Poignant Irrelevance

Monday, January 11, 2010


Which would you rather get more of, if you could only choose one: more exercise or more sleep? I was pondering this question early this morning when I was feeling way too tired to get out of bed to exercise.

The answer probably depends on the current your phase of life. It seems like a tough question because more exercise will likely lead to a longer lifespan and lower healthcare costs (among other things). But I'm less aware regarding the consequences of being continually under-rested.


  • the more you exercise, the more rest you require. it is a tough balance to strike, so i actually schedule 'rest' days [days where i force an early night and can ensure a late sleep] and then days with no activity as traditional rest days.

    but, if it is sleep vs. exercise, exercise almost always wins [in the early morning].

    being in a state of constant exhaustion, though, will result in a reduced immune system and the body won't be able to recover from workouts. at some point, your body will FORCE you to rest [through sickness or complete muscle failure]. my guess is that long exposure to this state would result in a reduced life span.

    By Blogger jeff, at 10:35 AM  

  • I think the answer depends on two factors. First, how much sleep you're currently getting and how much sleep you need. The "average" amount of sleep a person needs is just that: an average. Some people are just wired differently and need more or less sleep than average to feel mentally okay. (or what you might mean when you say "under-rested")

    Me personally? I'd vote more exercise. Sleep is overrated.
    You sleep when you die.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 8:17 PM  

  • Can't I have more of both????

    By Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick, at 2:07 PM  

  • For me, I would choose more sleep. I have some problems with insomnia, and lack of sleep is no joke. My blood pressure goes up, my resting heart rate goes up. I eat more in an attempt to recoup energy. Not to mention the fogginess and depression and inability to manage everyday tasks. That doesn't happen to me when I don't get exercise.

    It's impossible to think of as an either/or choice, but I guess I have to say that I can't exercise without sleep, but I can sleep without exercise. Sleep is the underpinning for exercise and not vice versa.

    By Blogger gingersnapper, at 8:02 AM  

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