Your personal best time to exercise
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:15 October 2018
Best time to be active - for you
As the days become warmer, my attention is naturally shifting to being more active physically. Are you noticing the desire to be more physically active or to step up your exercise programme?
When is it best to be physically active for best results? Ayurveda encourages one to be in step with the rhythms of nature (circadian rhythms) as part of a healthy daily routine. Our dominant dosha also has a part to play in identifying the best times to exercise.
It is interesting to note that modern science has identified how our body interacts with nature’s rhythms. In the hypothalamus which is located in the posterior portion of the middle part of the brain, there are specialised nerve cells that act like a clock. When light enters your eyes the nerve cells send a ‘wake up’ message to the pineal gland. The pineal gland then reduces the release of melatonin which is the hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
Rise and Shine
Ayurveda recommends to rise just before sunrise and to greet the morning sun with a walk or some physical activity. A traditional early morning exercise that is recommended for everyone is 6-12 cycles of Sun Salutation. See how to do it here.
This exercise is a beauty! It wraps up in one form the four types of exercise that are recommended for health and wellbeing: weight or strength training in the form of body weight resistance, stretching or flexibility exercise and balance and aerobic for endurance. It is a simple and effective exercise to make a part of your morning wake up routine.
Where you can, a walk as the sun is rising helps to clear away the fog of sleep and provides alertness and energy for the whole day. If this idea is new to you, then try a 15-20 minute walk in the morning for 7 days and experience the lift for yourself. Morning exercise also makes it easier to make health promoting choices in the day that follows.
If first thing in the day does not appeal or is not possible due to family needs, then around 10am is the next best option. This is a good time for Vata types or those with a strong Vata imbalance as it is more important to do an oil massage, yoga and to meditate first thing in the morning for you. To support your exercise take 2 tablets of Energy Plus, 2 tablets of Premium Amla Berry Plus and 1 tablet of Rejuvenation Plus prior your breakfast and evening meals.
Research on circadian rhythms and exercise also point to some interesting discoveries
- Morning exercise helps a person feel more energetic and alert throughout the day.
Taking 4 tablets of Premium Amla Berry Plus first thing when you wake provides a herbal ‘wake up’ that supports muscular and mental energy. Taking 2 tablets of Triphala Guggul after breakfast helps to counteract the sluggishness that can be present in the morning.
- Afternoon exercise is best for strength and flexibility training as our muscles perform best in the afternoon. Additionally, perceived level of exertion is lower at this time of the day. This means it will feel easier and allow you to work harder without feeling as much exertion. To support development of lean muscle and muscle endurance consider taking 2-4 tablets of Premium Amla Berry Plus prior your work out along with 2 tablets of Energy Plus. Late afternoon is an ideal time for Pitta types to exercise.
- Professional athletes often focus on technical workouts in the morning and the more aerobic sessions between 4-6pm.
- Exercising in the early evening aids weight loss, supports quality sleep and people are less likely to injure themselves as their body temperature is naturally higher at this time of the day.
Ayurveda recommends we are active most days. It explains that walking is an ideal activity that is balancing for everyone. With the addition of the Sun Salutation routine in the morning you have a simple but effective exercise routine to help keep you fit and well no matter your stage of life.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.