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Monday, October 20, 2008

The Best Time of Day to Do Your Cardio Workout

According to Real Simple magazine, the best time of day to do your cardio workout is between 5 and 6 pm. Here's why:

" 'For increasing fitness, decreasing the chance of injury, and improving sleep, the best time to exercise is late afternoon or early evening,' says Matthew Edlund, M.D., author of The Body Clock Advantage (Circadian Press, $15, www.amazon.com) and head of the Center for Circadian Medicine, in Sarasota, Florida. At these times, he says, your lungs use oxygen more efficiently, you're more coordinated, and your muscles are warmed up, so you're less likely to suffer a sprain or strain.

Finish exercising at least three hours before bed so that when your head hits the pillow the extra adrenaline will no longer be pumping through your bloodstream (and other factors that keep you awake will also have subsided). Bonus: 'If you're all wound up at the end of the day, exercise may be a great stress reliever,' notes Shirley Archer of the Stanford Health Improvement Program, in Palo Alto, California."

I enjoy knowing the above information and it makes sense. But as a morning person, I start losing steam after 4 pm, so the thought of exercising then is horrible! I find that if I don't exercise in the morning, I'm likely not to do it. With this new information, though, I might be more encouraged to exercise in the evening if I can't get it in in the morning.