What time of day should you exercise?

Our bodies are designed for movement – it’s how we move that matters. When our muscles get tired from exercise, they release small amounts of adrenaline into our bloodstreams. Adrenaline has a positive effect – it makes us stronger, faster, fitter. But if adrenaline levels continue to rise, then this can lead to high blood pressure, stress and tension.

So what time of day should you walk? What about your age? Do you prefer to work out alone or with friends? Here are some tips to help you make the right choice…

Don’t forget to warm-up!

Warming-up reduces muscle soreness after exercise, boosts circulation and helps prepare muscles for training. Try stretching or light jogging before doing any heavy exercises. You’ll feel better and perform better than if you just jump straight into your workout.

Benefits of Morning Exercise

Heart health: Your heart is also in its best health after morning exercise. This means that your overall cardiovascular system is stronger than ever.

When we exercise, our heart works harder for longer. This reduces stress on the arteries and lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that exercising before breakfast may improve glucose tolerance (the ability of blood sugar levels to go back down after eating) and reduce hunger throughout the day.

Brain health: Exercise can help keep your brain young and healthy. A study published in the American Journal of Medicine found that adults who participated in moderate-intensity physical activity three times per week had less cognitive decline than those who didn’t exercise at all. Even better news? You don’t have to take a jog around the block — just 30 minutes of walking daily is enough to reap these benefits.

Stress relief: A recent study from Harvard University revealed that people who exercised regularly were able to deal with stress better than non-exercisers. Researchers say this was likely due to the fact that physically active people tend to be happier.

  1. Morning exercise can increase your energy level throughout the day, which is great for those who are working hard at their jobs.
  2. You sleep better, too! Studies show that people who exercise regularly have less trouble falling asleep and maintaining deep restful sleep.
  3. In addition to being healthy and having good quality sleep, you could also find yourself feeling happier, calmer, sharper, and more focused.
  4. Exercise helps you feel like a teenager again. After exercising, youthfulness seems to return to your body.
  5. Exercising reduces anxiety and depression. Researchers believe that regular physical activity lowers stress hormone levels in the body and helps improve moods.

Drawbacks of Morning Exercise

  1. The most obvious drawback is that morning exercise can be quite tiring. This is especially true if your workout consists of long distance running or cycling. When you are done exercising, the first thing you will notice is how tired you feel at the end of the day. In addition, strenuous physical activity can cause muscle soreness, aches, pains, and fatigue in the following days. If you happen to have other physical injuries, this could further aggravate them.
  2. Another negative aspect of early morning exercise is that it may negatively affect sleep quality. A study done by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that people who exercised before 7am had lower sleep efficiency than those who didn’t. They also reported having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. On top of that, some research indicates that exercising too close to bedtime means that one has to spend more time getting ready to go to sleep, thus disrupting the quality of their sleep.
  3. Also, in order to get the best workout possible, it is necessary to give yourself enough time to prepare before going out to work out. But due to our busy schedules, many of us don’t always make time to do it. As such, we often find ourselves rushing through workouts that leave us feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.
  4. Last but not least, waking up early to exercise may mean missing out on family time. This is especially true for single parents who may have difficulty finding time to take care of themselves. While there is nothing wrong with this, it does put a strain on relationships.

Benefits of Mid-Day Exercise

Mid-day exercise has been shown to improve memory and other physical functions while reducing stress levels. Regular exercise can be as simple as taking a brisk walk at lunchtime, jogging for twenty minutes, or even going to your local gym. It’s best to get at least thirty minutes of active exercise each day.

Drawbacks of Mid-Day Exercise

  • Mid-day exercise can cause fatigue and weight gain. You need to take care not to overdo this kind of activity.
  • Exercise has numerous health benefits, but if done excessively, it could have adverse consequences.
  • When you are exercising, your body produces heat. This heat needs to be removed from the body through sweating. If you are exercising in hot weather, then you will sweat profusely. Sweating while exercising causes water loss, which affects how much oxygen gets into your bloodstream. When you exercise in cold temperatures, you won’t sweat at all; instead, you lose heat through radiation (your skin) and conduction (through your clothing). Your body temperature rises slightly, causing the heart rate to increase. In order to compensate, the body pumps out additional blood – and extra blood means that less blood goes to the muscles. As a result, you may feel weak and tired after mid-morning exercise.
  • The good news is that doing some light stretching before you begin your workout will help prevent muscle soreness. Also, try to work out around 10 am rather than later in the day.
  • If you do suffer from a heavy sweat during exercise, then drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is dangerous, and if you become dehydrated, you will experience headaches and cramps.
  • Another common side effect of excessive exercise is weight gain. Excessive sweating leads to dehydration, which means that your body loses more water than usual. Water helps regulate our internal environment, keeping things balanced. So, if you take away too much water, you might end up throwing off certain bodily functions.

Benefits of Evening Exercise

The benefits of evening exercise are numerous. Not only does it benefit the heart, but also can help lower blood pressure, helps relieve stress, and increases energy levels. If your schedule allows for an hour of physical activity before bedtime, I highly recommend that you do it!

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