Exercise enhances sleepHere’s another reason exercise is important:  exercise improves sleep!  According to Gregg Jacobs, Ph.D., author of Say Goodnight to Insomnia:

  • We sleep more deeply and soundly after exercise because we need more physical restoration.
  • Exercise improves sleep by regulating body temperature–body temp rises during exercise then drops a few hours later, and this drop in body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep.  Exercise has the greatest benefit when you exercise 3-6 hours before bedtime, but any time during the day helps (except right before bed).

If you’re physically active, have you ever looked for a correlation between your exercise schedule and how well you sleep?  If sleep is a struggle, try charting your exercise and sleep quality.  You can use the “Sleep Notes” in the Sleep Cycle app for this.

If physical activity isn’t already a regular part of your week, it needs to be!  Time to review:

Get Moving, Part 1

Get Moving, Part 2

Exercise today, even if it’s only a few minutes of stretching, and work on building physical activity into your daily routine!

If you need motivation, check out the “Stretch Away Muscle Pain” apps.  I like the “Neck Pain” app–it’s $3.99, but I think it’s worth it!  It’s easy to use and has a “stretch progression”–you build up over 2 weeks to a maintenance level.

Need more motivation?  Check out Fitocracy–it’s free and you can use it on your computer, iPhone or Android.  You get workout ideas based on your goals, track your performance, “game” to level-up, and share with other “Fitocrats” for motivation & encouragement!

You can find something easy if you’re a beginner, but can also challenge yourself.  The app makes suggestions and other Fitocrats can post their workouts for inspiration.  When you first sign up, you’ll receive an email for a challenge that involves just 15 minutes a day and has several workouts to choose from.  A great way to get started!

Have fun and get moving!  What did you do today?