Reading Time: 8 minutes
Regardless of whether you want to cut down on 10 pounds or 50, exercising before you sleep can work wonders. Research suggests that exercising before bedtime can pave the way for a stimulated metabolism as more calories are burnt while sleeping and the quality of rest also improves. Fat you can't see, but that which adds to your weight is known as visceral fat. This increases the risk of developing dangerous diseases like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Everything you put into your body generates calories.
Why and How to Exercise Before Sleeping
To burn calories even when you are sleeping and your body is at rest, you need to have a good exercise regimen in place. Exercise is the way to lose weight by boosting the metabolism to burn calories. The more one exercises, the more calories are needed for bodily energy. The fewer calories are consumed, the more the body relies on energy stores such as fat for the bodily functions. Lowering calorific intake combined with exercise before sleep is the best way to bring on a calorie deficit and access good health. Lowering calories by as little as 500 per day, along with exercise can be beneficial for the body as well as the mind.
#1 Aerobic Exercises
One of the best ways to combat fat and boost metabolism is an aerobic exercise. Around 20 min per day just 2 hours prior to bedtime can prove very beneficial. Some aerobic activities that can be tried out include using the skipping rope or performing aerobic dance routines and jumping jacks. Using the stairs or a stationary bike which is fast paced can also benefit the body and induce weight loss. Aerobic exercises are fast-paced, make you sweat and lose fat.
#2 Resistance Training
Another way to get leaner and more powerful is the use of strength training or resistance exercises. These elevate the metabolism and enhance the rate at which fat is burnt. If you want to burn calories all night long, consider alternating aerobic exercises with calorie burns from resistance training. Lean muscle can be built by doing crunches, push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges an more to get a great resistance routine right before bed. To be primed for good sleep, you need to workout your body.
As the body temperature rises with the performance of exercises and falls when the body cools down post-exercise, this actually improves the quality of sleep. If you opt for high interval intensity training, running or regular strength training before bedtime, it is critical to choose light bodyweight exercises.
To get fit for sleep, perform sit-ups, crunches or leg raises to dispel the tightness in the body and get going when it comes to breathing methodically. Lunges are another great exercise, which can be performed at a deliberate and slow pace just before bed.
#3 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 ideal 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 choose just a couple to do each night. The exercises should be performed back to back with minimal rest time in between.
To beat the stress, and get good sleep, you should definitely try yoga. The right yoga poses like a plank, bridge pose and many more. Try the tree or mountain pose or even the Downward dog pose or the Bridge pose for relaxing tense muscles in the body. The reclining bound angle-pose is also a wonderful way to loosen up tense muscles. The Child's Pose or Balaasana is also a great choice for relaxing your arms and your body before going to sleep.
For the tree pose, stand with your feet apart and raise your body on your toes as you stretch upwards. The plank involves bending downwards, resting the entire weight of the body on your hands The bridge pose is essentially the lifting of the hip and upper back while you lie down on your back, to form a bridge. The downward dog pose is focused on balancing the weight of your body on the legs and arms.
The simplest of the poses suggested here is the child's pose, which involves lying on your stomach and holding your face in your hands.
One of the best pre-nighttime exercises is to strength. People stretch 30 minutes before bedtime and this offers a wonderful way to relax and meditate as well. Stretching relaxes you and helps you to prepare for bed. While stretching, it is important to remember that you are not pushing your body to the limits. While stretching, make sure you do not experience any pain. From tight hamstrings to hip flexors, the kneeling or modified hurdler stretch can prove extremely beneficial.
For improving the strength of your glutes and hips try the lying piriformis which improves flexibility. For this, you need to lie on the back with knees bent and lift and place the ankle of one leg on the thigh of the other. Holding the thigh, you need to pull it towards you till it is at a right angle. Feel the stretch by holding this position and repeat on either side.
The cat or cow stretch is another great choice where you stay on your hands and knees and flex yourself like a Feline. Try the standing roll down for loosening up your body. Holding the core in, take the arms and top of your head to the ground and hold the pose for feeling the strength and pull. Hold this pose for a couple of counts before releasing the tension in your body.
