Can Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

Exploring Intensity

Can Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

We love a good night of sleep. Goldilocks style: not too long, not too short.

Studies show that exercise or a good sports outing will help with a good night of sleep as long as it’s not within an hour of bedtime. And a new study shows that simple light exercises before bed will improve sleep, even on days when you miss your sports/workout session.

Most of the recommended exercises will be familiar to Cardio High clients. This recent article in the NY Times outlines 11 exercises and explains the new study. And here’s a cheat sheet for what to do, if you don’t want to click:

  1. Cat and Dog. This is the one we do to start every workout.
  2. Child’s Pose. Yup, this is our 2nd move before every workout.
  3. Thread the Needle. Basically reach one arm under the other armpit and then up to the ceiling slowly.
  4. Hip Flexor Stretch.
  5. Neck Massage. The article recommends lying down on tennis balls on a yoga block. Hmm. Seems complicated. We like the McKenzie neck stretch as a sub here.
  6. Bear Hug and Snow Angel. Hug your chest while lying down. Then place arms on ground and raise over head so finger tips touch.
  7. Figure 4. This is one of our key stretches at the end of every workout.
  8. Knee to Chest to Spinal Twist. Bring knee up and then gently cross it over your torso.
  9. Legs Up the Wall. As it sounds. Though we like a yoga version of this with legs up the wall but in a V shape.
  10. Box Breath. Breath in on a 4 count. Hold for 4 count. Exhale for 4 count. Wait for 4 count.

Or… you can simply pick and choose your favorite simple stretches from the Cardio High warm up or cool down.

-Mark G.

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