Wake up and workout!
Tired of being stressed out and tired? Try working out early in the morning. In a recent study led by Dr. Scott Collier at Appalachian State University, participants exercised on a treadmill for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, at 7 a.m., 1 p.m. and at 7 p.m. Researchers were looking to see if exercising at different times of day had any effect on two known risk factors for heart disease; stress and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Hypertension can impact sleep. Poor sleep can lead to hypertension, thus, creating a viscous cycle. Dr. Collier was particularly interested in the time issue since data has shown that most people have heart attacks in the morning. He is hoping to discover how these attacks might be prevented.
It turns out participants who exercised early in the morning experienced a 10 percent reduction in blood pressure that lasted through the remainder of the day. They also experienced close to a 25 percent drop in their blood pressure at night. In addition, they slept longer and had more beneficial deep sleep cycles (REM) than when they exercised at 1p.m. or 7 p.m.
What if you’re not an early riser? You can still reap the benefits by exercising within an hour of your normal waking time. If you absolutely can’t fit exercise into your morning, don’t sweat it. Exercising whenever you can is still better than none at all!