Afternoon Exercise Might Be Best
Your body's circadian rhythms will thank you, study says
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2012 6:43 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Is it better to work out in the morning or afternoon? A new study suggests that those who exercise in the afternoon might be doing their bodies a bigger favor, reports the New York Times. The research involving mice suggests that mid-day exercise helps keep the body's internal clock, or circadian rhythms, in sync—a feat that gets more important as we age, with "serious potential health consequences" at stake, says the study's lead scientist.

Mice that were bred to have defective internal clocks were able to repair them if they ran in the afternoon as opposed to any other time. Researchers aren't yet suggesting that early-rising joggers shift to the afternoon. “If you like morning exercise, which I do, great. Keep it up," says the lead researcher. But they're more confident in their advice to anyone who likes to exercise late at night: Get it done earlier.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
right2dave
Dec 14, 2012 4:31 AM CST
Workout in local pub in afternoon.
HMunster
Dec 13, 2012 4:46 AM CST
This study was conducted on mice. Mice aren't people. Mice eat, poop, reproduce and sleep. They don't think about too much else. They're not stressed about meeting a deadline or picking up the kids from daycare or what they're going to serve at the sitdown dinner for ten that weekend. Mice don't have the same psychological/physiological/time constraint stresses that humans do, which is a major factor in deciding when to work out. As a fitness trainer I've always preferred working out in the morning and have always suggested to my clients that - given the choice - they do so as well for the following reasons: - Your body is coming from a state of complete rest. - There is no food in your stomach, which is optimal. If you've eaten in the last few hours, blood will be diverted to your stomach for digestion, so if you work out the blood will be drawn out of the stomach to the muscles, which is why many people can feel nauseous when exercising after eating - although some people feel better with a little something in their stomachs when exercising. - If you work out first thing in the morning then the first thing you've done that day is positive, which has an analeptic effect on the rest of the day. - If you work out first thing in the morning then your day can't get too busy to work out - which happens to a lot of people. - The endorphins produced by your body through exercise have a calming effect on your state of being, in addition to helping your body overcome stress and pain, which helps you deal with the many work and family challenges you face on a daily basis. - If you have a busy work/personal life where every minute counts and you work out first thing in the morning then you only have to shower, etc. once a day, which is a time saver. - It's a great way to start the day.
WaxHouse
Dec 12, 2012 10:52 PM CST
Your testosterone is supposedly highest in the morning so the age old wisdom was always to lift weights when you wake up..but personally I have always had better workouts in the afternoon, the Paleo podcast I've been listening to has also recently suggested 5, 6 pm workouts.