Friday, November 11, 2016

What Time Of Day Is Best For Exercising?

According to Ayurveda, the body has its own circadian rhythm, making certain times of the day better for certain activities.  For example, Ayurveda teaches that digestion is strongest at midday, making lunch the best time to eat the heaviest meal of the day.  For exercise, Ayurveda recommends doing it during kapha time, which is from 6 AM to 10 AM, to jump-start the body's sluggish morning metabolism.

Recent research has shown that day exercise is better than evening exercise. Muscles have their own circadian rhythm or internal clock.  Thus, they function better during the day than they do at night. The muscles’ circadian rhythm controls the body's exercise response.  Specifically, the muscles’ ability to use oxygen for energy and adapt to the demands of exercise is most efficient during the day. The day refers to the time anytime a living creation is awake. The research was done on mice, and mice are 'awake' at night.

The time we exercise also tells our body when it is a good time to rest.  Exercise prompts the release of a wide variety of biochemicals in the body and brain, which will affect the body’s internal clock and circadian rhythms, particularly  those related to activity. Exercise seems to make the body better able to judge when and how much more it should be moving and when it should be at rest.  A study demonstrated that increasing physical activity for mice set their body clocks with specific rhythms for rest and activity.  The mice became regimented and efficient at times of exercise and rest.

It appears afternoon exercise is best for muscle performance and utilization of oxygen.  However vigorous to moderate morning exercise reduces food cravings, both immediately afterward and throughout the day.  Morning exercise seems better suited for weight loss. Night time exercise affects some people's sleep but not others.  Vigorous night time exercise does affect cardiac autonomic control of the heart during the first sleeping hours.  This may be okay occasionally, but it seems prudent to limit night time exercise.

Exercise is needed by all human beings for good health.  Knowing what each time of day brings to the person exercising is a good thing.

Stay healthy & well,

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