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When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • It is best to wait at least 1 hour after a meal before you exercise. If that meal was a main meal, then you should wait at least 2–3 hours before exercising to allow the body to break down the food and return to its normal state.
  • You should exercise for between 15–30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week, in order to maintain good health.
  • If you want to burn fat, you will need to exercise for over 30 minutes per session.

 

When Is the Best Time to Exercise?

When is the best time to exercise?

When is the best time to exercise and what times will yield the best results? The truth is that anytime you are available and prepared to exercise would be okay. This means anytime that our bodies are not feeling fatigued and at least an hour after a light meal, or 2-3 hours in cases where a heavier meal has been eaten. This is to allow the enzymes in our bodies to break down the food and help the body return to its normal state.
Those who prefer to exercise in the morning, but end up feeling dreary and exhausted, do so because of a lack of sugar in the body. That is why eating breakfast is so important. You should not exercise on an empty stomach. If you don’t have time to eat a proper breakfast, just eat a couple of crackers to line your stomach.
For exercise in the afternoon or evening, it is strongly advised that you do not allow your stomach to start rumbling after a session of exercise either. The body requires about 2,000 kilocalories per day, but when we are exercising, we will burn up to 500 kilocalories extra. When this energy has been burned, our bodies will send us a message that food is needed. If we do not top up our energy stores, our bodies will enter an energy efficiency mode, meaning some bodily functions are closed down, which can lead to us feeling lethargic or even exhausted.
For those who do not have the time to exercise properly, it is advisable that you try to use stairs instead of lifts and walk to get your lunch rather than drive. Even though these activities will not burn as many calories as serious exercise, they will ensure that your muscles are working harder than usual. If these activities then become habits, they will help to build those muscles, which will have a positive effect on how well your body burns energy.

How long should we exercise for?

If your aim is to improve your overall health, exercising for 15–30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week will help you achieve this goal. There is no need to worry about when and where to exercise — just ensure that each session lasts for around 10 minutes. For example, when walking up the stairs, aim to do so for at least 10 minutes. However, if your goal is to burn fat, it will be necessary to exercise for at least 30 minutes per session. This will ensure that your heart rate is regulated and in the correct zone for burning fat — the zone being not too high and not too low. Also, be sure to exercise for the appropriate amount of time based on the effort expended.

How is rest important to an exercise regime?

When we exercise, we need to rest appropriately. This rest can be categorized into two main types. The first type is the rest that we need during exercise to help improve muscle endurance. This should be around 45 seconds in between sets. When building muscle strength, the rest periods should be 3–5 minutes. Finally, to increase muscle strength by lifting weights, the rest period should be over 5 minutes to ensure the body has enough time to recover properly.
The second type of rest is the rest our bodies need between exercise sessions. If we partake in light exercise or activities which are not too strenuous, such as jogging or push-ups, these can be done every day because the body can repair any damaged cells within a 24-hour period. However, if we are going to perform weight training, a rather strenuous form of exercise, we should rest for at least two days between sessions, so that the muscles and cells have time to repair themselves.

How should we prepare for exercise?

Many people may be confused about where to begin when it comes to exercise. They might worry about what to wear, how to prepare, whether they should apply to join a gym, how to warm up before and how to cool down afterwards.
The answer is, “just start”. Do whatever you need to in order to get your body moving, whether that is going to a gym or running in a park. You can even move more while going about your daily activities, as you can exercise by lifting your legs and arms when in the office, walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, or walking to local places rather than driving your car to get there.


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Benjapol Benjapalakorn, Ed. D.,

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