The best time for exercise
TCM believes that our body’s function is closely related with the nature, especially relative movement of the sun, moon and earth. The revolution of the earth to the sun determines the one year period and four seasonal changes. In one year , the sunlight to the earth increases from spring to summer, hence the temperature is rising from spring to summer.
The rotation of the earth determines the one day period, there are four seasons of one day as well, morning (3am to 9am ) can be regarded as spring, lunch time ( 9am to 3pm ) can be regarded as summer, afternoon ( 3pm to 9pm ) can be regarded as autumn, evening and night ( 9pm to 3am ) can be regarded as winter. From morning to lunch time, the temperature is rising, after that, the temperature is dropping.
Our body’s Yang energy is the same as nature, its rising in spring, summer of one year, in morning and lunch time of one day. Since the movement can encourage the Yang of the body, the stillness can encourage the Yin of the body. So the best time to exercise is spring and summer of one year, in morning and lunch time of one day. On the other hand, the best time to rest and keep stillness is in afternoon till night of one day, in autumn and winter of one year. once our exercise is against this natural flow, our body functions would be disturbed and illness could happen without any doubt. Once we follow this natural flow, health will be guaranteed. To apply this principle in one year, we may reduce exercise in autumn and winter, but still can do proper exercise in morning and lunch time of autumn and winter, as to follow one day’s rhythm. Nowadays, so many people believe that exercises can benefit their health whenever they do it, a lots of people doing exercise after work, even at night time, unfortunately these are harmful to health.
Balance of exercise and rest
The balance of exercises and rest will promote the Middle Qi, which is the source of vital energy as I mentioned. The balance can be achieved during one year’ cycle, one day’s cycle, between exercises, and during exercises. For example, we can do more exercise in spring and summer, less in autumn and winter, we can have regular breaks during exercises, sleep hours match the amount of daily exercises, apply a little bit of controlling during exercise itself, those are all the methods of balance.