Other relaxing exercises that are useful include the figure four. Lie on the back and cross the ankle over the opposite knee, with hips on the mat and knees turned out. The diamond forward fold is also extremely handy. For this, sit with your feet soles pressed together.
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 workout, which also makes it easier to fall asleep.
Is Working Out Before Bed Okay?
For many people, nighttime workouts are the perfect way to relax. Imagine jogging through the dark streets without worrying about commuters, cars or even other joggers. Then, there's also the value of picking any machine at the gym. But how sensible is it to work out at night? A lot of previous research found that working out at night could really destroy sleep. Why is this so? Quite simply because exercise boosts body temperature and heart rate. It also sends hormones like adrenaline or cortisol coursing through the body. All of this could be a problem if you're in a mood to sleep? Not quite!
A recent study in the Sleep Research Journal found people who exercised well for at least thirty five minutes before bed slept better, as against when they did not exercise. A poll by the National Sleeping Foundation found over eighty-three percent of people who exercised in the day, irrespective of when they exercised, slept better than those who did not work out well. So, how does working out prior to bed create a restful atmosphere?
Most individuals experience a drop in hormones like adrenaline and cortisol roughly 60 minutes or so after working out. So this can actually put the body in a relaxed state, ready to sleep. Loose muscles and falling bodily temperature further relax the body. So while you may not want to hit the sheets just 10-30 minutes after working out, it's quite easy to get the perfect sleep within a couple of hours after working out.
Eat a Snack
While exercising at night is not a bad idea, it is important to know that you need to have the right nutrients in your body before hitting the bed. If you are on a strict diet, you run the chance of being under nourished and not giving your body a chance to recover before hitting the snack. If you have been eating fewer calories and training hard, you need to work on your nutritional strategies.
While nothing is incorrect about working out prior to bed, following the right nutritional protocols can help your body to feel less depleted and starved while waking up or leading to such severe pain that you could even wake up in pain at night. Fitness trainers and body builders often face this problem. Remember that if you do not eat enough, you could end up starving and the body's metabolism may even shut down.
Remember that everyone responds differently to working out. Some people are not able to wind down after evening workouts. This is more so if they have done something which involves social stimulation. In fact, if you don't sleep too well or face sleeplessness in the night, morning or earlly dusk workouts can help. Insomnia patients need to be able to work out which is the best time for exercising based on when people feel sleepy. A study by Appalachian State University researchers found those who lifted at 7 AM in the morning slept faster than those who did not work out or worked out in the evening or afternoon. Those who worked out at 7 in the evening slept best of all.
Why Work Out Before Bed?
There are many benefits of workouts before hitting the sack. Hitting the gym can keep one from drinking or overeating post work. Exercise is the best way to break the stress of a regular job. All you need to do is drink and eat well. That way. you won't wake up at night feeling hungry. Try for a small snack before turning in.
Afternoon and evening are also great times to work out. The body temperature rises across the day and peaks between 4 and 6 in the evening. As this happens, muscle power and strength rise, according to researchers. Scotland based researchers report exercise releases massive amounts of testosterone in the evening or afternoon. For those wanting to maximize strength gains, scheduling workouts after work is best. Additionally, there is the concept of temporal specificity in that your body will only be at its optimal best at the time you train. So, always pick a time you want to feel strong in for exercising.
Whatever the workout slot you like, the key to sleeping well is being consistent. If you're waking up before sunrise to exercise and then heading off to work and feeling stressed, it's time to stop. Working out before bed is the perfect choice for some folks. Check out your personality, schedule and mindset. The fewer excuses there are for skipping workouts, the better it is.
Apart from the active exercises, you can also try meditation, breathing and visualization exercises. Use activity to bring about an energized body and a rested mind. The perfect blend of body and mind exercises can promote deep, restful slumber and restore your body's vitality and rejuvenate it. These pre-bedtime exercises from yoga to light body weight, aerobic to breathing and stretching can benefit you in so many different ways. From making sleep deeper to creating the perfect metabolic rate for your body to burn calories even while you sleep. these wonderful exercises can open the door to a fitter, stronger and healthier you.