Right time to exercise

2nd Feb edition of Times of India carries a new item “PUSH YOUR MORNING JOG TO AFTERNOON” citing some research done on professional athletes at a British University.

Is it an advise that should be given to our patients?

Absolutely NO!

Dr Chander Asrani

Such news actually demotivates. Who amongst us – lesser mortals – can afford to do regular exercise in the afternoon? Hardly any! Even business men in cloth market/ jewellery shops start their day by 11.

So what is the right time to exercise? or Does it make any difference? Do you really burn more calories at different times of the day performing same routine?

The fact is that there’s no reliable evidence to indicate/ support the claim that more calories are consumed at different times of day doing the same exercise; the time in the day, when we do exercise CAN & DOES influence how we feel while exercising.

It is vital that we are doing REGULAR exercise. Hence choosing a time of the day we can stick with is sensible; so that exercise becomes a habit. As per established guidelines one should exercise 5 times a week, a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming) with no more than two days of gap between 2 exercise days.

All our vital body functions (heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels etc) are governed by what is known as Circadian Rhythm and all of these also play a vital role in our readiness for exercise and our actual performance. It is great to use circadian rhythm to guide us to exercise but more important external factors influencing regular exercise are family and work schedules.

blog 2.2.15

For anyone who has trouble in being consistent in exercise, morning is the best time as we are done with an important chore before other work pressures hit us.

Few tips:

– Do NOT exercise on empty stomach; a cup of tea/ a fruit is mandatory
– Do NOT exercise on a full stomach (give at least 2-3 hours after a meal)
– If exercising in the morning, allot more time for warm-up than if exercising later in the day
– Strolling (especially post dinner) or combining your shopping with exercise or a walk down the shopping mall is NOT physical exercise but physical activity.

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