|Afternoon might be the best time for exercise.|
The preliminary results, based on results on mice, suggest that midday is the time when exercise most affects our circadian rhythm in a positive way. We have cells within our brains that help us tell what time of day it is, which influences when we naturally sleep and wake, among other things.
Signals from light and darkness cause genes within these cells to produce proteins and release them into the body. From there, they move to all our vital organs and keep them synchronized.
The problem is, sometimes our internal clocks don’t function like they ought to. They get confused and off because of things like artificial light in the evening; even aging makes the internal clock less functional. When this happens, we have a harder time falling asleep, sleeping through the night, and staying awake during the day. More severe consequences are a higher risk for diabetes, obesity, some types of cancer, memory loss, and mood disorders.
|Exercising can help get our circadian rhythms back to normal.|
|Excercise, whenever it happens, is good for us (duh)!|
What this study tells us is that exercising in the morning and afternoon does help our internal clocks regulate. Colwell says that some evidence he’s gathered suggests that late-night exercise might actually be harmful to our sleep rhythms, though. More research will need to be done before the specifics can be nailed down. But one thing’s (still) for certain: exercise is good for us!