It’s all in the Timing: Wall Street Journal reports time of day key to training success

How to Be Healthier, Happier and More Productive: It’s All in the Timing

Morning exercise may burn 20% more fat than later, post-food workouts.

The Wall Street Journal

Resolution: Get more exercise. It’s the most common New Year’s resolution. But when is the best time to hit the gym? Science has some answers, and most of them depend on the nature of our exercise goals.

 

Schedule exercise in the morning if you want to:

Lose weight. When we first wake up, having not eaten for at least eight hours, our blood sugar is low. Since we need blood sugar to fuel a run, morning exercise will use the fat stored in our tissues to supply the energy we need. (When we exercise after eating, we use the energy from the food we’ve just consumed.) In many cases, morning exercise may burn 20% more fat than later, post-food workouts.

Boost mood. Cardio workouts—swimming, running, even walking the dog—can elevate mood. When we exercise in the morning, we enjoy these effects all day. If you wait to exercise until the evening, you’ll end up sleeping through some of the good feelings.
Keep a routine. Some studies suggest that we’re more likely to adhere to our workout routine when we do it in the morning. So if you find yourself struggling to stick with a plan, morning exercise, especially if you enlist a regular partner, can help you form a habit.

 

Exercise in the late afternoon or evening if you want to:

Avoid injury. Studies have found that injuries are less common in workouts later in the day. Our body temperature reaches its high point in the late afternoon and early evening, and when our muscles are warm, they’re more elastic and less prone to injury.

Perform your best. In a 2015 study (01639-X) of 121 athletes, Elise Facer-Childs and Ronald Brandstaetter of the University of Birmingham found that individual performance can vary by as much as 26% based solely on time of day—and that performance typically peaks between 10 and 12 hours after awakening. So working out in the afternoons can help you sprint faster and lift more. Lung function is highest this time of the day, so your circulation system can distribute more oxygen and nutrients. This is also the time of day when strength peaks, reaction time quickens, hand-eye coordination sharpens, and heart rate and blood pressure drop. In fact, a disproportionate number of athletic records, especially in speed events, are set in the late afternoon and early evening.

Enjoy the workout a bit more. People typically perceive that they’re exerting themselves a little less in the afternoon even if they’re doing exactly the same exercise routine as in the morning, according to the American Council on Exercise.

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Carbs Not the Enemy: CU Boulder physiologist shares key to weight loss, metabolic health

From the Daily Camera

Inigo San Millan has good news and bad news for those determined to make this the year they get healthy and shed some pounds: carbs are not the enemy, but you and your well-worn couch need some time apart.

The physiologist and University of Colorado director of the Sports Performance Program’s research found success in weight loss and fending off cardio-metabolic diseases lies in metabolic flexibility.

“Metabolic flexibility is the ability for your body to quickly switch back and forth between fat and carbs, efficiently using whatever fuel sources you throw at it,” San Millan said.

 

Read the full story here

Tri Women’s Wed: Reso-LOSE-Tions

by Lisa Ingarfield, 303 Contributor

January. The start of a new year. The promise of a new you. Many of us are filled to the brim with optimism about the year to come and the goals we hope to achieve during our triathlon racing season. The days are getting longer and as we inch toward spring, each minute extra of daylight fuels our engines with excitement at what’s to come.

Embedded in the exuberance of a new year and new opportunities is the Resolution Industry. I say industry because that is what it has become. It is an industry predicated upon “change” providers’ (gyms, diet programs etc.,) desire to cash in on the fervor for change. What better time to enact change in your life, so the commercials go, than when the Gregorian calendar ticks over to 1/1. One. First. New. However, the adage that change is as good as a rest may not always ring true.

The Resolution Industry’s push for change is troubling and sometimes even damaging. Its inherent message that there is always something in our lives that needs changing can undermine our sense of self. Whether the suggested changes are about our bodies, our clothes, our jobs, our friends, or our attitudes, what we can take away from the bonanza of offers in January is that something must be wrong. And to fix that obvious wrong, there are three hundred (discounted) ways to do so. Don’t delay, buy, subscribe, and join!

I have certainly forayed into the land of resolutions with varying success. Most notably, and I think this is likely true for many women in particular, my resolutions have centered on resolving to change my body, directly or indirectly. What I hear from our culture and from advertising is that my body is never good enough, and that my fitness level is determined by my body size and shape. This is especially true after the holidays. Enjoying good food is an indulgence and something that must be purged in the New Year.

Companies are knocking at my door in January with the next best thing for shedding those extra pounds I must have gained in December. The assumption is always that those extra pounds were gained and that they are bad for me. I rarely hear the refrain that I am good just the way I am. Indulgence (which connotes taking in more than you need) is encouraged in December, but shamed in January. The Resolution Industry tells me to do it better this year. If I want to be a better athlete, or just better overall, I will resolve to indulge less and live a healthier life. But, healthy is defined in only one way (primarily for women): thin.

resolutions - women's wednesdayAs with many resolutions, proclamations of change may well be short lived. As time meanders on, our pace slows, and by March, we may find our resolutions have faded from sight. Inevitably, failing to maintain the “new you” in light of all those messages about the need to change, can be painful. For many women athletes, despite our amazing achievements and training commitment, we still struggle with what it means to have the perfect body. Sometimes the expectations we have of ourselves and our body fall behind the larger cultural messages we receive. This can spur us to train harder and longer. Ultimately though, this behavior can be damaging to our bodies, our relationships, and our sense of self.

The Resolution Industry simultaneously encourages us to make important life changes and targets our doubts about our value and worth. If we look beneath its shiny exterior of persuasive messaging and buy one, get one offers, its underbelly reveals an industry interested in exploiting our insecurities regardless of our fitness level. We are too this, or too that. Being just right doesn’t make money. Corporations profit from our insecurities. Does this reality mean we should eschew the deals at our local gym or refuse to sign up for a training group to help us get out the door? No, I don’t think it does.

Shifting our training patterns or taking on something new at the start of a new year is not universally negative. Rather, I think we need to be cautious about what we agree to in January and in particular, why we agree to it. What are the expectations we set for ourselves, as athletes, as women, as consumers in a relentlessly critical culture? The resolutions we make, whether we keep them or throw them away, should not define our worth. Who really benefits from a failed resolution? Not me, that’s for sure.