Listening to Your Body Clock : Is there time for weight loss and exercise?

Clients who exercise in the morning are more likely to sustain a program than those who do it at any other time of the day.

However, according to your body’s natural rhythms, the best time to exercise is in the late afternoon when stress hormones are lower.

Our bodies are in tune with the universe surrounding us. The more healthy and fit we become the more we are aware of these changes from our environment. Our body clock, what experts call the “circadian cycles” regulates our temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and metabolic rate as well as hormone levels, appetite, and sleep. These “circadian cycles” release different hormones throughout the day and night.

Your body has more than 100 circadian cycles. Each unique 24-hour cycle influences an aspect of your body's function.

  • More people have heart attacks in the early morning when blood pressure is elevated than at any other time of the day.

  • More people feel hungry and sleepy around 3:00 pm than at any other time of day.

Many experts argue the best time for exercise is between 4pm and 7pm, but all agree on the best times for rest. Sleeping between 10pm and 6am is the optimal time of day for rest. During this time our bodies repair and restore tissues, organs and our mind.

Much of our circadian cycle is a response to light. Light, natural or artificial light causes an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol not only affects the immune function, but also bone metabolism, vascular tone and your cravings for sugar—your appetite.