More sleep is the best thing to add to your routine to lose weight and get in shape, according to a fitness coach
- British fitness coach Joe Wicks thinks the best thing people can do for their health is prioritize sleep.
- When you're sleep-deprived, you're less likely to exercise, he told Insider.
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Joe Wicks is a British fitness coach, author, and media personality on a mission to help people live healthier lives and get in shape.
Eating well and exercising regularly plays a crucial role in overall well-being, but Wicks' number one piece of advice for anyone wanting to be healthier is simple: sleep more.
The personal trainer told Insider that prioritizing sleep can help you make healthier food choices, get moving, and feel less stressed.
"The number one priority for anyone out there who's struggling with their exercise and mental health is to get sleep," he said. "And then from that, you'll wake up with the energy to exercise. And then from that, you'll want to put good food in your body. It's a cycle."
Wicks said he skips late night gaming and TV, and goes to bed earlier, which has a "massive impact" on how he feels.
He now tries to go to bed by 9 P.M. which has "completely transformed" his life and gives him the energy to exercise before his kids wake up in the morning, he said.
Wicks said going to bed earlier helps reduce his junk food consumption
Wicks said he often craves junk food in the evening, so by hitting the hay earlier, he doesn't eat as much.
When well rested, Wicks said it's easier for him to make better food choices the next day, and there's research to back his approach.
A 2018 study by the University of Arizona, for example, found a link between lack of sleep and obesity, with a majority of participants saying they craved junk food more when tired.
Wicks said that when people are really tired, they're more likely to choose comfort food and sugary treats rather than cooking wholesome meals.
Getting more sleep boosts your mental health
Wicks is a huge advocate of exercising for your mental health, but it's just as important to recover, too.
"They're so linked because when you're exhausted, your emotions are heightened, you feel more stressed, and everything feels a lot more challenging," he said.
After a night of rest, you're more likely to have energy to workout, which will boost your mood further. A 2019 study by Harvard University suggests that exercise can protect against depression.
"It's harder now than ever to be active and healthy and strong, which is why you have to have so much determination to keep exercising and cooking food because otherwise it's so easy to gain weight and to get unhealthy and out of shape," he said.
Wicks said people should try to remove any barriers between themselves and exercise, and more rest is a good place to start.
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