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February 2018
Timing is Everything

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 Secre ts 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 P hysiology, 2010)  

Boost mood : Cardio workouts make you feel go od by raising endorphins. Do it in the morning and you get a lift that lasts all day long. Serotonin is another feel good hormone tha t peaks
 during the day and is elevated by aerobic exercise. Because these hormones  peak durin g 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 musc le. 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 s et 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:
How can that be? Why ha s 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, D ebbie is a licensed PTA. Following an evaluation with one of our phy s ical therapists; you can be referred to her. Get ready to move w ith  ease; schedule an appointment today. 

 Debbie Steinmann, LPTA, GCFP

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