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Tired bodies mean poor performance

by Jerry Vance

How tired are you? Haven’t had a good restful sleep in days? Do you find yourself with side effects from that lack of sleep? Days that cost you loss of rest will show up in your exercise capability. If you are exercising when tired and lacking in sleep, you may find it difficult to complete your normal exercise routine.

Coordination becomes a hurdle. No longer will your mind talk to your extremities. Your eyes will see only the slow moving and fixed forms of an exercise movement. Given any sudden changes in direction or pattern, you can be a candidate for injury. Exercising at an early hour or late at night isn’t for the person who is tired.

If you are a swimmer, jogger, or into a sport that you can do without thinking, then late night fitness may not be a problem for you. But those who try quick sports after the mind and body turn off, risk injury. Also, if you are tired and you have been exercising for 30 minutes or longer, you have used up a good portion of your initial energy. Time to slow down to rebuild your energy.

Breathing sequences become irregular when a student is tired. Concentration on pacing is diminished and the pulse goes up. Sleep patterns can change several times during the span of a week. Monitoring your amount of rest is like counting calories. Some days you get your eight hours of sleep, and some days it’s six. Try to work out your sleep amounts on a weekly basis.

I have been to 5 a.m. exercise classes at conferences when my brain refused to function. After 15 minutes of grueling chaos I left. I have been to master classes at 10 p.m. I don’t function then either. Usually I’m good for an hour of deep concentration, but not at 10 p.m. The mind is only good for so many repetitions or so many instructions and then it blanks out for 10 to 20 seconds and flips back in again. Do you realize what can happen in a fast changing fitness sport during that 20 seconds?

When you find yourself sleepless for even one night, don’t try for a demanding sport that requires close concentration. Mind and body get tired and the body is a unit that requires all parts to work in unison.

Jerry Vance is owner of The Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Senior Center and Healthsmart.