Back from a hectic morning schedule all that we think about is a pleasant evening spent drinking some tea/coffee, sharing the day’s experiences with our family, having a yummy-tummy dinner and going to bed with tummy filled and our mind fulfilled! In between all this we hate missing out on our beloved reality shows, preparing things for the next day’s menu, helping our kids complete their school chores and also catering to our spouse’s needs. Even if we think about going for a quick walk despite all this commotion, we’ve always got barriers such as lack of a proper gym near our place of stay, the strong belief that exercising in the evening can hinder sleep routines and above all, the idea of a hardcore workout after a stressful morning makes it even more unappealing. What if I say that here comes an interesting twist to the tale with respect to exercising in the evening?
Reinforcing your Thoughts & Take Action on your Goals
Why do we find it so hard to include physical activity in our daily to-do list giving it as much importance as cooking a meal? We don’t fail to cook food or at least keep it ready (either ordering it online or deciding to eat out) by any means without which our stomach begins to growl and we become ‘hangry.’ Unheard of the term hangry? Then you haven’t visited www.firsteatright.com yet which offers you the best explanation and suggestion on this word and its effect. In terms of exercising or rather, not exercising we don’t find any effects immediately nor do we suffer pain or discomfort. But, in the long run we undergo the pain, side effects and pay its price in the form of diseases or physical problems that keep occurring repeatedly due to lack of regular physical activity and body flexibility. Promising to take some action only after facing the consequences is not smartness but learning from other’s mistakes, experiences and people’s suggestions is the way to go.
If you analyze, our entire evening schedules are planned in a haphazard manner where our chores take priority over eat and sleep timings. Dinner time is when we are done with the next day’s preparations, sleep time is when our favorite TV program ends and likewise. Fixing upon dinner and sleep timings and rearranging other things to suit these timings is the best way to start. In between all these where do we fix our exercise goals? A new study result comes to our rescue here-it says that 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise performed in the early evening does not affect sleep quality and might also reduce our appetite too.
Effects on the 11 Men
The study team conducted its research on 11 middle-aged men who completed three experimental trials to investigate sleep and appetite response to physical activity performed at three different times of the day-morning (6-7 am), afternoon (2-4 pm) and evening (7-9 pm). All the participants were asked to perform one-minute of fast cycling 6 times (high intensity sprint) mixed with 4 minutes of rest. Blood was collected from each of the participants before and after exercising to examine appetite-related hormones and also certain tests were performed during sleep to assess sleep stages. Results showed no signs of an evening session of exercise causing sleep-related disturbances on the participant’s body. Rather, both afternoon and evening exercise sessions were associated with a greater reduction of the hunger stimulating hormone, ghrelin. The researchers were even surprised by the fact that participants exercised with more vigor and energy during the afternoon and evening sessions (latter part of the day basically) comparatively.
Don’t ever assume that one session of exercising is going to cause critical changes in your hormone levels but what this study proves to us is the fact that early evenings are a good time to invest on exercising. There is also the need to repeat such studies on women as their hormone levels are different and there are chances that sleep and appetite responses may differ in this gender.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.