Why Wait an Hour to Exercise in the Morning? Reader Q and A

Why wait an hour to exercise in the morning? It makes it harder to fit it in before work. I get it. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m here to give you the facts and let you make an informed decision. 

Plump Disks Increase Exercise in the Morning Risk

The disks in your back – are between each vertebra. During the day when you’re upright gravity reduces the total fluid in each. But overnight while you’re lying horizontal those disks plump up as fluid comes back in nourishing the disks.

When you wake that intervertebral pressure is at it’s highest. That pressure means that adding force and pressure from exercise is more likely to cause an injury than if you wait.

In about an hour almost 90% of that extra fluid dissipates and it’s safer to exercise.

What About Yoga, Stretching, or Core?

Unfortunately, no exercise is okay. Both movement and moment pressures – when you’re bracing –  for instance are risky. So planks, and pushing a snow blower or a shovel or the vacuum all carry some risk.

BLT movements that include bending, lifting, or twisting are the worst. If you combine them they’re much more risky. So yoga while it may seem gentle is often one of the worst things you can do first thing.

Big Bones?

Those of you with larger frames are at greater risk due to thicker bones. Sit-ups and crunches are a greater risk for you too- though all of us put a significant amount of pressure on the lumbar spine with crunches and sit-ups.

Best practice is probably to get up a little earlier, wait a little longer to exercise. This is not a type of injury that gives you a warning. So no problems to date doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for one. And stiffness in the morning isn’t necessarily related to this either.

If exercise in the morning is your ideal, it may take a little rearranging.

Show notes: Flippingfifty.com/Exercise in the morning

Try this if you need a simple exercise routine that’s short! 

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