Do you keep a regular schedule for workout? It may be interesting to think that there might be a specific time that is most beneficial for exercise, especially when one’s goal for working out is to improve physical performance or to achieve weight loss. A recent medical report showed that the time of day one engages in exercise may also improve one’s performance and chances for weight loss are higher when one works out in the evening.
In a recent medical report issued by researchers at Harvard University, the change in blood pressure was measured among 28 individuals with normal blood pressure for 240 hours using various daylight settings. The use of different daylight settings was based on the concept of the circadian rhythm, which is a biological regulator for specific physiological activities of the body that is mainly influenced by the duration of daylight and evening hours. For example, the body is programmed to sleep during the evenings and to be awake during the day. Changes in the circadian rhythm, which is often associated with nightshift jobs, are may be associated with poor performance at work because of the difficulty in sleeping during the day and adapting a new circadian rhythm.
More Weight Loss at Night?
The study showed that implementation of different daylight hours on the study participants did not result in changes in the blood pressure. Interestingly, the researchers observed that regardless of length of wakefulness, the blood pressure of the study participants was constantly higher at approximately 9:00 PM, suggesting that the circadian rhythm for blood pressure was quite robust. This may also serve as a mechanism for insomnia, or the abnormal sleeping pattern that results in shorter periods of rest and recharging of the body.
The results of the study may be useful in the design of exercise regimens for individuals who want to improve their physical performance or achieve weight loss. Most people who exercise possess the goal of preventing obesity, which involves the excessive gain in weight through the deposition of fat in various parts of the body. Exercise also serves as a preventative method against various medical diseases that are strongly linked with obesity, including diabetes and heart disease. Engaging in regular exercise is therefore a healthy choice for improving general health and performance and enhancing weight loss.
The Other Effects of Nighttime Exercise
The Harvard report showed that despite changes in the time of wakefulness, the blood pressure of the study participants was shown to be higher in the evenings. This observation may be adapted for exercise programs, wherein a higher blood pressure during an evening workout may help in burning more calories, thus facilitating weight loss and improving physical stamina and performance. The chances for weight loss also increases when an individual engages in more cardiovascular types of exercise that increase blood pressure, allowing better circulation of blood and oxygen across the body.
This timely report may be helpful to individuals leading a busy schedule, who often only find time to exercise in the evenings. For people with less hectic schedules, exercise is usually performed in the mornings and this may also be helpful in improving performance and assisting in weight loss. For other individuals, the time for working out may vary, depending on how busy a day may be and thus variable times for working out may be a concern for them in terms of chances for weight loss and enhancing performance.
The medical report thus banishes myths that it is better to work out in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. The scientific evidence provided by the report shows that in order to improve performance and achieve weight loss, the optimal time for working out is in the evenings, when the blood pressure of the body is higher and thus the chances of engaging in a cardiovascular workout is also more likely. This circadian increase in blood pressure may assist in burning more calories, possibly with a little less effort than working out in the morning. However, one does not have to change one’s routine schedule to adapt this new discovery regarding circadian blood pressure fluctuations to enhance the effects of working out. As long as one exercises, better performance and weight loss may still be achieved.