Sleep 8 hours vs. early morning workout: What is the best choice?

Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Is it better for my overall health to get 8 full hours of sleep per night but have no time to exercise, or is it better to get 6-7 hours of sleep per night and fit in a morning workout?” With the busy lives we all live, it can seem nearly impossible to get a workout in without sacrificing our sleep or other personal commitments.

What’s the answer to the question above? Both sleep and exercise are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We should strive to find balance in all that we do to help us create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, having a goal to exercise for a solid one-hour a day may seem like an impossible goal to achieve each day. It may be more realistic and helpful to shift from this goal to a general goal of just being more active throughout the day.

Take some time to reflect on your day-to-day schedule and think about how you can still get some physical activity in during the day without any sacrifices. Here are some quick tips to be more active throughout the day:

  • Park at the end of a parking lot to get more steps in.
  • Go through every aisle of the grocery store.
  • Walk to the restroom that is furthest away from your office/room.
  • Schedule a family evening walk after dinner.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Stand up and stretch every 30 minutes.
  • Take “walking” meetings where you talk and walk.
  • Set daily goals like aiming to get 10,000 steps in each day. Use a step counter app on your phone, a pedometer, or a step counter watch to track your daily steps. Or, try tracking your physical activity minutes a piece of paper. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity minutes each week.

Please contact the University of Idaho Extension Canyon County office at 208-459-6003 if you have any questions regarding health, nutrition, and food safety.

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