It’s a question everyone asks themselves. When we make the decision to be healthy and to be fit, we commit ourselves to a better lifestyle. Part of this equation involves a well-balanced diet, and of course, an exercise program that we can adhere to.
One of the biggest questions people ask themselves is, when is the best time of day to exercise? The answer differs from person to person. Obviously, our workouts must fit around our daily schedules, which include time allotments for work or school, commute time, meals, and the like. But generally, we should choose the best time of day for our workouts.
When it comes to choosing which time we should exercise, we need to understand that exercising at certain times can help maximise our fitness gains. There’s an underlying science to it.
Whether that be very early in the morning, before you’ve had your breakfast and before you start your day, or very late at night just before hitting bed, there are differing physiological effects that depend on the time of day (or night) that you hit the gym.
We’ve come up with a short study on the different times of day you should work out. Let’s take a look at the science behind it. Today, Evolve Daily answers the question, when is the best time of day to exercise?
1) Early Morning
If you don’t mind waking up a little extra early to exercise, you can get a good workout in even before you start your day. This means you’ll kickstart your entire day with endorphins, which will not only give you a boost of energy to carry out your daily tasks, but also put you in a terrific mood.
There’s also a ton of benefits of working out in a fasted state, which means exercise before you even have breakfast or your first meal of the day. Furthermore, you won’t have to fret about finding time to exercise later on, when you’re busier, because you’ve gotten it out of the way. This will give you more time for other important things.
The only drawback is having to wake up earlier than your usual, but it’s definitely worth it.
Why exercise early?
Science has supported that working out early in the morning is a good thing. A recent study has shown that those who choose to workout early in the morning are less likely to succumb to the temptation of eating fatty and high in sugar foods. They also have more energy throughout the day to increase their physical activity, and gone is the feeling of lethargy.
Additional benefits of working out in the early morning include increased metabolism throughout the day, which means calories are continuously burned even after the workout has finished.
While working out early in the morning certainly seems ideal, there are a host of benefits to working out in the afternoon, too. First of all, it’s a great way to spend the excess energy you have left over from lunch, which you may not get to use up for the rest of the day as you taper off activity.
A growing trend among office-going people has been to exercise during their lunch hours. Getting a quick 45-minute workout in during lunchtime is a great way to use that free time, especially if you’re on Intermittent Fasting.
If you work from home, like many do, exercising in the afternoon can give you the boost of energy your body needs after sitting at your desk all morning.
Why exercise in the afternoon?
Your body’s ability to physically perform tasks peaks in the afternoon. This means, you can probably get the most out of your workouts during this time, when your energy levels are high, and your muscles are primed for movement.
In the afternoon, your reaction time is optimal, which is important for workouts like HIIT or Tabata style workouts.
Also, your body temperature generally tends to increase throughout the day, which optimizes your muscles and joints to move with function, strength, and endurance. The hours between 2pm to 6pm is when your body temperature is at its highest. This is when your body is most equipped and ready to exercise effectively.
Some people love working out late at night, and there are a host of benefits to this as well. People exercise at night because it’s a time when all of the daily obligations like work, school, or family time are out of the way, leaving uninterrupted time to exercise.
Nighttime is also usually quieter than during the day, which makes for a more serene workout period where you can truly focus on the task at hand. There aren’t messages popping up out of nowhere or calls you need to attend to. There’s just the workout and you.
Why exercise at nighttime?
While some say exercising at night can wreak havoc on your sleeping habits, a few studies have shown that those who did resistance training at night actually got better quality sleep and slept longer than those who exercised in the morning. This is because exercise produces the hormone melatonin, which has a positive effect on your sleep.
Furthermore, oxygen uptake kinetics are quicker at night, which means your breathing and energy resources are used more efficiently and effectively.
So when is the best time of day to exercise?
The answer to this question is certainly different from person to person. It really all comes down to how working out fits your lifestyle and your own personal schedule. No matter what time of day it is, however, simply working out is the most important of all.
Making time throughout your day is what really matters. Just try to be as consistent as possible and stick to your chosen schedule.