The Benefits of Exercising at Consistent Times

Researchers have discovered that regular exercise and rest can align your body’s internal clocks, from your joints and spine to your brain. This synchronization can have incredible benefits, from boosting skeletal health to enhancing athletic performance and preventing injuries. And although this study was conducted on mice, the similarities in our cartilage and intervertebral discs lead scientists to believe that humans will experience similar results.

For years, scientists have recognized that when our brain’s clock falls out of sync with our organs’ clocks, the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease skyrocket. Previous research revealed the presence of internal body clocks in cartilage and intervertebral discs, which unfortunately weaken as we age. This is particularly significant because cartilage and intervertebral discs that are healthy lack nerves and a blood supply, making it confusing how these internal clocks synchronize with the brain.

The decline of musculoskeletal health due to aging is a significant challenge, causing negative effects on individuals. Key features of an aging skeleton include a decrease in bone density, deterioration of articular cartilage, and degeneration of intervertebral discs, all of which can contribute to pain and limited mobility. A breakthrough clock mechanism was discovered in skeletal aging that has tremendous implications for understanding frailty and optimizing exercise and physiotherapy treatments.

As we go about our day, the pressure on our intervertebral discs and cartilage in our hips and knees gradually causes us to lose height. This results in a rise in tissue osmolarity, as minerals become more concentrated in less water. Our cells sense this change and the clocks naturally synchronize in our skeletal tissues. Interestingly, the return of water at night does not impact this clock mechanism.

In the groundbreaking study, scientists diligently observed the impact of daily exercise on mice during their resting periods. By examining the clocks in their cartilage, intervertebral discs, and brain, remarkable findings were revealed. To validate these findings, the researchers replicated the experiment in the lab by compressing mouse intervertebral discs and cartilage explants, as well as exposing them to a higher osmolarity culture medium within a normal physiological range. Astonishingly, both methods produced a synchronized effect on the internal clocks, further reinforcing the transformative power of exercise.

It was discovered that physical activities in the morning not only energize you, but also send crucial signals from your brain’s internal clock to your skeletal system. This timing information is essential for maintaining your overall physical health. However, if you disrupt this alignment by exercising at erratic times, it may have negative effects on your body. By establishing a consistent exercise routine and stick to it, your body’s clocks will soon readjust with each other. Although, if you switch up your exercise routine but stick with it consistently, your body clocks will eventually synchronize, allowing you to adapt to the new schedule.

To keep your health in check, stick to a consistent exercise routine and experience the transformative power of synchronizing your body with consistent daily patterns of exercise and rest.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Mechanical loading and hyperosmolarity as a daily resetting cue for skeletal circadian clocks