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More Benefits of Exercise to Help Get You Moving

Apr. 3, 2013|287 views
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Yesterday I mentioned that regular exercise can boost your immune system’s ability to fight off infection and disease. I know it can be a turn off to hear yet another exhortation to get up and get moving. After all, it’s easier said than done. But the next time you’re on the fence about exercising, consider this: Better sleep is another benefit you can add to the long list of exercise’s effects.

 

Numerous studies have examined this question. Virtually all have concluded that exercise can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and enjoy more restful sleep. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of exercise you do, although aerobic exercise—which involves moving through space, as opposed to moving weights—tends to be more effective at promoting restful sleep.

 

It even works for older people with insomnia (the inability to fall asleep, or remain asleep throughout the night). Of course, improving your quality of sleep has numerous benefits, including better mood, and better overall quality of life. People who are sleep deprived, due to insomnia or poor quality of sleep, tend to have problems thinking clearly. Sleep deprivation may also affect one’s immunity and reaction time. Being sleep deprived is not just about being grumpy, it can be downright dangerous. It encourages low-level inflammation, and that’s been linked to everything from cardiovascular disease to type 2 diabetes. And if your not alert, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident. So if you struggle with occasional insomnia, resist the urge to forego exercise. Exercise is not part of the problem, it’s part of the solution!

 

 

Chen MC, Liu HE, Huang HY, Chiou AF. The effect of a simple traditional exercise programme (Baduanjin exercise) on sleep quality of older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud. 2012 Mar;49(3):265-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2011.09.009. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

 

Faraut B, Boudjeltia KZ, Vanhamme L, Kerkhofs M. Immune, inflammatory and cardiovascular consequences of sleep restriction and recovery. Sleep Med Rev. 2012 Apr;16(2):137-49. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2011.05.001. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

 

King AC, Oman RF, Brassington GS, Bliwise DL, Haskell WL. Moderate-intensity exercise and self-rated quality of sleep in older adults. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1997 Jan 1;277(1):32-7.

 

Kline CE, Sui X, Hall MH, Youngstedt SD, Blair SN, Earnest CP, et al. Dose-response effects of exercise training on the subjective sleep quality of postmenopausal women: exploratory analyses of a randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open. 2012 Jul 12;2(4). pii: e001044. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001044. Print 2012.

 

Reid KJ, Baron KG, Lu B, Naylor E, Wolfe L, Zee PC. Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Med. 2010 Oct;11(9):934-40. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.014. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

 

Walsh NP, Gleeson M, Shephard RJ, Gleeson M, Woods JA, Bishop NC, et al. Position statement. Part one: Immune function and exercise. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2011;17:6-63.

 

Walsh NP, Gleeson M, Pyne DB, Nieman DC, Dhabhar FS, Shephard RJ, et al. Position statement. Part two: Maintaining immune health. Exerc Immunol Rev. 2011;17:64-103.

 

Yang PY, Ho KH, Chen HC, Chien MY. Exercise training improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review. J Physiother. 2012;58(3):157-63. doi: 10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70106-6.

Tags:  workouts, stress, prevention, body image
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