The Target: Total Fitness - Some important factors

Mealtimes should be carefully considered in scheduling the daily exercise round. Most authorities believe that engaging in vigorous exercise within an hour before or after a meal may interfere with the digestive processes. That suggests that the exercise time should start at least an hour to an hour and one-half after eating. Conversely, one should allow at least an hour between an exercise session and the next meal.

Some other factors are important. Exercise taken immediately before bedtime may interfere with relaxation, and sleep, through stimulation of the adrenalin flow. Late-evening exercise should, in fact, be followed by an hour or so period of winding down. At other times of the day the wind-down period may be somewhat shortened, and may often be dispensed with altogether.

A psychological element appears to enter into the choice of time during the day. Many persons feel that by scheduling the fitness session in the early morning, they can “get it over with” and thus avoid having other responsibilities of the day interfere with exercising. Others prefer the noon hour. Some like the later afternoon, when the exercise round provides a break in the day's routine. The late-day session acts as a kind of after-work, before-dinner tonic for many persons.

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