When is the best time to exercise?
I get asked a lot if exercising during the week is better than exercising during the weekend. Everyone’s schedule is different. Some people exercise during the morning, others prefer to exercise at night. Others barely get any physical activity.
According to the American Heart Association the recommendations for overall cardiovascular health are:
“At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per
week for a total of 150 minutes;
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a
total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate-and vigorous-intensity
Moderate-to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week
for additional health benefits.”
For lowering blood pressure & cholesterol:
“An average 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4
times per week.”
Exercise helps improve blood pressure, pulse, and helps with weight management. Usually the bigger challenge is to stay motivated enough to avoid stopping, which leads to gaining back the weight and increase in blood pressure.
I encourage my patients to keep “appointments” in their calendars by separating daily blocks of time dedicated to exercise. In addition to blood pressure readings, I ask them to include exercise sessions in their logs and bring them to me in the follow up appointment. Not only I see their activity level, but it helps them realize how active they have been in a certain period of time. Honestly, not all of them follow through with the recommendations, but at least I am educating them. By being consistent, many times I have seen a change in their behavior leading to weight loss, improved cardiac function, lower blood pressure, and occasionally decrease in medication use.
In general, any exercise is better than no exercise and the best time is when you can actually commit to at least the minimum amount of exercise recommended.
What is your exercise schedule?