Consider exercise as part of your bedtime routine.
The long-running debate of what is the best time to exercise has a group of people that are fans of doing that workout just before you go to bed.
If you fall into this camp or want to try it out, we have four suggestions on what you can do to workout to get you calmed down and ready to hit the hay.
These types of workouts are more low-intensity or restorative that lend themselves to the end of the day.
As with all changes in lifestyle, please talk to your physician before making any dramatic changes.
Go for a walk
This might sound easy but the goal here is not to just put on your best walking shoes and take a stroll, we are going to add an inclining factor to burn more calories.
While this is designed for a treadmill you can adapt it to a nearby hill. If you prefer going outdoors, you can make some alterations and get your workout done outside.
Start off with your warm-up by walking for 5 minutes at a pace of 2.5 miles per hour at a 5% incline.
You will then step up to 3 miles per hour for five minutes at a 10% incline.
Your next step-up is to 4 miles per hour at 15% incline. But you only do this for two minutes before you slow back down to 3 miles per hour at 10% and continue this for another 5 minutes.
To complete the workout you go for a total of 50 minutes alternating between the 3 miles per hour at 10% for 5 minutes to 4 miles per hour at 15% incline for two minutes. This alternating keeps the heart rate up.
If you keep it up, this workout could burn over 400 calories during the 50 minutes. Then you go to bed and relax knowing you did something good for your body. We highly recommend that you wear a supportive pair of shoes that are going to be ideal for this type of workout.
Believe it or not, just doing a series of stretches before bed can limber up your body and help you sleep better. You could consider this a workout or just a winding-down routine to help you sleep better and wake up with more energy to do higher intensity fat burning.
Knee to Chest Stretch
Lie down on your bed on your back with your legs extended. First, gently bend your right knee into your chest and clasp your hands in front of your shin and gently pull down to increase the stretch. Importantly you need to release any tension in your shoulders and neck. Keep your left leg relaxed in a comfortable position. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the left knee bent.
Lying Side Quad Stretch
Lie on your left side this time. Bend your left elbow and prop your head up with your left hand. Next, you bend your right knee and hold on to the top of your foot with your right hand. Pull your heel toward your bum. If you find it tough to balance, bend your bottom knee as well. Hold for 30 seconds, pressing your hips slightly forward to increase the stretch in the front of your thigh. Release the stretch, roll over onto your right side and stretch your left quad.
This one is done standing in front of your bed and lifting your right knee up. Then place your lower right leg on top of the bed. If your hips are pretty flexible, adjust your shin so that it's parallel with the edge of the bed. Flex your right foot and stay here for 30 seconds. Then fold your torso over your right leg for another 30 seconds. Lift your torso up, and then switch sides.
These positions can be done while in bed and can help you relax by allowing you to focus on your body.
Sit facing a wall or your headboard with your butt about 6 inches away from it. Lie back and extend your legs up the wall. You can adjust the intensity of the stretch for your hamstrings simply by sliding away or closer. Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe gently, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs. This can be 2 to 3 minutes long.
Sit up comfortably on your heels. Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you. Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you. Hold the pose and breathe for 2 to 3 minutes.
Winding Down Twist
Sit cross-legged on the bed and exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed behind your tailbone. Gently twist your torso to the left. Allow your gaze to follow, looking over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply, then return to the center and repeat on the opposite side. repeat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Our last workout is a simple combination of reverse crunches and squats, they are low intensity but can still get your excess energy out so you can lay down and get you winks feeling more relaxed.
While lying on the floor, place your hands at your sides or behind your head. Lift your knees in toward your chest until they are bent 90 degrees. Then with your feet together or crossed, contract your abs to curl your hips off the floor, lifting your legs up towards the ceiling. Lower the legs and repeat for one to three sets of 12-16 repetitions.
These require a little warming up beforehand so that is why they are placed after the reverse crunch. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the back in a neutral position, with your knees centered over the feet. Slowly bend knees, hips, and ankles, until you make a 90-degree angle. Breathe in as you lower your body. Now return to the starting position while breathing out. For beginners, repeat 15-20 times, for 2-3 sets.
However you choose to work out before bed, it is a great way to spend the last part of your day to help you get better rest at night. Good luck and sweet dreams.
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