When To Exercise: Time Of Day And Habits

Exercise is a good thing for all of us, but find the best times for your workout to avoid potential injuries or health problems.

Exercise offers such a fine array of benefits that it can be undertaken at any time, right?

Not necessarily. There are certain times that are not the best for a physical workout, and others that provide better conditions. Here are some occasions when you should consider doing your exercise routine.

1. Before eating. Those who are trying to lose weight by combining exercise with a diet plan should be aware that it helps to exercise before, not after, a meal. That's because physical activity helps to circulate blood sugar throughout the body to maintain a balance in the bloodstream. You're more apt to feel full after a workout, which means you may eat less without the aid of a diet pill or semi-starvation. Exercising after eating will disrupt the digestive process and can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Wait thirty minutes after eating to begin your routine.


2. After a stressful encounter. If your day is full of high-power business meetings or appointments with irate customers, a workout is the perfect way to diffuse some of your built-up tension and clear your mind of unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Slip into your jogging clothes and head outdoors or to the gym for a thirty-minute session that will revive your spirits and calm your mind while stretching your body in healthy ways.

3. First thing in the morning. Our bodies' hormones peak around dawn, so we're often rearing to go shortly after waking. For some people, an early morning workout is the perfect way to start the day before work, school, or a day of caring for the home. Check with your doctor, though, if you have a history of heart problems, as a small study of men with cardiac issues experienced chest pain or heart attacks during a Monday morning exercise routine.

4. Before bedtime. While some folks' schedules mandate their exercising in the evening after supper, be sure to get moving well ahead of your bedtime hour. Experts recommend exercising at least two hours before you normally go to bed. That's because sustained physical activity will release endorphins and stir blood sugar levels to provide a rush of energy and alertness that can interfere with sleep and eliminate fatigue.

5. While traveling. During a long trip, be sure to stretch your legs every hour or two to stimulate circulation and prevent blood clot formation. In a car, take a rest stop break. Get out and walk in a secure area (in daylight) briskly for five to ten minutes. Avoid isolated areas or suspicious looking individuals, however. In a plane, get up and walk down the aisle to the restroom and back, or practice leg exercises at your seat. Do the same while on a bus, train, or ship trip.

6. Following surgery. Follow your doctor's orders precisely, which will include when and how to exercise. Failing to get adequate physical activity after an operation can lead to pneumonia or other complications.

Choosing a time to exercise is as important as how to exercise. Check with your doctor or a medical expert for advice on the best exercise schedule for you.

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