The Effects of Exercise on Body Temperature For Seniors

By Bill Case | In Exercise, Sleeping | on March 16, 2013

If you are having trouble sleeping, and you don’t already have a regular exercise program, you should start one if you want to sleep better. Exercise is beneficial to sleep in several ways. For example, exercise raises the body temperature rhythm and allows your body temperatures to ‘peak’ at a higher level. This, in turn, increases your energy level during the day, so you’ll feel more motivated and alive. And just as body temperature reach its maximum at a higher level through exercise, the body’s temperature will also drop further and more easily. This lets you sleep more deeply without interruption.

A regular exercise routine prevents your body’s temperature rhythm from remaining relatively level throughout the day. With an appropriate body temperature rhythm, you will find that you can get a deep sleep even if you’ve had a stressful day or can’t perform your regular exercise on a certain day. Exercise also delays the drop in the body’s temperature in the evening, and this delay lets you remain awake and alert for a longer time without feeling drowsy or tired. And, as everyone knows, exercise is a great stress reliever, and stress is one of the main reasons for the development of sleep disorders.

If you don’t already have an exercise program, you really should consider starting one right away. The best time to perform exercise is in the morning because it encourages a quick rise in temperature. You should avoid exercise for three hours before you go to sleep, since your body’s temperature will likely still be rising, and you could find falling asleep or sleeping deeply to be more difficult.

You don’t have to run right out and join a gym in order to get regular exercise. It is possible to obtain the benefits that exercise brings through its effects on your body temperature by taking less dramatic actions. Research shows that even moderate exercise during the day has many healthful benefits. If you can’t seem to get motivated to exercise on a regular basis, you should find a less intense, but physical, activity you enjoy several times per week. The activity could include such things as taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride, or going rollerblading. All of these activities will have a significant effect on your body temperature and encourage its rhythm to function at beneficial levels.

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-Physical Therapist 32 yrs. with 19 years in private practice -University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston,TX. - Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy- 1982 -Post graduate Sports Physical Therapy Specialist --1987 -Inventor: Diagonal Rotary Patterning Machine, Patent 1988 -Lecture: on orthopedic injuries-nationally and internationally -Co-author: for SPORTS PHYSICAL THERAPY -Writer: for The Physician and Sportsmedicine, Self, Men's Health, Fitness and Prevention magazines

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11 Comments to "The Effects of Exercise on Body Temperature For Seniors"

  • rocketfish says:

    November 25, 2013 at 8:05 am -

    Great blog post Bill. We tend to see exercise as only for weight loss and don’t realize all the other benefits, one of which your discuss in this article. Developing a habit taking a walk every day not only aids in weight maintenance and stress reduction, but will also promote a healthy sleep pattern.

  • charlee felice says:

    November 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm -

    Who would think that body temperature could have such a role in the aid to sleep. I did notice that when i keep active during the day, I sleep better. I had not put two and two together.

    It is good to know that exercising earlier in the day, is better than later in the day.
    I am in the process of starting a walking regiment. I will take your advise and walk earlier in the day.

  • Fit4living says:

    November 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm -

    You know, I started browsing this website for information I could share with my aging parents, but I am also getting some great info that I can implement in my own daily routine, as well. I’ve been walking a bit more lately, but I certainly could benefit from incorporating more exercise into my regular schedule. I’ve heard that exercise helps you sleep better, but I didn’t know why doing it early in the day would serve that purpose. My new goal for December is to get some kind of exercise before 11am each day, whether it is walking or working out. Great advice, here – thanks!

  • brendamf says:

    January 14, 2014 at 12:56 am -

    I can tell how helpful this article is. My whole family has had sleep issue, for as long as, I can remember. We all exercise often but, it is through the day. Most of the time, it long walks right after dinner. I will have to try to make in the morning from now on. I knew, exercise was beneficial but, I had no idea about it effect on someone’s sleep pattern.

  • theshaynee says:

    January 15, 2014 at 3:23 am -

    I’ve noticed that if I workout in the morning I always sleep much better that night. It forces out all the stress and smooths out my anxiety. I kind of figured that if younger people could get that much out of it then older people could too.
    Really good advice!

  • Sandro says:

    January 17, 2014 at 6:35 am -

    If only I could get my parents to exercise regularly! They workout once in a while but that isn’t enough in my opinion. I exercise 3-4 times a week and I still feel that it’s not enough.

    How can I motivate my parents to workout more? Any ideas?

    I think I’ll just try to hook them in with some Tabata exercises and hopefully because these are very short, they will find it easier to exercise almost daily.

    1. Bill Case says:

      January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm -

      The Keep Fit and Moving DVD is only 10 minutes a day. Together, you and your parents can pick out exercises for the 10 minutes and change each week for variety. Maybe, you can start off and do with them. Motion is the lotion for the body. Just get them started and soon they will see that they can exercise will watching TV (at the commercials). It is not how much they do, but that they start bringing specific movements back into their lives.

  • Diane says:

    July 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm -

    I’ve never really thought of the effects exercise has on my body temperature, nor of how that would or could affect my sleep. Even though this is a short article, I think it’s an important one, because the length and quality of our sleep has such an impact on our overall well being. I’m going to share this information with my elderly Mom. She does do some exercises, but this could help her to plan better, since she often finds herself dozing off while sitting down for a cup of tea, and then is unable to get to sleep, or stay asleep, at night.

  • GemmaRowlands says:

    July 30, 2015 at 7:12 am -

    Being able to regulate your body temperature is a great thing for many reasons, yet it remains something that the majority of us just never bother to think about at all. Exercise can help to do this, so it makes absolute sense that you should try to fit some into your routine whenever you can – particularly if you are a senior, as you need to make sure that the sleep you get is as high quality as it can possibly be. Even if the exercise that you do is only a little bit, it is much better than nothing, and means that you can improve your general health.

  • Tipes99 says:

    August 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm -

    This was a very helpful blog. I never knew that our body’s temperature is related to sleep. I see, now I’ll be able to help myself and my family with sleep. I think it might be family genes, but most of my family are like vampire, except for my aunt since she works where she is constantly moving.. However, most of us tend to not sleep very well or take a long time to get in to sleep. This has been a great help. -thanks 🙂

  • Celerian says:

    October 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm -

    This is a helpful piece of advice, I had no idea what our body can do sometimes!

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