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Should You Train Before Bedtime?
A Japanese study found that if you exercise at night you will be less tired the next day. Apparently it increases testosterone levels.
Whether this is the case or not I'm not sure. However, I do know that in my own (and other peoples) experiences it depends on what type of exercise you do.
For those of you who have trained physically hard in the couple of hours before bed and then ingested the necessary food afterwards you may well have found it hard to drop off for a good nights sleep.
I know, in the past, this was the case for me.
Think about it. It stands to reason!
You perform hard physical training, get your body into an 'alive' state with blood pumping and sweat pouring, and then expect it to quickly shut down and allow you those precious eight hours sleep a night!
If this sounds like you, or you would simply like away to unwind before bed while improving internal health, then keep reading.
All that is required from you is an acceptance of a more holistic approach to exercise. Yes, physical training where you sweat and work hard certainly has its place, but a knowledge and application of other less movement based training protocols is of immense value if good health is your objective.
What type of exercise am I referring to? Well, for a start, one that calms and centres the mind and focuses on slow, relaxed, breathing.
If you desire (and need) more quality sleep then doing jumping jacks and "pumping iron" is not the answer!
Joking aside, here is an easy to access relaxation exercise you can use before bed to ensure you drift off into a restful slumber.
1. Lie on your back and focus on your breathing. Try and allow your mind to clear.
2. Establish your energy centre just below your belly button. Breathe into this point.
3. Focus on gentle full breathing.
4. If you find it hard to drift off due to worries, anger, sadness or any other emotion then try to focus on your energy NOT on the emotion.
5. Try to calm your energy down by addressing your breathing. If you focus on what is bothering you it only serves to bring more attention to it.
6. Tell yourself you will wake up energised.
7. Continue your gentle, unforced, relaxing breathing until you drift off.
Try this type of internal approach to getting better sleep each night for a week and feel the relaxing benefits for yourself!
(c) Tim Webb 2005
Tim Webb is a fitness instructor, Ju Jutsu instructor and competitor. He specialises in easily accessible deep breathing exercises that combine breath and mind together. His site http://www.BreathForSuccess.com offers a product that provides deep breathing exercises for invigorating yourself, relaxing, and highlights how your breath can be tied in with your goals to move you towards them in record time!
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