Many of us exercise to make movement more efficient. For me, I like to use the term, “use it or lose it,” to sum up why I walk to get my groceries or run to complete my weekend errands. In essence, I keep up physical activity so I don’t lose the ability to walk and run places as I age. According to more recent studies, exercise affects our circadian rhythms, which work as our built in clocks, more than we might think…
1. What are Circadian Rhythms?
Think of circadian rhythms as the body’s so-called internal clock. Everything we do as humans and animals—including waking, sleeping, eating, digesting, warding off illness, and moving around—is set and timed by these inner chrono-biological rhythms.
Research from the National Institutes of Health, General Medical Sciences, shows that essential mental behavioral, and physical functions—like metabolism, digestion, heart rate, and hormones—are all controlled by this 24-hour cycle that responds to light and darkness in the surrounding environment.