It is a well-known fact that everyone should devote time to physical activity. But many people continue to neglect sports because they feel tired all the time anyway. One of the reasons for constant unwellness is the disruption of basic biological processes, such as circadian rhythms . How they are arranged and why problems arise, we tell in this article.
What are circadian rhythms?
Circadian rhythms are cyclic fluctuations of human biological processes. Simply put, it is our internal clock that makes us feel alert, sleepy, etc. Under normal conditions, our body works synchronously with the changes of day and night. In the morning, a person wakes up full of energy. This has a positive effect on good mood and increased work capacity. With the onset of darkness, we usually feel a little tired, the desire to finish all the work and rest.
Thanks to correctly adjusted circadian rhythms
Our internal organs function correctly, the endocrine and nervous systems work without malfunctions, and regular cell regeneration occurs. Therefore, it is safe to say that a stable biological clock is responsible not only for cycles of our activity, but also for the general state of our health.
A person with a classic circadian rhythm usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. and goes to sleep between 10 and 11 p.m. Such biorhythms are embedded in us from birth. But depending on the lifestyle and some features of the body, a person develops his own biorhythm, which is somewhat different from the classical one. Such patterns of activity during the day are called chronotypes.
- owls Like nocturnal birds, these people are also more active in the evening period. They usually go to bed very late, sometimes closer to the morning. Because of this, owls wake up quite late, and the period of their activity falls already in the second half of the day.
- Larks People of this chronotype wake up “with the first rays of the sun.” They are very active and able to work in the first half of the day. Already after dinner, activity gradually decreases and they go to bed quite early.
- Pigeons This chronotype is closest to normal. That is, a person wakes up before 8 in the morning. The peak of activity can occur both in the first half of the day and in the second. At lunchtime, a temporary decrease in activity may be observed.
Why understanding your circadian rhythm is important for effective training
Playing sports is a mandatory activity for every healthy person. However, sports really improve health if we train not just in our free time, but follow a certain schedule.
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It is important to choose a time for training taking into account your circadian rhythms.
After all, if you visit the gym at a time when the body is not ready for it, training will not give any effect. In the worst case, there is a risk of simply overloading yourself and undermining your health. Now let’s dwell in more detail on the recommendations for physical activity for each chronotype.
owls Due to the fact that representatives of this chronotype wake up closer to lunch, the peak of their muscle activity occurs in the evening. In the first couple of hours after waking up, it will be good to prepare the body for an active day. Active yoga , Pilates or muscle stretching are best suited for this . If you prefer strength training, it is better to do it from 14 to 17 hours in the afternoon. It is better to plan sports walking, swimming or other light cardio after 5 p.m.
Lark. Early birds start their day at 6-7 in the morning
so from about 8:00 to 14:00 is a good time for cardio, such as a morning run. At lunchtime, moderate physical activity is allowed. Of course, not everyone is comfortable taking a break in the middle of the working day to go to the gym. In this case, strength training can be done at 6-7 p.m. in the evening. At the end of training, it is important for larks to stretch. This will allow you to relax your muscles, even out your breathing and prepare your body for sleep.
Pigeons The circadian rhythms of pigeons are similar to larks, with a slight error of 1-2 hours. Therefore, the first half of the day can be devoted to cardio training, lunch or early evening to strength training. In the evening, pay attention to activities aimed at relaxing the muscles, for example, visit the pool . The main thing is that training takes place no later than 8:00 p.m.
Violation of the circadian rhythm – causes
Each person’s body is individual, so it is impossible to arrange so that everyone has the same circadian rhythms . If a person with the “Owl” chronotype wakes up at lunchtime, and at the same time feels normal working capacity, there is no need to switch to the lark mode. In addition, such a transition can be quite difficult. But every person at least once in his life experienced a violation of circadian rhythms. Such processes are accompanied by lethargy, inability to work normally, etc. Because of this, a bad mood, a violation of the diet and so on can be observed. Let’s consider the most common causes of the disorder and recommendations on how to adjust your biological clock.
Changing time zones
If the difference with home time is 1-2 hours, it will not cause serious problems. But if staying in a country where the time difference is 5, 7 hours causes a lot of stress for the body due to the sudden change of day and night. Thus, during the day you will want to sleep, and at night, on the contrary, increased activity will prevail. When changing time zones, you should gradually get used to your body and create the most favorable conditions for the restoration of circadian rhythms. For example, at night, close the windows with dark curtains or use a sleep mask. And during the day, be near sources of daylight as much as possible.
Unstable work schedule
To normalize the circadian rhythm, it is important to fall asleep and wake up at the same time, even on weekends. However, people who are forced to work sometimes in the day shift, then in the night shift, cannot afford this. Over time, a sleep and wakefulness disorder inevitably occurs, and a person’s normal well-being deteriorates. In this case, you should help your body and provide the maximum amount of light during work, and rest in a dark room.