Why Working out in the Afternoon is What Your Body WantsBy Steve Casimiro on December 14th, 2012
The 24-hour gym isn’t such a great invention. Or so scientists studying circadian rhythms and exercise now think. The gym rats in question…were actual rats. But the vermin share our physiology, meaning that they, and we, have so-called pacemaker cells that receive signals from light sources or darkness that set off a cascade of molecular effects, including when to sleep, wake, and function physiologically according to the dictates of our body’s internal clock. What’s more, scientists wanted not just to determine whether exercise at a certain time of day can be a net positive (it seems it can), but whether exercise done out of sync with a circadian clock can be harmful. The latter question is huge because recent research has linked out-of-sync circadian rhythms in people to an increased risk for diabetes, obesity, certain types of cancer, memory loss, and mood disorders. But with the mice they learned that those of us with “broken” clocks (insomniacs) may be able to fix them with afternoon workouts, leading to better sleep and hopefully a lower incidence of the above diseases. Via NYT.
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