What time should you work out?
Some people swear that working out in the morning gets their hearts racing and gets them motivated and ready to take on the day. Others wouldn’t dream of breaking a sweat before noon, but prefer a jog around the neighborhood after dinner. People ask this question all the time, “ what is the best time to exercise?”
The truth is that, there’s no reliable evidence to suggest that calories are burned more efficiently at certain times of day. But the time of day can influence how you feel when exercising and how long you stick to it in the long run. The most important thing is to choose a time of day you can stick with, so that exercise becomes a habit. A lot of people have difficulty staying consistent, in lieu of that, exercising in the morning may be your best time to exercise.
Research suggests in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better. The rationale is that they get their exercise in before they get the chance for other pressures interfering. Also, a full day’s work can take a serious toll on willpower which can overcome anyone’s best intentions. I usually exercise at 9 a.m every day because no matter how hard I try, if I don’t exercise in the morning, other things will squeeze it out.
Morning workouts might also be a good option for stress-free snoozing. Since exercise increases heart rate and body temperature, working out too late in the evening after 8 p.m may disrupt sleep, while one study showed that working out at 7a.m. as compared to 1 p.m. or 7 p.m. may help people sleep more soundly at night.
Another study found that 45 minutes of moderate morning exercise helped curb appetite directly after working out. Research also shows that people can burn up to 20 percent more body fat exercising on an empty stomach, much easier to do first thing in the a.m. than at night.
Even though lots of people tout the benefits of early morning sweat sessions, if you can’t fit in a workout before noon, don’t sweat it. Research suggests the body could adapt to regular gym dates, so if we hit the gym every day at 4 p.m., eventually we might perform better at that time than at any other time of day. These findings are similar to earlier research, which suggests that sticking to a specific workout time can result in better performance, higher oxygen consumption, and lower perceived exhaustion.
Your body’s core temperature is an important factor in determining the quality of exercise. A cold body leaves muscles stiff, inefficient, and susceptible to sprains, whereas higher body temperatures leave muscles more flexible. Body temperature typically increases throughout the day, so muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon, when body temperature is highest. The afternoon is also when reaction time is quickest and heart rate and blood pressure are lowest, all of which combine to improve performance and reduce the overall likelihood of injury. You’re naturally pumped up from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is due partly to testosterone, which seems to be most responsive to exercise at this time of day, but also because your body temperature is at its peak.
You should feel slightly stronger, more flexible and your lungs should be working at optimal efficiency, boosting your endurance capacity for tough workouts.
Finding the perfect time to exercise is as much about personal preference as it is physiology. Exercise is supposed to feel good but if muscles are tight in the morning or working out too late disrupts sleep, it can feel counterproductive. So work out in the morning for a few weeks, then try noon, then early evening. Which do you enjoy most and which makes you feel best afterward? Also, consider the type of exercise, and other daily commitments. Most of all, find a time that helps you make your exercise regimen a regular, consistent part of your life. If working out in the morning is best for your schedule, just make sure to warm up muscles that might be cold and tight from sleep. If it’s afternoon workouts, treat them as unbreakable
appointments. In the end, it’s most important to find a realistic, consistent workout schedule, no matter what the time.