You’ve undoubtedly heard people extol the benefits of exercise over and over again. It can boost your mood, lower your risk for developing diseases such as hypertension and diabetes and help you feel more energetic.
But did you know that you can actually sleep better by doing one exercise in particular? Walking is the best exercise to improve sleep, hands down. The best part about walking is there’s no fancy equipment needed. You don’t have to buy special shoes, invest in any equipment or pay a gym membership.
Are you wondering how to get better sleep? Lace up your sneakers and start walking today to exercise your way to improved shuteye.
The Benefits of Walking
Walking offers a lot of advantages, particularly when compared to other forms of exercise. Walking can:
How to Improve Sleep With Walking
Any type of exercise can improve your nightly sleeping patterns. Exercise exhausts your muscles and the rest of your body. By the time you go to bed, you’re so tired you don’t spend extra time indulging in habits that can sap you of good sleep, such as playing on your smartphone while you sit in bed or watching TV for hours.
Walking can assist with ways to sleep better. According to Dr. Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon, people who go for walks early in the morning spend 75 percent more time in deep sleep than those who exercise later in the day. These people also cycle through all four of the sleep cycles each night, meaning they get better sleep than others who may hit only two or three of the cycles.
Even if you aren’t able to lace up your shoes right at 7 am, make sure you get your walking done at least three hours before you go to bed. This will allow your body temperature to cool down and ensures all the feel-good hormones that accumulate when you walk have dissipated, allowing you to fall asleep.
Another great reason to walk early in the day, in addition to getting your exercise over and done with first thing, is people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with an exercise program, Wright says. Plus, you can protect your health, as well. People who walk in the early morning are less likely to develop colds.
How to Sleep Better: Start Walking
If you’re serious about an exercise program but lifting weights is too intense and you don’t enjoy running, give walking a try. In addition to helping you manage stress and control your weight, walking will pay dividends by helping you sleep better. You’ll wake up more energized and ready to charge through your day.