The Benefits of Moving and a Good Night’s Sleep
Movement and sleep are two very opposite, but equally important, aspects of wellness. They affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally, so it’s crucial to make sure you have the right balance of both in your life.
Our bodies are naturally designed to move, so if we aren’t engaging in some type of movement each day, then we’re not allowing our body to thrive the way it was meant to. Movement can help increase strength, flexibility, and stamina, help boost your immune system, help fight many chronic diseases, improve sleep, and even release hormones that will help you feel better emotionally.
The great thing about adding movement to your day is that it doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the gym – however if that’s how you choose to get your body moving, that’s great too. Movement can be as simple as a 10-minute walk during a break at work, doing yoga or gentle stretching, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, swimming, or biking. Movement shouldn’t be stressful; in fact, it should be the opposite. Choose a physical activity that you find joy in and get moving.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is sleep. Sleep plays a significant role in our health. Getting enough quality sleep every night can help strengthen your memory, keep your metabolism active, lift your mood, improve your cardiovascular health, and help your immune system fight disease. Sleep requirements can vary from person to person, but, as a general rule, adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you get a good night’s rest. First, stick to a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible. Create a relaxing and comfortable sleep environment, free from unwanted noise, light, and allergens. And finally, make sure your body is prepped for bed: avoid caffeine, heavy meals, and spicy foods near bedtime, and develop a relaxation routine. You should also avoid taking your electronic devices to bed with you.