You can’t go anywhere without hearing about the benefits of exercise. Most people who commit to an exercise routine do it, because they are trying to shed some pounds and tone some muscles. While this is undoubtedly a great benefit, exercise isn’t just for people who want to transform their outward appearance.
The endorphins released by exercise have been proven to boost mood, improve cognitive performance, and boost quality of sleep. If you aren’t getting enough shut-eye at night, forget about sleeping pills or essential oils – exercise might be the natural solution you’re looking for.
Despite being low on intensity most of the time, yoga is still fantastic exercise, both for your body and your soul. Many people use yoga as a tool for their mental health, even though physical health is positively impacted by a reasonably intense yoga session. Yoga encourages practitioners to enter a mindfulness state with controlled breaths, relaxing as they hold the poses. A yoga session is proven to reduce anxiety and depression, some factors that may contribute to a lackluster quality of sleep or chronic fatigue. You can attend yoga classes if your schedule permits, if not, there are plenty of free yoga resources online.
Pilates is a great choice for people who like yoga, but crave something a little more intense. Most pilates moves can be perfectly executed without the use of much equipment, and in cases where equipment is needed, many normal household objects will substitute in just fine. Because Pilates requires more vigorous use of muscle groups, you’ll get both the mental and physical benefits of exercise. If you’re looking to work double duty for your health, Pilates is a great activity to pencil into your daily routine. Soreness is common is new Pilates practitioners, and a post workout massage might make it even easier to slip into an 8 hour dream.
3. Getting a Standing Desk
Although not technically an exercise, switching out your work desk for a standing desk may provide some of the benefits of exercise and some of the benefits of improved sleep. If your body is sitting and sedentary all day, it may be harder for your body to sleep at night – even if your mind is exhausted. Standing all day might help relax your body. Just make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy snacks at work to keep you energized while you’re adjusting to your new posture.
4. A Post-Meal Stroll
Research shows that a little after lunch or after dinner walk comes with a ton of benefits- including stabilizing blood sugar and reducing the potential for diabetes. A 45 minute stroll does a lot of your health in the long run. Incorporating an after dinner walk into your nightly routine might help you get better sleep. If your tummy feels full and bloated, it might be difficult to get comfortable. A little bit of movement will engage your metabolism, promoting digestion and helping you feel a little lighter when you lay your head down at night. If you can make the time for it, try taking a little walk after every meal. The more energy you expend, the easier it will be to wind down after the moon rises.
5. A Swimming Session
Have you ever gone to the beach and swum in the ocean? When you lay down at night, sometimes you can still feel the waves. It’s a calming sensation that makes your mind, body, and spirit feel at ease. If you can’t get to the ocean regularly, you can at least visit a pool.
Swimming is a low impact exercise that strengthens your whole body. After a swimming session, you’ll feel a kind of satisfying fatigue. Since swimming rarely comes with the soreness, aches, and pains that other athletic activities can sometimes induce, you’re getting an excellent workout with virtually no unpleasant aftermath. Regularly swimming can begin your health and fitness journey painlessly, and it will help you sleep like a baby.
There are many approaches to exercising for better sleep. All you need to do is pick one and commit to it. Routine and habit help the body perform its best, so be sure to adhere to your exercise plan (and your set bed time) the majority of the time. After a while, your eyes will naturally shut at the same time every night.
Guest Post written by Sienna Walker
Sienna is a huge fan of healthy living, a self-improvement advocate, and an experienced blogger, currently supporting CPAP Direct – a company producing CPAP machines for those who have trouble sleeping. In her free time, Sienna might often be found outside, either swimming or hiking.