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Body Rhythms: What is the Best Time to Exercise… and Tweet?

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on biorhythms and their importance to our health. Columnist Sue Shellenbarger writes:

Most people organize their time around everything but the body's natural rhythms. Workday demands, commuting, social events and kids' schedules frequently dominate—inevitably clashing with the body's circadian rhythms of waking and sleeping.

As difficult as it may be to align schedules with the body clock, it may be worth it to try, because of significant potential health benefits. Disruption of circadian rhythms has been linked to such problems as diabetes, depression, dementia and obesity, says Steve Kay, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California. When the body's master clock can synchronize functioning of all its metabolic, cardiovascular and behavioral rhythms in response to light and other natural stimuli, it "gives us an edge in daily life," Dr. Kay says.

Here are a couple of biorhythms regarding physical activity:

  • “Physical performance is usually best, and the risk of injury least, from about 3 p.m. to 6 p.m."
  • “Muscle strength tends to peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at levels as much as 6% above the day's lows ...”

And a few rhythms not discussed in your biology or psychology class:

  • Twitter messages are less likely to be “steeped in fear, distress, anger or guilt in the morning.”
  • “… re-tweeting is best from 3-6 pm
  • “… posts to Facebook at about 8 p.m. tend to get the most "likes."

Learn more at The Peak Time for Everything

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