The time that you exercise is usually determined by practical issues such as work, study, opening hours of the gym, and whether you’re a morning or night person. Each time has its advantages and disadvantages. But what does science really say about the best time to exercise? There are several factors such as your biological clock, body temperature and hormonal processes that affect your athleticaddition, the ideal exercise time also depends on environmental factors and the purpose for which you train.
What factors affect exercise performance?
There are several conditions that determine whether you are the best in the morning, afternoon or evening. Both endogenous factors;processes within the body, as well as exogenous factors;environmental conditions, play a role in this. Mainly the 24-hour rhythm, testosterone and cortisol production and the (body)temperature are important. By considering these factors you can get the most out of your workout.
First lets look at what physical processes and environmental factors affect your exercise performance. This will allow you to determine the best time for exercise plus we’ll also look at why its important to exercise at a consistent time.
The physical processes that affect exercise performance
The circadian rhythm
The circadian rhythm or 24-hour rhythm is controlled by the biological clock from the brain. The 24-hour rhythm is also influenced by biological processes that repeat themselves every day.The circadian rhythm causes some bodily functions such as body temperature, blood pressure, alertness and the hormonal release of testosterone and cortisol to be very active at certain times and less active at other times.
Testosterone has a major impact on muscle growth. This hormone ensures that your body gets into the anabolic phase and that protein synthesis can take place so that the muscles grow. The stress hormone cortisol has an opposite effect. Cortisol works as a catabolic and increases metabolism. I The Testosterone / Cortisol ratio determines how much muscle growth and combustion takes place.
Both testosterone and cortisol levels follow the circadian rhythm.Both are high in the morning and evening but low at night, when the body is inactive. The high cortisol level ensures that there will be more fat burning early in the day but also that more muscle breakdown occurs. This effect is partly limited by the increase of the testosterone hormone which stimulates protein synthesis.
Also, the body temperature is dependent on the circadian rhythm,and is highest early in the evening. Of all the bodily processes,the temperature will have the most impact on exercising. The advantage of an elevated temperature is that the body is already in an active state. Research also shows that the best time to exercise is between 15:30 and 20:30.
The increased body temperature causes the orthosympatic part of the nervous system to be very active. This allows the nerves to work better, keeps the joints supple and ensures adequate circulation of the body. An advantage of this is that the muscles are provided with better oxygen and nutrients through dilated blood vessels. The body is already warmed up before the training begins. In addition, it increases muscle strength!
The influence of environmental factors on exercise performance
Environmental factors influence the circadian rhythm and thus have an effect on exercise performance. The variables that affect exercise performance are: sunlight, temperature and humidity. These factors affect the 24-hour rhythm. The amount of sunlight determines, for example, the production of melatonin which makes you sleep well. You can imagine that you are less alert when it is dark outside, which makes the night a less favorable exercising time.
I hope that this answers your question to some degree and I wish you well with organizing your exercise regime to suit your lifestyle.
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Original Author: , Fitness Instructor and Nutritionalist