The connection between exercise and improved sleep has been well documented. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise each day can help you fall asleep more quickly and wake less often throughout the night. Better sleep for you tonight translates to an energy boost tomorrow. More energy for more exercise and . . . that's right . . . another night of great sleep.
Previously, exercising later in the day or near to bedtime was thought to be overstimulating, leading to ensuing hours of wakefulness. However that may not be the case for everyone. It may take some trial and error to determine your preferred workout style and your optimum exercise time but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Walk - Walking is simple, you can do it anywhere and best of all you need no special equipment. Grab your shoes and head out the door. First thing in the morning, lunch time at work or even a stroll around the block after dinner, it's easy to adjust your pace to your fitness level.
Skip - For those with a higher level of fitness, skipping is another very portable form of exercise. Take your rope and start jumping. Check your progress. Can you still do the tricks from your childhood - doubles, backwards and crossovers? Why not involve the family with two long ropes and some double dutch?
Yoga - Far less strenuous than skipping, yet able to gently raise your heart rate, build strength and improve flexibility is yoga. Introducing a daily yoga practice has been shown to improve sleep quality and extend sleep periods for many. The relaxation and meditation routines often associated with yoga can also help to ease tension and anxiety, making it perfect addition to a pre-bedtime routine.
Massage - while a daily relaxation massage would be fantastic for soothing tight muscles before bed, it is probably neither practical nor affordable. Rolling tight muscles on a high density foam roller is a very effective alternative and can be beneficial for improving core strength and balance. Get your blood pumping through your muscles, rolling away the kinks and stresses of the day then snuggle down for a longer and more restful night's sleep.