This is a good article and so true. I've always found for me that working out in the afternoon was when I preformed the best. This has been true for the 25 years that I have been training. If you can listen to your body and discover your own circadian rhythms you just might find that your performance improves and that you simply just feel better when working out!
The Best Time to Exercise
15 April 2010
This article was originally published in the American Council on Exercise’s (ACE’s) Get Fit blog. Visit the American Council on Exercise for free health and fitness information, and read on for an excerpt from the article below.
Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t the only ones with biological clocks. Everyone has them, and we all heed their ticking on a daily basis.
If you are a regular exerciser, you may have already determined your most productive time to exercise and follow a routine that works best for you.
On the other hand, if your exercise time varies from day to day, and it’s wearing you out instead of pumping you up, you may be interested in the work of scientists who are studying the proverbial internal clock and how to best determine what time of day you should schedule your workouts.
Rhythm: It’s Not Just for Dancing
The secret appears to lie in circadian rhythms, the daily cycles that the human body follows. These rhythms originate in the hypothalamus and regulate everything from body temperature and metabolism to blood pressure.
The rhythms result from the firing rate of neurons. They have conformed to the 24-hour light-to-dark cycle, and may be regulated and re-regulated each day according to the environment.
Warm Is Better
It is the influence of circadian rhythms on body temperature that seems to yield the most control over the quality of a workout. When body temperature is at its highest, your workouts will likely be more productive; when your temperature is low, chances are your exercise session may be less than optimal.
Body temperature is at its lowest about one to three hours before most of us wake up in the morning, in contrast to late afternoon when body temperature reaches its peak. (To determine your own circadian peak, refer to the box to the right.)
Studies have consistently shown that exercise during these late-in-the-day hours produces better performance and more power. Muscles are warm and more flexible, perceived exertion is low, reaction time is quicker, strength is at its peak and resting heart rate and blood pressure are low.