a lululemon gift card for Christmas and you’re wondering what to spend it on, here are two of my top picks from lululemon this week. This is what I reach for when I am either lounging, running errands OR working out.

If I were to tell you to try out ONE tank from lululemon, it would be the POWER Y TANK.

Skinny straps and a built-in bra make this the most versatile tank for ALL modes of training. Of course, girls like me that have nursed two babies and like to stay fit don’t have a WHOLE lot to hold in up top, so a tank with a built-in bra is great for me whether I am power cleaning at home (OR in the gym, get it?), running or doing yoga. I’ve also paired this with jeans and heels but it’s not uncommon for me to try to make lululemon fit into any wardrobe for any occasion. I’m just cool/casual/mom like that.  They change out colors and patterns with the season, so this actual tank (white with blue stripes) is not currently available but there are a few great options to choose from right now!

Over the years, my favorite pieces of workout apparel shift. It depends on the season, temperature and activity I’m doing. As of now, I can’t seem to put anything else on in the morning than these HIGH TIMES PANTS. They are a super soft and smooth yoga pant, with high durability so I can crossover and wear them in my more intense crossfit workouts. Similar to the Align Pant in their seemless look, but a little thicker as to hold everything in TIGHT, ifyaknowwhatImean. Praise God and amen to that.

I’ve posted these several times before because they are my current favorite style for fashion-they are the NIKE AIR MAX THEA. I have these in a few different colors because of their classic look and COMFORT, but I don’t train in them (unless I just posing for a photo to make it look like it). Click the link to see the them in navy blue (super swoon).

Next time you are near a lululemon, I encourage you to pop in and talk to a staff member about the apparel. Be specific about what you like and dislike because there seems to be something for everyone here. Try on, have fun and you will find something you love. You may have to save up for it, but it is 100% worth it and you can always pair them with other activewear pieces you already own!

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