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Expert explains why enjoying exercise is important

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When it comes to setting yourself up for success with your fitness goals, figuring out a regular time to work out is extremely important. It’s not just about getting into a routine – some people believe there is an optimum time of day to exercise to ensure you get a good night’s sleep and work out as best you can. However, Lauren Vickers, Athletics Team Manager at F45 Training (www.f45training.co.uk) believes the best time of day to exercise depends on your routine. Read on to find out when YOU should be exercising.

According to the NHS, adults should do some kind of physical activity every single day and at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity to vigorous activity a week.

This includes anything from a brisk walk or riding a bike to swimming or playing a sport.

Any kind of exercise is important for improving your health and reducing your risk of a number of deadly diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

You should work half an hour of exercise a day into your routine wherever possible… but when is the BEST time of day to exercise?

It is commonly thought that exercising at night could lead to poor sleep quality because exercising generally raises your core temperature, but this might not be true.

Several studies since 2018 have shown that – in addition to the numerous benefits of exercise on general health, wellbeing and mental health – regular exercise (even at night) can actually help you sleep well at night.

Lauren said: “Working out in the evening can help promote deeper sleep and recovery because as your body starts to cool post-sweat, 1. acetazolamide sodium (diamox) this can signal your body to produce melatonin (a natural hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your circadian rhythms).

“However, you should avoid vigorous exercise too close to your regular bedtime and give yourself at least 60-90 minutes of post-workout time before bed and allow your body to properly cool down.

“You should also avoid pre-workout drinks or caffeine later in the day.”

Exercising at night might not suit everyone’s routine and you might be better off working out during the day or in the morning.

Lauren advised: “The time of day you schedule your sweat session is best suited to when you naturally feel more energetic.

“Have a think about your natural rhythms and sleep cycles – are you an early bird that likes to tackle things first up in the morning, or are you more of a night owl who finds themselves restless when many others are winding down for the night?

“Much of this will depend on your work and family life, and may change throughout the course of your lifetime, but scheduling in your workouts around the times when you have the most energy can help improve your training experience, adherence and even your sleep.”

Working out in the morning has its benefits too if that suits you.

Lauren said: “Many people prefer to work out earlier in the day, as it allows them to get through their session uninterrupted, or before the day’s stresses wear them down.

“If you’re more of a lark, early workouts can have the added benefit of exposure to natural light, which can help align your circadian rhythms.”

Regardless of whether you’re better suited to getting in your daily movement earlier or later in the day, experts recommend a few things to help promote restful sleep and adequate recovery.

For starters, you should avoid electronics like TV, your phone or laptop 30-60 minutes before bed.

Lauren explained: “The exposure to blue light can block melatonin and signal to your body that it’s time to wake up.

“On top of that, where possible you should regularly go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

“Try to create a bedtime routine and include relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath, playing some relaxing music or reading a book consistently at the same time each night to cue your body to recognise when it’s time to start winding down for the day.”

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