This series is based on my current reading of They Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine translated by one of my teachers, Dr. Maoshing Ni. Though this book is one of the oldest in Chinese medicine, it is also one of the most important. It is still very relevant today and has lots to share with us about how to live a long and happy life.
Exercise is a hot topic in our society today. Many people have many different ideas about the best ways to exercise.
Yang Qi, put simply, is the energy that gives us warmth, motive force, and protection. Draining that energy though improper actions can lead to fatigue, lowered immune functioning, impaired fertility, and faster aging. Therefore, it is very important to respect the natural course of Yang Qi in the body.
Yang Qi rises in the morning with the sun. It is at its height at noon. Then it moves inward in our bodies with sunset.
The best time to exercise is in the morning with the rising sun. To prevent leakage of Yang Qi when it’s at its height, it is best to be still and quiet around noon – a great time for a siesta. As the Yang Qi moves inward in the evening, it is not as accessible so strenuous exercise is not advisable. You will also want to avoid cold and damp weather during the evening because the protective and warming aspect of Yang Qi is also less accessible. Exposure to cold and damp during this time can weaken the immune system. So, if you do choose to go for a light walk or do some qi gong in the evening, make sure to bundle up!
The Yellow Emperor does make suggestions based on the seasons as well. For example, during the Spring it is advisable to wake early and take a walk. The morning air is invigorating and helps you to connect with the energy of Spring. Stay tuned for more season-specific blogs at each season change.
Now that you know the best time to exercise based on Chinese medical theory, if you’d like to find out how acupuncture can support your exercise regimen, contact me at BostockLAc@gmail.com.