More Benefits of Exercise to Help Get You Moving
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!
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