Sunday, June 5, 2011

Early Workouts Lead To Better Sleep Habits

Interesting article on the EmaxHealth Site written by Deborah Mitchell about the effects of exercise on sleep habits based on the time of day that you schedule your work out.  She references a study by researchers at Appalachian State University that suggests an early morning workout leads to greater sleep quality than one in the afternoon or evening.

I must admit that I am not an early-morning-exercise kind of person, but I have known for a quite a while that I seem to have my highest energy levels (and thus motivation to exercise) starting around 10am and peaking about 1pm.  From there it starts a gradual decline.  That doesn't mean I blow off my walking late in the day, it just means I see a cycle with my energy levels.  As a result, I prefer when possible to walk during the middle of the day, but being gainfully employed with a day job makes it kind of difficult. (I do walk during lunch hour frequently.)

Interesting observation - when I think about the past week and the time of day that I did my walking, it seems like I slept better if it was done earlier in the day rather than later in the day... and if I sleep better at night, I feel better (with more energy) the next day.  Thus, if this study holds true for you, adjusting the time of day when you focus your strongest calorie burn, may actually generate a higher level of energy long-term, which will help you burn even more - nice circle!

Check out the article for more specifics.




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