We all know that exercise is meant to be good for us, but that doesn’t mean we do it. Overcoming that mental barrier to exert our bodies and increase our heart-rates is tough.
Often so tough, that we don’t even bother. Especially while in lockdown.
But the fact remains that exercise is good for us. Emotionally, mentally, and physically, exercise provides us with numerous benefits. Not the least of which is better sleep.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the sleep-related benefits exercise brings, as well as some suggestions for how you might get started.
HOW DOES EXERCISE IMPROVE SLEEP?
There are a number of ways that regular exercise improves sleep quality. These include:
– More time spent in deep sleep
– Longer overall sleeping time
– Reduced stress and anxiety
– Reduced insomnia
Plus the myriad of health benefits that exercise provides also decreases the risk of developing sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXERCISE?
Experts suggest that the average adult should get 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That’s half an hour a day, five days a week.
The intensity level of a given exercise session will vary from person to person. For example if you don’t have a regular exercise habit, then going for a walk might be enough to raise your heart-rate. However, if you already exercise regularly, then you’ll likely need a run or some other workout to reach ‘moderate’ intensity.
WHEN SHOULD I EXERCISE?
The short answer: whenever you’ll actually do it.
Doing it first thing in the morning can be a great way to start your day, but if that’s a habit you’re going to fall out of within a week then exercise at a time that works best for you.
Just make sure not to exercise in the hour before bedtime, since an elevated body temperature can make it difficult to fall asleep.
WHAT SHOULD I DO FOR EXERCISE?
Similarly to the question of when to exercise, the question of what to do for exercise is best answered the same way: whatever you’ll actually do.
If you set yourself a goal of running, but find it too difficult because of joint pain or some other reason, then don’t run. Something like this chair cardio workout could be a good option instead: https://youtu.be/cJdyU77VmcE
YouTube is a great resource for discovering all sorts of exercise options. So why not have a search and find something you’ll enjoy.
However, while exercise will help you sleep better it’s not going to fix every sleep related problem you might have.
If you’re having difficulty sleeping, please speak to a medical professional.
Book an appointment with your GP and get in touch with us. We’re here to help you sleep better so that you can experience life to it’s fullest.
Sleep well, live well.