I squeeze in my work­outs first thing. Good or bad?

Women's Health Australia - - ASK WOMEN’S HEALTH -

AN­SWER In a word, good! Cir­ca­dian rhythms – not a lesser-known Sean Paul track, but the phys­i­o­log­i­cal pro­cesses that gov­ern your sleep/wake cy­cles – de­ter­mine how ef­fec­tive your work­outs are, ac­cord­ing to 2016 re­search. The study, pub­lished in Cell Me­tab­o­lism, found mus­cle func­tion peaks dur­ing day­light hours when you’re most awake, which would sug­gest that bright morn­ings trump dark nights in the work­out stakes. “It’s cor­rect to say that mus­cles are af­fected by cir­ca­dian rhythms,” says Claire Ste­wart, pro­fes­sor of molec­u­lar phys­i­ol­ogy at Liver­pool John Moores Univer­sity in the UK. But she’s not sold on the day­light­fits-all idea. “These cir­ca­dian rhythms are more in­tel­li­gent than that. If you ex­er­cise at the same time each day, your body an­tic­i­pates this and knows to adapt, which could mean gen­er­at­ing more mus­cle,” she ex­plains. The up­shot? With con­sis­tency, you can tai­lor your cir­ca­dian rhythms to your sched­ule. So, the best time to work out is the one that you ac­tu­ally stick to.

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