Improve Your Sleep Quality and Health with Cardiovascular Exercise
Getting enough restful sleep is an important part of leading a healthy life. But for many, this can be a challenge. Luckily, regular cardiovascular exercise has been proven to improve your sleep quality, ultimately improving your health. Read on to learn how you can use cardio exercise to get a better night’s sleep.
How Cardiovascular Exercise Improves Sleep Quality
Regular cardiovascular exercise can help you sleep better by regulating your body’s internal clock — the circadian rhythm. Exercise helps the body’s production of hormones like serotonin that affect sleep. It also helps you to release pent up stress and tension that can interfere with sleep. Regular cardio has a cathartic effect that allows you to fall into a deeper, more restful sleep.
Types of Exercise to Improve Sleep Quality
Cardiovascular exercises include activities that get your heart rate up, like running, cycling, swimming, power walking, rowing and skiing. Aim for an exercise session lasting 20-30 minutes several times a week. Resistance training or weight lifting is also beneficial — try to lift weights in sessions no more than two times per week.
Relaxing Exercise Routines to Try
If you are feeling particularly antsy or wound up, consider opting for a relaxing exercise that will help quell the anxious thoughts buzzing around your head. Activities like yoga, Pilates, tai chi and qigong offer a calming effort that helps focus your mind and body. Spend time outside when you exercise — taking a walk in nature or playing a game of golf can be incredibly calming.
Tips for Better Sleep
In addition to exercising regularly, there are other steps you can take to maximize your sleep quality. Stay consistent with your sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up around the same time each day if possible. Avoid large meals and caffeine before bed. Turn your smartphone and tablet off or leave the devices out of the bedroom. Create a comfortable and conducive atmosphere in your bedroom, free of any noise and light. Forgoing any sort of stress or physical activity right before bed, opting instead for activities like reading, will help you get to sleep faster.
The Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
Not only will regular cardiovascular exercise improve your sleep quality, but it also has numerous other health benefits. Proper cardio can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase energy, reduce stress levels and improve your overall mood. Exercise can also strengthen your heart and help manage diabetes. Keep in mind that it’s important to check with your doctor first before embarking on any new exercise routine.
Good sleep, combined with the right amount of daily exercise, can have a huge impact on your overall quality of life. Exercise helps you de-stress and can lead to improved sleep overall. Adding cardiovascular exercise into your weekly routine is a great way to assess your sleep pattern, achieve better rest and have a higher quality of life.