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Timing is Everything 

Timing is Everything 

February 2018 

When should I exercise? The best answer is: whenever you are most likely to do it. But there’s some science behind when to exercise to get specific benefits. Daniel Pink’s new book: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, explains. 

Exercise in the morning if you want to: 

Lose weight: You can burn 20 percent more fat if you exercise first thing in the morning, before you eat breakfast. 

(Journal of Physiology, 2010) 

Boost mood: Cardio workouts 

make you feel good by raising 

endorphins. Do it in the morning 

and you get a lift that lasts all 

day long. Serotonin is another 

feel good hormone that peaks 

 during the day and is elevated 

by aerobic exercise. Because 

these hormones peak during the 

day, if you exercise in the evening 

and raise those hormone levels, you risk difficulty sleeping. 

Build Strength: Testosterone is elevated in the morning – yes, even for you, ladies. Testosterone helps build muscle. Take advantage of higher testosterone to get the most out of your strength-training program by pumping iron in the morning.

Can You Say Testosterone? 

Be consistent: Many people say that no matter how good their intentions are, if exercise doesn’t happen first thing in the morning, it won’t happen. So if you struggle to be consistent with exercise, do it before you can come up with an excuse. Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning have a slightly easier time being consistent about it.  

Exercise near the end of the day if you want to: 

Avoid injury: Body temperature peaks in the later afternoon and early evening. A higher internal temperature keeps muscles warm, more flexible, and less prone to injury. Studies have shown that injuries are less common during late day workouts. 

Perform Best: Lung function is 

best later in the day. It’s no 

accident that the professional 

runners start last in the Bolder 

Boulder and a disproportionate 

number of Olympic records are 

set in the late afternoon or early 

evening. Your reaction time and 

hand-eye coordination are at 

their best later in the day as well. 

That might be the best time to schedule a tennis lesson, learn how to high jump, or other high skill activities.  

Enjoy Your Workout: When exercise happens later in the day, people typically report a lower level of perceived exertion, even when they are doing the exact same workout as they did in the morning. Exercise can be more enjoyable when you wrap up your day with a work out. 

You Decide! 

So whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, think about what you want from your exercise, and time it accordingly. And, if any aches or pains create a further impediment to moving, we are here to help. Remember, there is no pill that can replace the medicinal benefit of movement.  

Hit Reset on Painful Movement Patterns 

You can’t even look over your shoulder to check traffic before you change lanes. You grip the wheel a little tighter, tense your shoulders, and yank your head around. Ouch. Or, you just take a chance and change lanes anyway. Double ouch. You can’t move because you have limited neck motion. Or do you? 

Try the following activity to see if your range of motion improves:

Exercise to improve movement 

How can that be? Why has your neck movement gotten a bit better? After all, you’ve turned your head many times with the same lousy result. It pinches. It’s stiff. It sucks. So why is it suddenly better after just a simple exercise? 

That simple exercise is actually quite complicated. That’s because it changes the way your brain interprets movement. 

When you move in a way 

that is associated with 

pain, the brain becomes 

aware of the pattern. 

Your brain works using 

prediction. That means it 

learns from past painful 

movements and if it’s been painful before, the brain activates those pain signals before you even start to move. It’s under the radar of conscious thought, which makes it tricky to change. But we have a way to rewrite your brain’s story. 

What you just practiced was a Feldenkrais lesson that changes the movement pattern and sets the stage for moving with ease. 

Feldenkrais sessions are not limited to improving neck movements – they can improve movement patterns throughout your body. With Feldenkrais, you are taught to notice where movement feels restricted or awkward and learn new strategies to make it easy and even elegant (yes, even you can move elegantly!).  

In addition to being a certified Feldenkrais 

practitioner, Debbie is a licensed PTA. 

Following an evaluation with one of our 

physical therapists; you can be referred to 

her. Get ready to move with ease; 

schedule an appointment today.  

Debbie Steinmann, LPTA, GCFP 

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Best PT & Pilates! 

ALTA Physical Therapy & Pilates | 303-444-8707 |


ALTA, 2955 Baseline Road, Boulder, CO 80303 

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