Winter Wellness: Sleep Smarter, Play Better with Gabriele Grunewald (part 1)

Minnesota-based professional runner and rare cancer survivor, Gabriele Grunewald, shows us what “Sleep Better. Play Better” means to her. This is the first of a three-part series.

Whether you're an athlete or an everyday all-star, quality sleep can help you achieve your goals. With quality sleep, you’re better able to balance family and work, and meet the challenges of the day. Studies show sleep helps you think more clearly, handle stress better and be more productive overall.

We asked Minnesota-based professional runner, rare cancer survivor, and Sleep Number bed owner, Gabriele Grunewald, to show us what “Sleep Better. Play Better.” means to her in her daily life.  Here, she highlights Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling areas in Minneapolis.

One of my favorite aspects of being a "winter runner" here in Minnesota is the chance to take in the landscape changes within our four distinct seasons. Minnehaha Falls, pictured below, is a wonderful place for spending time in the summer but is also uniquely beautiful in the frozen winter.

The reason I'm smiling in the below picture is because it is evidence of another day I am able to get in my workout outdoors -- even when the wind chill is a bit intimidating! The first few minutes are the biggest challenge but I always warm up. Outdoor miles help me avoid experiencing too much cabin fever, and getting fresh air in the winter months especially improves my restful sleep at night.

Yes! You can still run trails in February! It can be an adventure figuring out which paths are clear or what type of footwear will work best for your run, but the effort is worthwhile. As long as you're willing to slow down on slippery terrain or brand new snow, it can be one of the best ways to enjoy Minnesota's plentiful trails! Try Fort Snelling State Park, right next to Minnehaha Falls.

My goal every year is to reach peak-fitness by June for the USA Track & Field Championships. I believe that training through the winter makes me tougher and prepares me well for the season of racing ahead. There's nothing like the peace and stillness of a winter run to mentally ready yourself for the year ahead and formulate a plan for how to achieve your goals this year.

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Quality sleep will keep you performing your best. Like diet and exercise, sleep is essential for optimal health and performance. Because everyone’s sleep needs are different, Sleep Number beds adjust to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support. Find your Sleep Number setting for your best possible night’s sleep.