Photo by Yeller
I'd always heard that exercising before bed is a bad idea because it revs you up. I find that's certainly true of cardio; when I come home from my late night dance class or an after dinner run, I'm often wired for a good hour or two.
But lately I've adopted a night-time exercise habit that actually helps me sleep. I've been doing a series of pilates type core, arm and leg exercises immediately before I pop under the covers. It started off because that was the only time I had to myself after I put the kids to bed and cleaned up the house.
At first I figured 9 p.m. was not an ideal time to exercise, but I'm finding the floor work is very meditative and actually helps me sleep, especially when I finish off the routine with some deep stretches. And the best part is if you really work your core, you wake up in the morning with that washboard stomach feeling, even if it only lasts till you fill it up at breakfast.
Best of all, I feel so good crawling into bed that my exercise routine has become something I actually look forward to each night, not just another chore, so it's not often I blow it off.
I love pilates and have been able to find a number of great exercises online. Here are a couple of sites to check out:
My friend, who is a physical therapist, said pilates is the absolute BEST exercise you can do for that toned, long-muscled look. All the more reason to give it a try ...
Do you exercise or stretch before bed? Does it help you sleep or keep you up?