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The best time to exercise

Morning exercise will set you up for the rest of the day

17 OCTOBER 2011

So, this is it: this time you're determined to exercise, and determined to make it count. After all, exercise is good for your figure and, even more important, it's good for your health, both physical and emotional.

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Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming... there are hundreds of options. But have you ever wondered what's the best time to exercise? What time of day will make those minutes count the most?

Obviously we're limited to some extent by our work schedules, family and lifestyle commitments etc., but the fact is that there's a great deal to be said for morning exercise.

Working out improves the cardiovascular system, it's like a kick start to the heart and it releases endorphins, the body's well-being hormone. That means that, exercising first thing in the morning is like recharging the body's batteries ready for the day ahead, as well as improving the immune system and helping the calories we consume at lunch to be burnt more efficiently.

If you can't fit the fitness session in first thing, don't despair: an evening trip to the gym has advantages, too.

After the hassle and stress of the day, a work out is an excellent way to release built-up tension and produce physical, rather than simply mental, tiredness.

Bear in mind, though, that as exercise has a stimulating effect, it's best to programme your work out at least three hours before going to bed.

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