Want to get fitter in the gym? Maybe you need to think outside the gym, literally.
Cleaning up your sleep habits means you’ll hit your muscle and performance goals faster and easier, says Lisa MacDonald, a personal trainer who runs the women’s program at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City. She trains an eclectic group of women—stay-at-home moms to competitive athletes—and once they establish a sleep routine, results follow. That’s because adequate sleep triggers testosterone, which builds muscle, while not sleeping enough can spur a release in cortisol, the hormone that breaks down muscle, says Christopher Winter, M.D. who studies the link between fitness and sleep. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself fitter and far from fatigue.
AVOID LATE NIGHTS
Your body pumps out the majority of the strength- and muscle-building hormone testosterone during the first three hours of your regular sleep pattern, says Winter. Miss that window and, even if you log eight hours, you still lose the night’s most important muscle-building moment. First establish a consistent sleep schedule—go to bed at 10 and wake at five or six, for example. Then stick to it, limiting your late nights to a few a month. Woman’s Health