News : Choosing the best time to train News : Choosing the best time to train

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12 MAY
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Choosing the best time to train

It’s an age-old argument among keen gym goers, when exactly is the best time to train? Most people choose to drag themselves; sorry I mean go to the gym in the evening after work. This arguably avoids having to wake up any earlier on those bleak cold mornings, but did you know that training too late in the day will not only effect your results long term but also your mood and how you sleep?

 

This is partly down to our hormones, those little chemical messengers that control each and every function in our bodies.  When we wake up, our stress hormone (the one which gets us moving) cortisol is, or should be at it’s highest. Throughout the day this is what provides us with the energy to exert ourselves, react when necessary and take part in physical activity.  But in order to unwind and calm our nervous system we should start shutting down the need for this stress hormone by the time we begin to relax in the evening.

 

Interestingly our bodies and hormones are dictated by our circadian rhythm (the internal time keeping system within us), which runs everything from our body temperature to what time we fall asleep. A recent study found that by using this, we can 'teach' our bodies to feel prepared for something such as exercise.  The circadian rhythm is based on a 24-hour cycle triggered by environmental factors. By doing something at the same or similar time each and every day, means our body’s can be ready for what it has been 'set' to do at that particular time. This is great for those training for a specific event, scheduled to take part at a set time of the day or perhaps, for those who have no choice as to when they train.

 

So what does this mean for us? While research on this topic is a little grainy and the jury is still somewhat out, the most recent findings show that although some individuals feel they are more prepared or can 'make' themselves ready for training in the morning or evening, the best time to train over all is actually in the afternoon at around 4pm. For most of us, late afternoon is when our body temperature reaches its highest point, which is the most ideal time to take part in exercise. Granted, those early risers are quickly being proven as the most consistent exercisers, endurance and strength actually reaches its peak for most people late afternoon and injuries are far less likely to occur.

 

While not everyone has the luxury of being able to pick and choose when they can make it to the gym, it’s undoubtedly information that can go along way in helping you gain lasting results and positive health benefits. Late lunch anyone?

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P4 Team
The P4 Team collectively, is a group of highly skilled health & fitness experts equipped with the knowledge and experience to get the very best out of their clients by going that extra mile to ensure the highest level of service is reached with satisfaction guaranteed.

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