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Ivanhoe Osteopaths Discuss When Is The Best Time To Exercise?

Info Relinque - Monday, March 05, 2012

Ivanhoe Osteopaths discuss, the best time of day to exercise. 

Some people prefer to start their day with a brisk walk, or a run to get them ready for the day. Others wouldn’t dream of raising their heart rate before lunch. Is there a time in the day that is best for you to exercise?

Your body has an inbuilt clock called your circadian rhythm that is controlled by the earths rotation over a 24 hour day. It determines whether you are an early riser or night owl, and there is not much you can do to alter it. It knows exactly where you are in the 24 hour day.

These natural rhythms affect how your mind, your body, and each of your organs perform at various times during the day, and all have a role to play in preparing your body for exercise. 

It would be ideal to use this clock as a guide for when you should exercise, but as you know, work and family must be considered when determining the best time to walk, swim, take pilates classes, or go to the gym.

Your Body Clock and How it Affects Physical Performance 

6am - 10am
-When you wake in the morning your metabolism is slow. Exercising first thing in the morning will raise your metabolism, release endorphins, and give you a much better sense of well being throughout the day.
-Exercising before breakfast can promote fat metabolism.
-Your blood vessels are constricted and your blood pressure is high when you start the day. Exercise will actually increase your blood pressure first thing in the morning. Research shows that some of us are more likely to suffer a heart attack during this part of the day.
-Muscles and joints are stiffer at this time of the day, leading to sub optimal performance.
-This time of day may provide the most reliable and consistant chance for many people to exercise.

2pm - 4pm
-By early afternoon your blood vessels are beginning to dilate. Exercising at this time of day may decrease blood pressure.
-This is the best time to begin getting active.

4pm - 6pm
-This is the best time of day to exercise. Hormone levels and body temperature generally peak around 6.00pm.
-At this time of day your blood vessels are most dilated. Exercising at this time may actually decrease your blood pressure. Research shows that this time of day has fewer heart attacks than any other.
-Muscles and joints are most relaxed at this time of day, leading to optimal performance. Research shows athletes can get up to 5-10% better performance at this time of day.
-Exercise at the end of the day is one of the best ways to release stress and tension that has built up during the day.

Is it Best to Exercise in the Morning, Afternoon, or Evening? 

Current research suggests that your body generally reaches its peak between 4.00pm and 6.00pm. This is also the time when your body is most resilient to injuries. From a physiological point of view, between 4.00pm and 6.00pm is the best time for exercise.
When it comes to working out a long term exercise plan, there are a number of other considerations that must be taken into account. Exercise needs to be convenient and enjoyable. If it isn’t, it will be much more challenging to maintain. The most important point that needs to be determined is when can you exercise on a regular basis? It’s far more important that you do some exercise, and far less important when and where you do exercise.

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