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The wellness secret you haven’t tried

Last Modified: May 18, 2024

Family Medicine, Sports & Exercise


This post was written by Shawn Glenn, ATC, certified athletic trainer, Parkview Sports Medicine.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is exercise and eat healthy, right? Those are the predominant messages if you want to lose weight and stay in shape. “Go on this diet,” “Try this new trendy workout at the gym.” Researchers and fitness influencers always have a fresh take on superfoods with youth-retaining qualities or quick fixes for stubborn love handles. But I have a little secret for you. One of the greatest things you can do for your body is, drumroll, please … rest!  

Yes, I said rest! You need to rest as much as you need to be active and eat nourishing foods. At rest, your body recovers from all the stress you endure throughout the day. Think of it as your internal reset button. Without it, we build up too much stress and the whole system crashes.  

What does rest really look like?

Let’s define rest. We’ll call it a “meaningful break” that your mind can use to recalibrate and filter the day. For the brain to do this efficiently, you need to stop taking in new data, which usually requires about 7-8 hours of meaningful sleep.

The role sleep plays in recovery

Now that we’ve defined rest as sleep, we can circle back to the significance of this function in relation to wellness.

Exercise-induced stress can wreak havoc on the body. For most of us, work, hectic schedules and life demands present an untold number of stressors. “Work hard, play hard,” as the saying goes. But I suggest shifting to a “sleep well, feel well” mentality. To get the most out of your day, you have to prioritize rest. Otherwise, by dinner, your body is going to let you know that it cannot handle any more stress, and it will start shutting down, whether you want it to or not.

Sleep is as crucial as eating healthy foods and moving your body regularly. If you’ve been trying to lose unwanted pounds or make gains in your workouts without success, focusing on rest could be the magic ingredient you’ve been lacking–more effective than any social media trend or superfood star.

Tips for better sleep

If you’re looking for guidance on getting the best night of sleep possible, check out these articles from the Parkview Dashboard:

Mindfulness and sleep

Motivation to power down for a better night’s sleep

Could sleep restriction therapy be right for you?

4 strategies for better sleep

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