Week 5 – Wednesday

It has taken me a while to write my Wednesday post, I had an off boot camp day and did not feel proud of my accomplishments that day.  After a great deal of reflection, I came to realize that having an off day is part of participating in a continuing exercise program.  We are all going to have off days, the key is to do your best even if you don’t feel like you are performing at your best.

I am not saying if you are injured or sick that you should go out and ignore those ailments.  I am saying if you show up and you are struggling, it’s okay.  Even professional athletes have off days and they survive!  My problem is sleep deprivation.  I am not the best sleeper, my brain loves to solve problems in the middle of the night which means I am up in the middle of the night.   I was hoping that my new program would help me in the sleep department, but it hasn’t yet.

According to an article I read on About.com, sleep deprivation can hinder your performance.  I agree common sense, but it did make me feel better to see it in print.  The results of the study showed that after four hours of sleep per night (the sleep deprivation period), glucose is metabolized less efficiently. Levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) are also higher during sleep deprivation periods, which has been linked to memory impairment, age-related insulin resistance, and impaired recovery in athletes.  All this can occur with just a week of sleep deprivation (aka – how I slept all last week!)  

This article goes into how glucose and glycogen (stored glucose) are the main sources of energy for athletes. This is important with endurance athletes because glucose is stored in the muscle and the liver.  When you are sleep deprived, the storage of glycogen is reduced.  So if you are sleep deprived you are not able to store the fuel you need in long-term exercise events.

I already knew that sleep was part of the key to performing well in an exercise  program, what I need to figure out is how to provide my body with the proper amount of sleep.  I only hope as my health improves that this component of my life will improve as well.

On Wednesday our workout involved working together as a team.  Each team consisted of 4 members which represents all the legs of a stool (Team, Cardio, Strength Training and Nutrition).  Each component is an important part of our boot camp philosophy as well as the key to fitness success.  Our morning included going up and down stairs, running, sprinting, crawling,  push-ups, sit-ups, burpees and a friendly dip in the ocean.

I left that morning not feeling positive about my workout, but now realize that as long as I do my best, that is better than not showing up.  As I head into the end of this 6 week session, I can see the changes I have made in my health having a positive affect on me.  I am excited about this last week of boot-camp, and how far I have gone in just the past 6 weeks.  Since October, I have lost 25 pounds and look forward to seeing the downward number on the scale.

I love the journey I am on and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 weeks of training will bring for me.

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