August 27, 2011

The Best Time to Exercise

Those who have the luxury of choosing the time of day to exercise often wonder if there is an optimal time.  There are pros and cons to different times of day.
Early morning workouts may speed your recovery; hormones that help reduce inflammation are at their peak. Many people feel that exercising first thing in the morning helps them feel energized and ready for the day.  Studies have shown that those who exercise before work or school are much more likely to continue with a fitness program. 
However, most heart attacks occur in the morning, and those with chronic back pain suffer the most early in the day.  You can still exercise in the morning if you have a heart or back condition, but you will need an extra long warm-up.
For those looking to optimize athletic performance an afternoon workout is best.  Your body temperature is at its warmest, and your muscles are the strongest and most flexible.
If the evening is your only option, or works best for you, try to exercise well before you go to bed.  Exercise too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep.
Of course, when it comes to fitting in fitness, convenience is the key to sticking with it. Experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you. In the end, exercise anytime is better than none.

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