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Dean's Health and Fitness Blog

I have real trouble getting to sleep at night. What kind of exercise would help me get better quality shut-eye?

There could be any number of reasons why you are struggling to sleep so it makes sense to go to your GP to check for any underlying issues. But you are right – regular exercise does help keep sleeping patterns steady.

If you are one of those people who lies awake mulling over the worries of the day, regular exercise has been shown to cut stress and to boost ‘happy hormones’.

Regular exercise will also help you feel tired and ready for bed. Exercising outdoors is a good choice, as fresh air and nature are good for the mood. Can you make time for a brisk walk or a cycle ride in the early evening?

A fairly demanding workout in the afternoon is effective – I wouldn’t recommend taking on anything too strenuous that will boost your endorphins in the hour immediately before you hit the hay – although a relaxing fitness class like Yoga should help you wind down. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it – with patience you should find your sleeping patterns improve.

 

When I come back from holiday I am lean and muscled because I walk everywhere – often with a backpack.  How can I maintain the look while back ‘in the real world’?

It is interesting how a complete change in your daily routine – even if it is just for a couple of weeks – can have a dramatic effect on your fitness and body shape.  Note   down the details of your daily holiday routine – did you take on a hilly walk to the beach each day? Did you have a daily swim? How much time did you spend outdoors, sightseeing? What was your daily diet? How much did you drink?

Compare your answers with the details of your usual routine when you are at home you will get a picture of how different your holiday lifestyle is.

Then you need to use your spare time savvily to incorporate as many of those good habits into your daily life as possible. Schedule a lunchtime gyms session with weights, commit to a weekend cycle ride, walk to work once a week with your backpack on, sign up to an evening fitness class.

The bottom line is that on holiday you spent more time outside, you moved much more and you eat a healthier diet.