Exercise – when ‘NOT’ to!

Exercise – when ‘NOT’ to!

Saturday, 28 April 2012 12:07

I had a pizza while out with some friends some time ago …yes, I said a pizza!!! “oh my God, the health guy eats pizza”!!!

It’s true, but don’t tell me you too have been brainwashed into thinking pizza’s are necessarily ‘bad’ or too heavy for dinner.

If you get a gourmet vegetarian pizza and take off the excess cheese (easier if you get cheese cubes not melted), what do you have??…toasted bread & vegetables.

Pretty light & ‘not that ‘bad’, when you really think about it. So don’t think you’re being bad next time you want pizza. Just ditch the ‘processed’ meat & excess ‘processed’ cheese, load up the vegies and bingo…enjoy a bit more guilt-free.

Anyway, that’s just an aside little ‘myth buster’, what I really wanted to say was. After the pizza…and some gossip, we went for a ‘digestive stroll’ along the beach. It was ‘9pm’, and what did we see? People exercising…running, jogging, panting, sweating, grimacing etc etc.

Not uncommon right? Unfortunately not. It made me think, “Do you know that it’s not always a good idea to exercise.

That doing it at certain times, can not only be counterproductive…but actually harmful”?

So today, I thought we’d look at the times when it’s ideally best not to exercise and a good little tip for knowing how much exercise/activity to do on any given day.

Times to AVOID Exercise:

Late at night:

The natural cycle at night is to ‘wind down’ for the body’s ‘rejuvenation’ phase (sleep). Exercising at 8 or 8pm at night is a great way to guarantee compromised nighttime rejuvenation. Try to finish any exercise by 7.00pm (7.30 latest).

At Lunchtime:

Lunchtime, strangely enough, is the best time for….lunch!!! In the middle of the day is when your digestive fire is at it’s peak… for digesting the main meal of the day. The popular trend of exercising in one’s lunch break, is actually not ideal. You’ll still get exercise benefits, but at the larger cost of foregoing your body’s peak time for gaining optimal energy & nutrition.

Food eaten straight after vigorous activity, will usually result in ‘ama’ – improperly digested food – that causes blockages in the vital channels.

* If exercising around lunchtime, avoid the hot sun, do it as early as possible, as ‘low intensity’ as possible, and leave at least 20-30 minutes before eating. Eat ‘light’ at lunch and something more substantial at around 4pm, if you get hungry later on.

Straight after a meal:

It’s best to wait at least 60 minutes after a normal sized meal before exercising.

When You’re Already Tired:

When you're actually feeling fatigued…exhausted (not just low on energy), rest is best.

When You’re Sick / Not Feeling 100%:

As above: rest is best

Females: While menstruating:

According to Maharishi Ayurveda, just having to work (not being able to ‘rest’) while menstruating, is considered one of the major contributors of gynecological problems and general women’s discomforts. Exercising at this time, is actually going against

Mother Nature’s designs for this time…and is really asking for trouble.

Although many women think/feel exercise is beneficial at this time (less period pain etc) and many modern specialists actually advise it, it is totally contraindicated for long-term health. The body’s internal resources are drawn away from the reproductive organs, giving a temporary sense of well-being, but creating a severe debt that needs to be paid at a later time.

Unless you’re a professional athlete (who usually suffer inordinately, in terms of things like amenhorhea, fertility problems later in life etc), you may have to work during your period, but you don’t have to & shouldn’t exercise. You’ll get much greater health benefits from ‘Resting’.

* Note: By exercise, we mean anything more than a gentle stroll.


From about 5.00pm to 7pm in the evening is a good time for exercise, though the best time is early morning – 6-8am.

* Research shows that people who exercise early in the morning have much higher compliance levels than those who exercise at other times. And, the reason, exercising in the morning is best??? Because you start before your brain figures out what you’re doing!!!!


Ideally, we should be so in tune with our body (from being ‘self-referral’ / listening to our body), that we ‘just know’ when & how much to exercise.

However, a good objective way to guide you is through your ‘waking’ heart rate.


Your waking heart rate (WHR) is a good general indication of the general state of your body. You will find over time that with exercising regularly, your waking heart rate will decrease indicating a more efficient cardio vascular system.

Measuring your waking heart rate each morning helps you decide on your most appropriate exercise regime for the day. If your WHR increases above it’s average this indicates that your body is working harder to maintain it’s internal homeostasis (eg fighting off some virus or releasing some stress etc).

You can help by letting it divert your internal resources to the problem.

If your waking heart rate increases by more than 5 bpm – take it easy, do not exercise hard.

If your waking heart rate increases by more than 10 bpm – respect your body, do not exercise at all.


1. Upon first ‘waking’ in the morning, locate either your Carotid Pulse (in your neck, just around from your adam’s apple),

or your Radial Pulse (on wrist, just below the bony protuberance).

2. Count the number of times your heart beats in one minute (or the number of beats in 30 secs and multiply by two). This is your waking heart rate. Write this figure on a sheet.

3. Record your waking heart rate for at least 1-2 weeks initially for best results, as waking heart rate can vary slightly due to other factors such as bladder volume, sleep/wake cycles etc

* For a fortnightly HR recording table, email us at mailto:

* Note: for reliable results, it must be your ‘waking’ HR, not merely a ‘morning’ HR (i.e whenever you think of it).

LAUGHTER MEDICINE: Speaking of Keeping Fit:

“Look at ME!!” boasted the fit old man, pounding a very flat and firm stomach, having just finished 100 sit-ups before a group of young people.

“Fit as a fiddle! And you want to know why?? I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t stay up late, and I don’t chase after loose women!!”

He smiled at them, teeth white, eyes a glitter, “And tomorrow, YAHOO, I’m going to celebrate my ’95th’ birthday!!!”

“Oh, really?” drawled one of the young onlookers, “How?”


Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn – is a leading natural health researcher specialising in Ayurvedic medicine, author of the three-time best-selling ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern Health‘ and one of Australasia's most popular health and performance speakers.  Mark is also CEO of David Lynch Foundation Australia.