If you are a regular exerciser, you know the best time that your body likes to exercise. Some people are early morning exercisers, others in the afternoon (better for asthmatics and those with arthritis), and still others in the evening.
If your days are busy and the only time you have to exercise is in the late evening, take care in knowing that research, as noted in Prevention magazine, shows that it is okay to exercise right before bedtime. Doing so will not affect sleep for many people. In short–if the day has gotten away from you, there is virtually no excuse why you can’t exercise even before you go to bed. In fact, it may help. A new study does show an exception to this, however: sedentary and overweight postmenopausal women will sleep better when they exercise earlier in the day.
The research overall is not conclusive regarding the relationship of exercising in the evening and sleep. So what do you do? Conduct your own study. This writer has exercised as late at 10:30 p.m. and gone to bed a couple of hours later with no problems. Others may find that the extra boost of oxygen from exercising just wires them and they are wide awake at 1 a.m. (a good time to clean your house, if you want to make use of your insomnia).
Still not sure when the best time for you is to exercise? Then keep a log of when you exercise, how long, the type, and when you hit the sack. In a a couple of weeks you should know what your pattern is. If the time between exercise and bedtime is too short, back it up until you find the right formula, and then stick with it. And remember that there are “evening” yoga routines that are geared to help you fall blissfully into dreamsville.
Exercise is not something you “try” to fit into your daily schedule. It must become part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth. Once you get into that routine, it becomes second nature. It will give you more energy, and will help you establish a good sleeping pattern.
Former president Bill Clinton, after his recent heart problems in February, said he would make changes like getting more sleep and being more disciplined about exercising every day. If he can do it with his busy schedule, so can you.
Exercise does not take a vacation