Getting a good shuteye is important for your health and wellbeing. And one way to get a good shuteye is to exercise. Some of these exercises are described below.
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Aerobic or cardiovascular workouts
Aerobic or cardiovascular workouts like jogging, using elliptical machines, swimming, cycling, brisk walking or dancing elevate your heart rate and increase oxygen circulation in your body. Furthermore, these aerobic exercises release endorphins, help reduce anxiety, alleviate stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality.
For example, taking a brisk walk during the day or in the evening can help improve your sleep. Moreover, brisk walking is a low-impact exercise that can be done by most people. And being outdoors this exercise exposes you to natural light, which can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Practicing yoga before bed can be helpful in calming your mind and relaxing your body. In fact, gentle yoga poses, deep breathing exercises, and meditation can promote relaxation, promote a sense of calmness, reduce muscle tension, relieve stress. Which, in turn, makes it easier to fall asleep.
Incidentally, certain yoga poses, especially those focused on stretching and deep breathing, can be particularly helpful for sleep.
Tai Chi is a gentle form of martial arts that involves slow, flowing movements and deep breathing. Practicing Tai Chi can help you reduce stress, anxiety, and improve sleep patterns.
Including weightlifting or resistance training, into your routine can improve sleep quality especially if performed earlier in the day. Moreover, strength training helps build muscle mass, enhances overall physical well-being, and contributes to a balanced sleep-wake cycle.
Pilates are low-impact workouts that focus on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness. Moreover, Pilates controlled movements and emphasis on breathing can help relax the body, relieve muscle tension, and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.
Gentle stretching exercises, especially targeting areas prone to tension like the neck, shoulders, and lower back, can alleviate muscle stiffness and promote relaxation. Performing a stretching routine before bed can help release tension, improve flexibility, and prepare your body for sleep.
Techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness meditation can calm the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
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Age Specific Workouts
While the types of exercises mentioned above can benefit sleep for individuals in various age groups, certain exercises may be more suitable or tailored to specific age groups. Below are some age-related exercises that can potentially improve sleep.
Children and Adolescents
Encourage children to engage in active play, such as running, jumping, climbing, and participating in sports activities. Regular physical activity can help tire them out and promote better sleep.
Encourage children and adolescents to engage in outdoor play, sports, and games. This can help expend excess energy and contribute to a more restful sleep.
Encourage participation in activities like dancing, martial arts, or swimming, as they can be enjoyable ways to stay active and promote better sleep.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. They can help improve cardiovascular fitness, burn calories, and reduce stress levels, potentially leading to better sleep.
Mind-body exercises like yoga or Pilates can be beneficial for adults, as they promote relaxation, flexibility, and stress reduction. Additionally, mindfulness meditation can help calm the mind and prepare for restful sleep.
Cardiovascular exercises like jogging, cycling, or dancing can improve cardiovascular health and reduce stress, leading to better sleep.
Resistance training exercises maintain muscle mass and enhance overall fitness. This can contribute to better sleep, especially when combined with cardiovascular exercises.
Participate in yoga or stretching routines to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension, which can be beneficial for relaxation and sleep.
As people age, joint health and flexibility become more important. Exercises such as walking, swimming, or gentle aerobics can provide cardiovascular benefits without excessive strain on the joints.
Strength and balance training:
Older adults can benefit from resistance exercises and balance training to maintain muscle strength, improve stability, and reduce the risk of falls. This can indirectly contribute to better sleep by enhancing overall well-being.
Activities like walking, tai chi, or gentle water aerobics improve mobility without putting excessive strain on joints.
Include exercises that focus on balance and coordination to reduce the risk of falls and enhance overall mobility.
Breathing exercises and meditation:
Practice deep breathing exercises and meditation to promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can aid in better sleep for seniors.
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When to workout
Generally recommended to finish exercising at least a few hours before bedtime. This allows your body temperature to drop, thereby promoting a more restful sleep.
Also, try to finish moderate to vigorous exercises at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your body to cool down and relax.
If you prefer exercising close to bedtime, choose a more gentle, relaxing activity like yoga or stretching.
Develop a consistent exercise routine and aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts a week.
Finally, pay attention to your body and adjust your exercise schedule as needed, as individual responses to exercise and its effects on sleep can vary.