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May 22

Physical Activity Improves Quality of Sleep; from journal Mental Health and Physical Activity

 

November 27, 2011

 

People who get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week have been shown to sleep better and be more alert during the day. Researcher carried out at Oregon State University found that 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous exercise resulted in a 65% improvement in quality of sleep. Exercisers in the study also said they felt less sleepy during the day compared with less active participants.

 

The study looked at a nationally representative sample of over 2,600 men and women. Researchers used national physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health: 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. After controlling for age, Body Mass Index (BMI), overall health, depression, and smoking status, researchers found that the risk of feeling overly sleepy during the day decreased 65% for those participants meeting the activity guidelines. Those participants were also 68% less likely to suffer leg cramps while sleeping, and had 45% less difficulty concentrating when tired. 

 

"Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep. There are trade-offs. It may be easier when you are tired to skip the workout and go to sleep, but it may be beneficial for your long-term health to make the hard decision and get your exercise," said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise science at Oregon State University and one of the study's authors.

 

The study was published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity.