It’s a familiar weeknight dilemma: You know you should exercise, but you just feel too tired. Maybe an early night is best, instead?
Deciding which was most important – sleep or exercise – came down to working out the crux of the issue, accredited practising dietitian Charlene Grosse said.
“It’s very much about mindfulness,” she said.
“What is the driver? What is the action that will help you make better choices?”
For all of us, diet, exercise and sleep are inter-related.
“They’re all quite important and will affect our health and different issues. It’s very much about getting a balance,” Ms Grosse said.
“If you don’t get enough sleep, it affects your energy levels, it affects your food choices.”
“So much of snacking is not hunger-related – often it’s about boredom.”
Guidelines are for seven to nine hours of sleep every night for adults. Worryingly, 40 per cent of Australians don’t achieve this.
For many of us, exercise could be the key to a better night’s shut-eye. Which, in turn, would break the cycle of sleep-or-exercise – and not getting enough of either.
“It could be exercise that helps reduce stress,” Ms Grosse said.
“It’s taking a step back and seeing what is the imbalance, and what you need to do.”
She said clients often told her they were too busy to exercise at night – but they had time to trawl social media or watch TV.
“It’s about being savvy and clever and including daily exercise into your routine,” she said.
She sometimes advises clients to schedule exercise into their daily routines. It was also important to recognise that exercise didn’t have to mean a full-on session at the gym.
“We often have a perception that unless we are doing it at full intensity, it’s no good to us,” Ms Grosse said.
“It’s more about keeping moving … finding ways in what you do daily. Take the stairs and not the lift, park your car further away and walk into work.”
She said a good motto was for “up” exercises – up stairs, up hills and push-ups.
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