Sleep — how much is enough? Why can’t we skimp on it here and there?
Rest — such unproductive time. Or is it? What does it really mean to rest? And how can we rest without feeling guilty?
Countless friends and family members have told me for years that I don’t get enough rest, that I’m not sleeping enough.
I admit when I have more than I can truly accomplish in 16 of the 24 hours in a day (which is often), the easiest thing for me to cut from my daily agenda is sleep.
And rest outside of sleep is pretty much nonexistent. Rest for me is sleep.
My mom has always said if I discovered 30 free seconds in a day, then I would make an appointment to fill them up. I think she might be right.
Skimping on sleep has been a way of life for me for most of my adult life. In fact, the clock just ticked past the midnight hour as I write this particular column.
I know it’s not healthy nor is it productive but I’ve not yet figured out how to balance it all — time with God, time with family, time with friends, work, household responsibilities, errands, church responsibilities, civic duties, community service, missions and ministry opportunities, etc.
How can we actually rest with so much weighing on us? And how can we possibly sleep away one-third of each day when there’s just so much to do?
It seems we are always running from one activity to the next, finishing up the laundry only to find the sink full of dishes, working late to wrap up a project and then attempting to buy groceries and run other errands before making it home just in time to kiss our spouse goodnight and quietly tap the laptop keys in an attempt to finish one more pending assignment.
Don’t get me wrong. I thrive on activity and love the challenge of trying to achieve all that is in front of me more productively today than I did yesterday. But living in overdrive, overdosing on adrenaline can’t possibly be the healthiest journey.
So how can we do it all with balance and proper rest?
One thing I have discovered these past couple of months since returning to somewhat of a consistent exercise routine is that the more I exercise, the more sleep I need. So exercising seems to be helping me sleep better, while getting enough sleep allows me to exercise better.
Proper exercise also leads to healthier eating and sharper mental capabilities, which helps me focus and be more productive so I can get more done in less time.
Amazingly it all seems to work together in somewhat of a domino effect.
The domino effect also works in reverse — lack of sleep hampers our ability to exercise and eating habits worsen. We need more sugar and caffeine to keep our energy up, and late-night snacking helps keep us awake to work on whatever project we are attempting to complete. And with all of this, we aren’t as sharp or focused. Thus we lose productivity and need more time to do what needs to be done.
If you are interested in learning more about the health benefits of sleep and rest as well as how to get enough of each, then check out next week’s issue. We’ll have coverage on both. And in April, we’ll deal with time management and balancing life’s responsibilities.
I really want to hear from you on this issue and would love to share some of your stories. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also be sure to check out our blog at thealabamabaptist.wordpress.com.
“Reshaping It All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness” by actress Candace Cameron Bure (“Full House,” “Make It or Break It”) has debuted at No. 13 on The New York Times’ paperback advice and miscellaneous best sellers list. Bure recounts in the book her inspirational victory over food addiction and explains how she keeps a healthy outlook on weight despite Hollywood’s toothpick-thin expectations.
The book — released Jan. 1 by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources — helps women begin to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront, making some wise fundamental choices about diet and exercise, and finding their worth in God’s eyes.
To order the book, go to www.thealabamabaptist.org and click on the LifeWay link at the bottom right. (Baptist Press)
How’s the fitness plan for 2011 going? Have you hit a brick wall yet? Already given up?
I hope not. I sure need for you to share with us how you are keeping up the good work and staying consistent.
I did really well in January and early February, but I let other demands crowd my exercise time in mid-February and have had trouble recovering. It is amazing how easy it is to get out of the routine of exercise.
I’m not giving up and I still squeeze in exercise here and there. I just haven’t perfected a daily exercise routine yet. I did make it to four miles on the treadmill in early February though — two miles walking and two miles running. Now it’s time to see if I can get there again.
I’m including a few more fitness facts and tips here just to provide a little motivation for all of us.
Thanks for reading and sharing!
Alabamians who are Baptist hit twice with “fattest” label
The state of Alabama was ranked as one of the fattest states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010.
The Southern Baptist Convention has been labeled as one of the fattest denominations in America.
The Alabama Baptist State Convention acknowledged the state’s ranking in a resolution passed at the 2010 annual meeting. The resolution called for Alabama Baptists to repent of overeating and practice moderation as they eat.
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics, 60 percent of adults in America are overweight.
- Only 20 to 25 percent of adults get enough exercise to actually experience health benefits.
- Exercise counseling is performed by fewer than 35 percent of physicians.
- Approximately 50 percent of individuals who begin an exercise program quit within six to 12 months.
- A sedentary lifestyle puts an individual at a 30 to 50 percent greater risk of higher blood pressure.
Source: Dr. Heath Hale, primary care sports medicine doctor at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster
Is it necessary to see your doctor before beginning to exercise?
Dr. Heath Hale, primary care sports medicine doctor at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, says not necessarily.
“[Seeing your doctor] is more for these folks who have not exercised before, who have high risk for heart disease and are planning on starting a vigorous exercise program,” Hale said. “Most of your individuals don’t need to get an EKG (a test that looks at the electrical activity of the heart) or blood work done. That is a common misconception. For most patients who are asymptomatic (have no symptoms) or not at risk for heart disease … they can be freed up for starting an exercise program.”
Include simplifying life and meaningful devotional and prayer times. Send us your experiences and suggestions on these topics. E-mail email@example.com or comment on our blog at thealabamabaptist.wordpress.com.
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