Ready or not, the holidays are here. With all the feasting, shopping, parties and year-end budgeting, it can be tough to keep up a regular exercise routine. If you’re feeling sluggish, it’s time to get active in order to catch up on some much-needed ZzZs.
Just as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can improve your sleep. Physical activity helps your overall sleep quality and increases your duration of sleep as it reduces stress and tires you out.
Early morning and afternoon outdoor exercise allows your body to absorb natural sunlight to reset the sleep wake cycle by raising body temperature and then allowing it to drop – which triggers sleepiness a few hours later. Depending on the individual, evening exercise may or may not interfere with your sleep. If you find that vigorous exercise in the evening revs you up too much, do it earlier in the day. If you find that the opposite is true, for example if you come home so exhausted that you fall asleep eating dinner—then, by all means, keep on doing what you’re doing!
Here are five good tips to keep your exercise on track:
1. Schedule Your Workouts
Planning your workouts can be the most effective 15 minutes you spend on your health and fitness. Just stay flexible to make adjustments as soon as they pop up. You can create a back-up plan for those extra busy days rather than ditching your workout all together.
2. Put Exercise First
The best way to ensure you don’t miss a workout is to do it first thing in the morning. Studies have shown that our will power is better earlier in the day and early exercise helps to fight food cravings that may come your way in the afternoon.
3. Recruit an Exercise Buddy
Make a pact with a friend or group of friends (who are not couch potatoes) to exercise. If you feel like backing out, the pact will make you think twice about skipping a session.
4. Take Advantage of Classes
With winter temperatures dropping, consider taking advantage of local exercise classes. Not only is it warmer than being outdoors but the class is full of other people to help keep you motivated. Check out TMH.ORG/Premier for a complete list of available classes at Premier Health & Fitness Center.
5. Plan Ahead for Travel
If you are spending the holidays away from home, it’s important you plan an easy travel workout. A simple routine consisting of three to five exercises you can do with no equipment in a small space is enough to keep you on track until you can get back to your usual schedule. Think simple like jumping jacks, lunges, sit-ups or squats! Doing two or three sets with little rest between exercises will give you a cardiovascular workout as well as maintain your muscular strength and endurance.
To learn more about healthy sleep habits, please contact the Tallahassee Memorial Sleep Center at 850-431-4400 or visit TMH.ORG/Sleep.