Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't exercise before bed

Here's proof that exercise wakes you up, sometimes too much so.

Yesterday (OK, and the day before and the day before) I hadn't been able to fit in Joanne's home exercise routine, so I finally did it at night, after Chinese food, cleaning up the kitchen, talking on the phone and doing other little things to procrastinate.

At about 10 p.m., I lifted weights, did my version of pushups and my pathetic jumping jacks, worked my quads and ran up and down the stairs, the confused dog going up and down with me. (By running up and down the stairs, I mean walking as fast as I can without tripping.)

Afterwards, I felt like I had had several cups of coffee. I stayed up past midnight, puttering around and eating chocolate chip ice cream. I think I read someplace that you shouldn't exercise right before bed. Now I know why.

I'm seeing Jo at our book group tomorrow, and I wanted to report that I made some progress. Bottom line: Exercise during the day.

Today I have physical therapy and tennis, so I'm going to skip Jo's workout. At physical therapy, they think I still need more help with balance and strength.

I'm going to Pittsburgh Friday for a weekend with my friend Emily. Among other things, we might go to her country place for a hike in the woods, and I want to be able to stay on my feet. Too bad I can't take my walking stick with me, but I bet they have sticks in the woods there. Or maybe take my cane? That would get me good treatment on the airplane, but I don't think so. I hate that thing.

Now that I have looked it up, I understand why it's not good to exercise before sleep. Here's what the National Sleep Foundation says:

Sleep experts have cautioned people to avoid strenuous exercise right before sleep and even up to three hours before bedtime. That's because exercise has an alerting effect and raises your body temperature. This rise leads to a corresponding fall in temperature five to six hours later, which makes sleep easier then. If you've been exercising close to bedtime and having trouble falling or staying asleep, try to arrange your workout earlier in the day.


Nelle said...

I learned this the hard way also.

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