Episode 145 – Is sleep more important than exercise in weight loss?

Today’s #AskEvro show question of the day is, “I’m super busy. What’s more important for my health: sleep or exercise?”

This is a relevant question for many people today particularly those who have weight loss as a goal.

When you’re super busy both time prioritisation and understanding the hierarchy for health are critical for health and wellbeing success.

First off, Let’s think about the mindset for the rhythm of life:

What’s keeping you busy, is it physical or mental labour?

For example, if you are a physical labourer then physical movement (or exercising) is an integral part of your day. In this situation, I’d prioritise rest and sleep over exercise as your activities of daily living are high.

However, if it’s the other way around and you’re a mental worker and thus sit most of the day – you probably need to exercise a bit more than physical rest (But equally on the same token, you’d also need a good night’s sleep because you need to integrate your daily knowledge into long term memory).

So out of both those situations, sleep is king.

Secondly, understand the most important factor for health is sleep. Read on below.



Yes strictly speaking you need to exercise but I think you can go a little longer without exercising as compared to sleep, if that makes sense.

For example, let’s look at the extremes and use death as a marker for health.

Scenario 1: if you don’t sleep for a few days you’re probably gonna die.

Scenario 2: if you don’t exercise for a few weeks, you can plod along – yes it’s not healthy (and you’d probably get Type II Diabetes or even heart problems) but you’d probably survive a bit longer compared to the “no-sleep” situation.

So, if you extrapolate those two scenarios down and away from the extreme, it would be clear to say that sleep is more important for health.

Then to go one step further, it’s super important for weight loss.

Relax, take it easy!

For a lot of you go-getters and alpha-types that find it hard to believe, remember there’s nothing wrong with having a day off exercise or work (or thinking).

In fact, you should have a rest day in your work week. It’ll rebalance your body’s biochemistry and make you fitter, stronger and more productive.

And ultimately remember that sleep is trumps all – particularly in weight loss!

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Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.


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