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    Get Fit for Sleep: 4 Exercises You Should Do Before Bedtime

    by Shan

    With long days and busy schedules, before bedtime might be the only time to exercise. It used to be advised not to work out right before bed because it could make it harder to fall asleep. However, if it’s the only time of the day to fit in fitness, by all means exercise before bed can be done without interfering with sleep, weight loss, or muscle toning or building. Most people don’t have a problem falling asleep after working out because the exercises tires the body and mind.

    New research suggests that working out even up to 30 minutes before bedtime should not affect sleep patterns. Exercising at any time of the day, even right before bed, promotes better sleep. The effects are even greater on those with insomnia and other sleep problems. Exercise reduces stress and slows down physiological arousal. Our bodies do not burn as much fuel while we are sleeping. The excess energy is stored as fat, particularly abdominal fat. Since the evening meal is traditionally the largest meal of the day, so the extra energy from that meal is stored as stomach fat if it is not burnt off. Exercising before bedtime may help increase weight loss and reduce abdominal fat.

    4 Categories of Bedtime Exercises

    Resistance Training Exercises

    Resistance training before bedtime can help speed up weight loss. This can be done at the gym or at home if you have the proper equipment. Lifting weights burns fat while doing it and also for up to a full two days after working out. Weight training every other day can mean your body burns fat every single day. Lifting weights and other resistance training helps the body produce hormones that burn fat. If you lift weights before bedtime, it’s advised to eat some protein after working out. Eating a small amount of protein will help your muscles recover from the workout faster, but will not stop your body from burning fat. In fact, the protein may boost fat burning.

    Cardiovascular Exercise

    Cardiovascular exercise gives the best results if done right after weight training or other resistance exercises. Good cardio exercises include walking, jogging, or riding a bike. Cardio causes a temporary increase in your metabolic rate. This means your body will be burning more calories during the night and can help boost weight loss. Cardiovascular does increase heart and respiration rates. This can cause some people to have problems falling asleep. If this happens to you, try taking a bath or shower after working out. The drop in body temperature can make it easier to fall asleep.

    Yoga

    Yoga exercises are excellent to perform before bedtime. It does not raise the heart rate and can help calm you down before bed. Yoga helps both the body and the mind calm down during and after exercising. It also reduces cortisol levels in the blood, reducing stress. Yoga can also lower blood pressure. Yoga poses that cause the body to be inverted are very calming for the body. Headstands and shoulder stands are good poses to do right before bedtime. If you suffer from nighttime waking, performing yoga while lying on your back in bed can help you fall back asleep.

    Body Weight Exercises

    Body weight exercises that use the body’s weight as resistance. Examples are push-ups, pull-ups, body weight squats, and dips. These help the body burn fat because the body is fighting gravity. Doing these exercises will help build muscle and burn fat without raising the heart rate, so they are idea to be performed right before bedtime. How many reps and sets you need to do depends on your strength and level of fitness. Add more reps and sets as needed until you are at your desired level. You do not need to perform every body weight exercise each night; you can chose just a couple to do each night. The exercises should be performed back to back with minimal rest time in between.

    Tips For Exercising Before Bedtime

    In order to get good sleep, some people may not be able to exercise less than two hours before bedtime. If you have problems relaxing to fall asleep after a late workout, try eating a small meal high in protein after exercising or drinking a protein shake. After you eat, take a shower or use a sauna. After a warm shower, your body temperature will start to drop. This drop in body temperature is naturally sleep inducing. Your muscles and body should be tired from the work out, which also makes it easier to fall asleep.

    As long as you are able to fall asleep after working out in the evening, it will not affect your body to work out before bedtime. You will still see weight loss and muscle gain by working out at night. Working out late will help boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat while you are sleeping.

     





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    Article by Shan

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