Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness



How exercise improves sleep


We can´t deny the fact that exercise has so many incredible benefits for optimal health and this includes sleep, if you want to get better sleep then make exercise part of your daily routine.

Nowadays we are more sedentary than we used to be some years ago and we do not prioritize our health, most of us live very unhealthy lifestyle created by negative habits and routines. This includes lack of exercise or physical activity.

Exercise helps you improve the quality and quantity of sleep, we´ve talked about on past posts about the internal clock of our body called the circadian rhythm and on future posts we´ll talk about our body temperature and how it fluctuates during day and night. Exercise helps keep your body in balance by increasing body temperature and keeping the circadian rhythm in balance.

The time of the day you exercise impacts the quality and quantity of sleep, if you do a high intensity workout at night then it will be harder for you to fall asleep which is not what we want so the best time to exercise is in the morning, it doesn´t matter if you go to the gym, if you exercise at home or if you go to outside; it doesn´t matter if you lift weights, if you do bodyweight exercises or if you jump rope or go for a walk; any physical activity done in the morning improves the quality and quantity of sleep. When you exercise in the morning your body temperature increases and then starts to fall, exercising in the afternoon still gives your body temperature time to fall before you go to bed.

If you can exercise outside and get sunlight you get a lot more benefits and this also improves the quality and quantity of sleep by keeping your circadian rhythm in sync.

The intensity and effort of your workouts need to be considered also, it´s not recommended to do exercise at high intensity and effort whether it´s resistance or cardio at night because it will take you so long to fall asleep and you won´t get high quality of sleep. If the only time you can exercise is at night make sure it´s moderate intensity and effort. If you can exercise in the morning then moderate to high intensity is better but always making sure that you are paying attention to proper form and avoid all injuries.

If your goal with exercise is to improve the quality and quantity of sleep then you don´t need to do long workouts, I don´t recommend more than 90 minutes of exercise actually and 90 minutes are not necessary. To improve sleep taking a 10 to 15 minutes walks is all you need to get the benefits. 30 minutes 5 days a week would be the ideal amount of time to improve sleep and also to improve your health. Starting with 10 minutes is a great way to go.

We also need to mention the exercise reduces stress and when you lower stress the quality and quantity of sleep improves, how many nights have you lied in bed ready to fall asleep but you keep thinking and worrying on everything going on with your life? From you school, grades, your job, your boss, finances, relationships? All these fears and worries increase stress and they keep you awake at night. Exercising is a great way to leave that stress out of your body and improve your mood.

When you exercise or do some physical activity you end up tired, exercise requires energy this is why when you do any new activity or go out and spend some time playing with friends, family or you have a camping day or any other outside activity that includes exercise and physical movement you feel tired and when you go to bed you fall asleep really fast. When you exercise you are using energy and this makes you tired so by the end of the day you want to rest so when you go to bed your body is prepared to get that well deserve rest giving it the opportunity to work properly.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you remember how you felt the last time you spent some time outside with friends or family doing any physical activity, playing a sport and having fun and if you remember how you slept that night.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.



How exercise helps lower stress


Whether you love or hate exercising we can´t deny that it has so many benefits for mental and physical health, lowering stress is one of those benefits so if you want to lower stress start moving.

Exercise is stress for your body, and it increases cortisol but, the right amount of exercise is necessary, and it helps our brain and body work better. Exercise improves mood, when you do some physical activity in the morning it helps you get ready for a great day by making you feel happy, excited and motivated. If you exercise at night after work, it can help you release the stress from work and get a better night sleep.

Exercise has a positive impact on every organ, system and hormones of our body, from our brain, heart they all get the benefits of it.

Exercise reduces cortisol and adrenaline which are stress hormones and it increases endorphins which are the ones that make you feel good and improve your mood.

Exercise is a great tool to lower anxiety and depression but, you need to be consistent with it, exercise is considered to be a really effective way to lower stress, anxiety and depression and it´s free. The type of exercise you do needs to be something you like and enjoy doing so that you do it for at least 5 days a week.

The bad type of stress which is chronic stress is caused by daily situations and the people we need to cope with every day, from traffic, to teachers and classmates at school or our boss and coworkers at our job, we also need to consider all the worries and keep our mind busy like paying bills, finance, relationships, home. Exercise helps you get rid of all those stressful and negative situations and when you shed some of that stress, you also get rid of tension, when you finish your workout you feel a lot more calm, relax and focused, you are more present and it´s easier to go through your day with a better attitude.

We know that exercise is one of the 5 principles of fitness because it help us maintain optimal health but it also helps us lose weight and maintain a lean physique, as you improve your physique and start looking and feeling a lot better your self-confidence increase. Feeling more confident knowing that you can accomplish what you set your mind to and feeling more energized lowers your levels of stress. Sometimes stress increase because we feel uncertain about our capabilities, we don´t trust and we don´t believe in ourselves, this increases stress so by getting in shape and feeling more confident the stress that comes from this lack of self-esteem decreases.

Cardio exercise has been shown to be more helpful to reduce stress, and if you have the opportunity to go outside and exercise in nature the benefit increases, spending some time in nature helps you calm and relax, it brings you more to the present moment, if you are able to go for a walk or jog outside in nature it´s the best thing you can do lower stress, to feel more calm and relax and improve your mood.

If your goal is to use exercise to reduce stress then you´ll need at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise 5 to 6 days a week, feel free to choose the activity your prefer because you need to be consistent with it, it´s better to keep changing the exercise or activity to keep it fun and entertaining also to give your body a new stimulus, otherwise you can get bored and stop.

Exercise also lowers stress by improving the quality and quantity of sleep, maintaining optimal health depends of so many factors and the 5 principles of fitness play an important role on maintaining your body in balance, lack of sleep or poor sleep increases stress, but when you exercise especially in the morning and if done outside you get better sleep at night and less stress.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you exercise just to look great or if you use it as a way to reduce stress and maintain optimal health? Exercise needs to adjusted according to your goals as with all the 5 principles of fitness but there are ways to modify it and use it for a couple goals at the same time.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.