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6 Week Fitness Challenge: Day #4 - Getting Rest

Posted Jan 16 2009 1:01am
Four days down and 38 more to go. Yes I'm counting - I don't know how many days I can go without an Apple Fritter!

As of today I have dropped the two pound gain from day #2 & #3 and actually fallen below my start weight. I won't reveal how much though. I will post new numbers every Monday.

I might suggest you do the same with your Journal, recording scale numbers only once per week. This is a good strategy if daily scale fluctuations tend to de-motivate you. Just concentrate on the things you need to do today - follow your Fitness Challenge Plan. Nutrition control, strength training, cardio, supplements, water and plenty of rest. Have faith that your consistent adherence to your plan will show itself with positive results on weigh in day.

Tip: Don't get hung up on the scale on a daily basis - unless of course - it motivates you.

Challenges encountered so far:

The nutrition and exercise portion of the Fitness Challenge Plan I set for myself is going well. I have had a few scheduling issues with my planned workouts but so far have been able to adjust and complete.

My biggest challenge so far has been getting plenty of quality rest - sleep. I start the day at 5:30am and don't get to bed until midnight. This is only giving me 5 and half hours of sleep per night - assuming I fall asleep as my head hits the pillow.

Quality sleep is essential for great health and well being. We all know that! Getting enough of it is another story. So, how much does a person need? That answer, I believe, is a personal one. The experts will tell you that you need at least 8-9 hours of quality sleep per 24 hour cycle. My observations show me that some people need more(in some cases a lot more - they can't be that cranky by accident) and some need less. I am one of the those who needs less.

I have rarely needed more than 6 to 6 and half hours per night. In fact, if I sleep more than this I actually feel more tired upon waking. Many years ago, in my twenties, I experimented with this idea of optimal sleep for myself. Over the course of about two months I recorded the time that I went to bed and the time that I awoke. I entered notes in my journal on my productivity and general energy levels. I experimented with different lengths of sleep time, from 4.5 hours to 8.5 hours, per night.

6.5 hours turned out to be my magic number.

With my current schedule I am coming up short by at least 1 hour every night. With the additional physical stresses of increased workouts and the mental stresses of an increased work load(such as creating a blog post every night) I need to get that hour back - plus a little more.

If I don't make a change in my sleep patterns, an inefficient weight loss rate will be the least of my problems. Bigger problems may surface - a drop in productivity and/or a weakened immune system allowing me to get sick - problems that will sidetrack my 6 Week Fitness Challenge all together.

Starting tonight I am going to hit the hay by 11pm. I wonder if anybody will notice a difference?
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