People wanting to get the most out of their workouts have been asking for some time when the best time of day to exercise is. They wonder if waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise is better than fitting your fitness in right before bed. According to celebrity nutritionist and fitness trainer Diana Le Dean, when you exercise might not matter.
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that it may not be best for people to exercise right before going to bed. Le Dean feels that could be true for some individuals, but not for others. She said that the time of exercise is dependent on personal preference, and jokes that’s the reason gyms are open so many hours.
“Exercising before bed could cause people to find it difficult to sleep. It could also help you sleep very well by decompressing work from the day,” Le Dean said. She said that she personally prefers to exercise before bed because it allows her to “let out frustrations and worries.”
As a fitness trainer for 25 years, Le Dean has worked with clients who have a variety of preferences and goals. “I always ask, ‘when is it you like to train?'” She not only works with time preferences, but with activity preferences as well. “It doesn’t have to be a gym. You can walk, swim, or even wash the car as long as you move and get the heart beat higher,” she said.
Le Dean also encourages people to experiment with their preferences. “The time [of exercise] could change every day. Find what works. Do what makes you happy.”
Those concerned about doing too much exercise before bed may find a compromise in the relaxation of yoga. Our resident yoga expert, Jill Lawson, shares a couple of poses that she likes to do before going to sleep.
“One of my favorite yoga poses to do before bed is called legs-up-the-wall pose. It is especially helpful if I have been standing a lot during the day. It is a mild inversion and also helps to alleviate swollen ankles due to poor circulation.”
Find a wall in your house that is clear of art, heaters, or any other obstructions. Sit facing the wall. Lie down and raise both legs as you shimmy your hips so that they come right up against the wall. Extend both legs up the wall and let them lean into it for support. Stay in this position for up to twenty minutes.
Another wonderfully relaxing position is child’s pose.
From all fours, sit back over your heels and rest your forehead on the floor, or on a folded blanket. Stay in this pose for up 1-3 minutes as you imagine laying down your stressful burdens before having a good night’s sleep.”