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The body clock-driven day

  • Article by: ALLIE SHAH
  • Star Tribune
  • July 20, 2013 - 2:36 PM

Getting our daily habits in sync with our natural body clock can help us live healthier. We culled advice from multiple wellness experts to determine the best times of day to do everything. Use this guide to get in tune with your body’s inner rhythms and get the most out of your busy life.

 

Meditate — 6 a.m. Meditating immediately after waking up helps start the day off on the right tone. Ending the day with meditation can usher in a restful sleep.

Eat breakfast — 6:30 a.m. Eating early jumpstarts your metabolism. Skip breakfast and you’re more likely to eat more later in the day. Nutritionists recommend eating within an hour of waking up.

Pop a vitamin — 6:30 a.m. Multivitamins make many people feel nauseous. Taking them with food cuts down on the queasiness and helps with absorption. Eat one with breakfast because the B vitamins contained in the multivitamin boost energy.

Exercise — 7 a.m. Morning exercisers tend to be more consistent than those who work out at other times, studies show.

Have good sex — 8 a.m. Never mind the morning breath. Mornings are when hormone levels peak. Mornings are also when men’s sperm counts are higher.

Take a nap — 1 p.m. Our bodies experience a natural circadian dip in the middle of the day, causing us to feel drowsy. Taking a power nap refreshes you, reducing that need for another cup of coffee.

Do extreme workouts — 3 p.m. Body temperature is warmest in the late afternoons and early evenings, making it an ideal time to tackle that boot camp workout. Muscles are warmed up and loose, making injuries less likely.

Go for a run — 5 p.m. Studies show runners clocked faster times later in the day. Your lungs use oxygen more efficiently and you’re more coordinated. But if you’re training for a morning race, then it’s best to do morning runs in preparation.

Stop eating/exercising — 8 p.m. Generally, experts recommend we stop eating and exercising 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep. That gives your body enough time to digest food and lower heart rate and adrenaline levels for a good night’s sleep.

Go to sleep — 11 p.m. Many sleep experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep — enough time for the body to fully repair itself.

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