Sleep or exercise, what would you choose for a healthy lifestyle?

[Related Blood Test: Whole Body Check-up]

You would already know and would have heard and read how important sleep and exercise both are for your well-being.

When you’re short on time or are tired, does it still make sense to wake up early or take out time for a work-out?

Absolutely!

Quality sleep and regular exercise, coupled with wholesome and healthy food, feed off each other, and balance each other out. Skipping one or compromising on one for the other isn’t a good idea.

Research says that less than seven hours of sound sleep could lead to shorter workouts and drain energy faster. Higher exertion and fatigue is the most natural outcome the same day and even the following day.

But does that mean sleeping is more important than exercise?

No, we still can’t say that. Once you start skipping your workout, your sleep would suffer as well, in terms of quality and duration.

What if you need to make a trade-off, you may ask!

Experts advise that it’s crucial that adults catch seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but if you feel energized with an hour or two less, listen to your body and avoid extra snooze time. Hit the gym or the park early in that case!

Sometimes we wake up feeling drained and can’t make a decision! That’s natural – so pick workout especially if you feel groggy. It is most likely to pep you up and prepare your body for a better sleep than what you seem to have had the previous night.

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When you don’t quite feel at your peak, think about moving your sweat session outside. Exposure to bright morning light suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, so you feel more energized. Plus, it has the added bonus of regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, so you sleep more soundly in the evening.

There are exceptions though – if you are exhausted, it could be a sign you aren’t well or your body does need a break. In that case, don’t force yourself. Everyone deserves a cheat day. Let yourself sleep if you are able to catch a snooze after lying down again. If not, you could opt for lighter exercise, such as a stroll or a jog.

So what’s the verdict?

You are the best judge of your schedule and understand your body well. At the end of the day, you should feel content, still energetic enough and motivated for the next day. Overall well-being requires a routine that you decide for yourself, one that you can stick to day after day.

Groggy mornings can be a sign you need to hit the sack earlier than usual.

Sleepless nights could mean you need to do more of physical activity.

Experts suggest that 20 to 30-minute interval workout is just as effective as the longer and slower one. Naps are a great and smart way of giving yourself a break during the day and also re-energizing for the rest of the day. Sound sleep, a good workout, some nap time and healthy food is your recipe to a content life. Hang up your sneakers, too, once in a while and smell the flowers, literally, on an easygoing stroll once in a while. Find your own balance.

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