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[Tony Horton Laws of Fitness] Tony Horton Lifetime Fitness Law Number 8 is Sleep and Stress

Posted Jul 24 2009 12:00am
Jul 22

This is the 8th part of Tony Horton’s series of posts called,

Last week, we covered . Recently we’ve also covered: , , while previously it was and prior to that and we started it all off with, Lifetime Fitness Law #1 – Variety. This Week’s Law of Exercise:

Stressed out, sleep-deprived people don’t eat right and exercise regularly.
Stress depletes energy, strength, and desire, while poor sleep habits
affect your moods and immune function along with cognitive and motor
performance. Burning the candle at both ends makes it impossible to be
fit and healthy.

Do you realize that if you took the fear and anxiety out of every “stressful”
situation in life, the end result of that situation would greatly
improve? You can panic and freak out all you want, but time will still
pass and life will happen, whether you stress out about it or not. So
why not choose patience or curiosity? Patience is a virtue, and who
wouldn’t want to be virtuous in a stressful situation? To be curious
means asking the right questions to help find solutions. When does
fear, worry, or anxiety ever help a situation?

Stress occurs when we are incapable of moving through a situation logically, peacefully,
positively, productively, and gracefully. To be stressed out takes a
lot of energy. Allowing stress to overtake you means you’re having a
tough time dealing with reality. Don’t let stress be your scapegoat.
Stand up, take a deep breath, and see if you can deal with reality
under pressure. I like the parable about 10 people standing in line at
a bank. Three robbers come storming in—screaming, yelling, and waving
guns around. They terrorize the place and steal everyone’s jewelry and
money. What’s the moral of the story? Ten people experiencing the same
event will have very different reactions to it. Some will never
recover, while others will have a crazy story to tell at cocktail
parties. How do you respond to the events in your life?

I like Byron Katie’s 3 Kinds of Business Theory:

Don’t waste your time on gossip, ridicule, envy, self-pity, anger,
guilt, arrogance, impatience, regret, manipulation, jealousy, fear,
worry, and anxiety. It’s too stressful, and it destroys the energy you
need to stay healthy and fit. If you choose understanding, truth,
clarity, patience, devotion, gratitude, acceptance, wisdom, and
forgiveness you will have peace of mind and all the energy in the world
to do whatever you want.

Sleep does more than make you feel rested. Two recent studies with healthy
volunteers demonstrated suppression of immunological function after one
night of modest sleep deprivation. The activity of certain white blood
cells and the production of chemicals essential for immune system
performance significantly decreased. After a good night’s sleep, most
immune functions went back to baseline levels. About 40% of adults
experience sleepiness that interferes with daily activities. Most U.S.
adults get less than seven hours of sleep per night during the
workweek, while research has determined that certain parameters of
immune function are enhanced by more than seven hours of sleep.

Another study showed that the leading cause of traffic accidents in this
country is NOT alcohol, but sleep deprivation. If you don’t have enough
energy to stay awake to drive your car, how will you have enough energy
for a six-day-a-week workout plan? We’re not sleeping enough hours, and
the limited time we spend trying to sleep is filled with so much mind
chatter that we never get the rest we need.

My new Collegiate Merriam-Webster English Dictionary
defines sleep as follows: the natural periodic suspension of
consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored. In the
Taoist philosophy there’s a belief in yin and yang energies. These are
opposing energies that create balance. Exercise is yang energy. Sleep
and rest is yin energy. There must be proper balance between vim and
vigor (yang) and inward calm (yin). If you don’t get enough sound
sleep, your body will NOT receive the proper restoration it needs to
complete or succeed with any fitness program. So TiVo American Idol and
go to bed!

Tony H.

Have you missed one of Tony Horton’s Lifetime Laws of Fitness in this series? Make sure to not miss the next one by subscribing to the blog via RSS or email! Don’t forget to dream big…then DECIDE…then COMMIT…and SUCCEED!


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