Time to Exercise
by Wendy on 19th December 2019
You should always make time to exercise, no matter how busy your schedule. If you work in an office, or even from home, you might find yourself sitting for long periods of the day. If you do lead a sedentary lifestyle, don’t worry —you can exercise whenever it’s convenient. But when is the best time? Should you exercise before breakfast? What about an evening jog?
Some experts say you should exercise whenever you can. If you’ve found a schedule that’s working for you, keep it up! Others believe your exercise pattern should be determined by your circadian rhythms (you may be familiar with the terms ‘body clock’ or ‘biological clock’). Your circadian rhythms take account of the environment (i.e. daylight, temperature, etc.) and help regulate your temperature and routine, including your sleeping patterns, blood pressure, hormones, and even your appetite. You might experience a heightened awareness of your ‘body clock’ when you experience jet lag, for example.
When it comes to determining the best time to exercise, body temperature is an important thing to consider. If we exercise when cold, our blood flow is reduced and our muscles are tight, having not had the chance to warm up. Body temperature is at its lowest during our last few hours of sleep, so not only can this make early morning workouts difficult, but it increases the likelihood of injury.
Having said that, some say they benefit from working out first thing in the morning, as it makes them more alert and keeps them positive for the rest of the day. If you do decide to work out early, you will need to make sure to stretch properly and warm up beforehand.
Studies show that afternoon and evening workouts produce the best results. That’s because by then, our body temperature is higher than it is first thing in the morning, which means our muscles are nicely warmed up and flexible, too.
Additionally, our lung function has a natural circadian rhythm —which means it is regulated by our internal body clock— and is at its peak in the late afternoon. This is obviously a bonus when it comes to working out, as there’s less chance of getting out of breath. Exercise is also a great stress-beater, especially after a hard day at work, so it does make good sense to start your exercise routine later.
But whether you ultimately establish a morning routine or find it easier to work out in the afternoons, dedication is key. And, if you can, be consistent —when regular exercise becomes part of your daily routine, you’ll find it easier to persevere. Once you’re in the swing of things, you can then look at adding extra exercise for optimum health. But in order to keep yourself healthy and exercise-ready, make sure you get the proper amount of sleep, stick to a healthy diet, and see your chiropractor regularly.
Give us a call on 0161 763 1700 between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, where our dedicated team of professionals will be happy to help with any concerns you may have.