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Cardio before or after dinner?

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Now I know many people have been asking about what is better in terms of eating breakfast before or after exercise.

But I would like to know, what is better, doing cardio, like walking or cycling, before or after dinner. And I don't mean that you haven't eaten all day, you've had all your basic meals ie breakfast and lunch.

I would just like to know people's experience in this area. I know that tonight we're having spaghetti, so would it be beneficial for me to do cardio before to get my heart rate and metabolism up or do cardio after to use the energy?

Any suggestions would be great.



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In general its bad to excercise immediatly after a meal, if you want to do intense excercise after dinner, you should probably wait 1 1/2-2 hours to avoid cramps, also all that food tends to weigh me down, and a have a harder time getting through the workout.

It is okay to have a small snack for energy, like and apple or banana half an hour before excerciseing though, so if you hungry I recommend having a small snack and then excercising before dinner. Excercise, for me at least, also tends to curb my hunger quite a bit, so this is a plus if you going to eat right after you may find that your satisfied with less.

If you do want to excercise after dinner it is okay to do a lower intensity workout, like going for a walk.

I agree... If I workout before dinner, then I tend to eat less for dinner. Plus it makes me way more conscious of what and how much I am putting in my mouth.  Keeps me motivated I guess.  Trying to workout after dinner for me just always ends up not happening.....

I do either, depending on my schedule.  I have a running group that meets pretty late on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so on those days I have to eat dinner before, and then just have a little snack after.  Frankly, I never feel very good about this.  No matter how much time I give myself before the run, I can still feel it on my stomach...and then I never feel great after.  Every other day of the week I work out earlier and eat dinner after.  I feel much better on those days, so I figure - if I feel better, then it must be a better approach for me.   
The others gave good ideas, try not to work out on a full stomach. Why? Blood is focused on the digestion process and you may have cramping if you run right after eating. But........ If it's the only shot you have. Do it, just keep it light. Walking won't harm you, if done moderately.  The other tactic I use. Is I lift weights after eating to fuel the body to do the extra reps. I try to wait 45 minutes after eating before I lift. I lift for 45 minutes to one Hour and then hit the cardio for at least 40 minutes. The weights will use up your sugars, allow digestion to occur and by the time you hit the cardio, your body should not cramp. Good luck

even if i eat the smallest thing half an hour before doing cardio - carrot sticks, an apple -- i get very uncomfortable cramps. i must eat at least 1.5 hours before exercise to avoid this.

but i HAVE to have something 1.5 hours before. if i begin exercise on a completely empty stomach, i am so famished i can hardly concentrate on my workout and then i just pig out once i'm done. 

I usually get done at the gym early evening, so I have dinner when I get home after a workout, something like 45min to an hour later. Post workout meal is important, so I just use dinner for mine.

Thanks guys, that's really helpful.

I think I'll do workouts like cardio before dinner and weights after dinner, either or...it's all exercise.  

I've taken to exercising twice a day now, instead of just once, because I find that I have more motivation to do more exercise. Has anyone else found this? Also I think it's because my body is getting used to the daily routines and needs something more.

Keep up the good work everyone.


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