Evening Exercise: Pros And Cons Of This Trend

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Evening Exercise

While the city sleeps, a lot of people train in and out of the academies. Know the benefits of this wave – and vital adjustments to not impair sleep

Awarded to American scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young, the 2017 Nobel Prize for Medicine warmed a longstanding discussion: the influence of Earth movements on living organisms. The research of this trio, pioneered in the early 1970s, was essential to understanding at the molecular level how our biological clock works. And they also show why there are more propitious times to rest or, on the contrary, to exercise .

It happens that our circadian rhythm (the technical name of the internal clock) seems not to have been adjusted to the routine of a good part of the world population. And we are not just talking about those who feel tired just imagining the alarm clock ringing at sunrise or can not sleep before midnight. With the schedule full, many people need to make the time to do it, and if it is not possible to fit the exercises into business hours, the solution is to leave them for the wee hours.

So much so that the  first 24 hour academy in Brazil came in 2006, based on the needs of university students who also worked. “Until then, these students could hardly finish warming up before the alarm sounded that indicated the closing of the unit in Guarulhos,” recalls the physical educator Eduardo Gusmão, manager of Academia Gaviões 24h – Paulista.

Well, it was not nearly enough for the day, which made the flow in the establishment increase from 30 to 40% on vacation, when the public could follow a training more easily. The exit? Extend the working day in the fitness room.

But this demand raised some questions. The first was the supposedly negative impact on sleep . After all, physical activity releases adrenaline and other natural stimulants, which would lead to insomnia and tiredness the next day. Study after study, however, does not seem to materialize. Exercise may even encourage rest.

In an experiment with 17 healthy men, Marco Tulio de Mello, a physical education professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais , found that moderate exercise, even after the sun sets, promotes the release of a lot of relaxing substances. “But it takes up to two hours for the body to return to normal rhythm and temperature,” he warns.

A team of researchers from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland went even further: according to them, not even vigorous modalities would hinder bedtime. And it turns out that 11 volunteers of both sexes were induced to interweave nights of total rest and intense sessions of exercise bicycle two hours before they went to the room. At the end of the follow-up, the pedals did not make a significant difference, although they momentarily raised the resting heart rate  -which could affect the depth of sleep.

“Even so, the heart only has to win in the absence of sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity helps control blood pressure and anxiety, and is an ally of conventional treatments, “says cardiologist Fátima Cintra, a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo. However, a healthy habit should not serve as the bargaining chip for another. “Sleep deprivation is proven to be a risk factor for cardiovascular events and other problems,” Fatima says.

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