When Is The Best Time To Work Out?
Do you spring out of bed straight into your sneakers? Or are you a little lacking in the morning motivation department, preferring to schedule your cardio sesh post-lunch?
The truth is, there really isn’t one best time to work out. The best time to exercise, and how much exercise you should do, are dependant on many factors including personal preference, your body, and the type of exercise you’re doing. Let’s investigate...
The Early Bird
If weight loss is your goal, don’t pike on those early morning workouts. Getting up and at ‘em before you’ve had your brekkie means your body is firing off your fuel reserves. And what does the body burn when it doesn’t have toast, cereal (or pancakes!) to rely on? That’s right – all that sneaky stored fat.
Starting your day with a workout is a great way to keep your metabolism going, and going, and going, too – making it more efficient at breaking down food and creating energy during the day.
Another surprising benefit to the AM workout is being exposed to early morning sun. Studies have shown people who get their dose of Vitamin D within two hours of waking tend to have better weight management, thanks to an alignment with our natural body clocks (again, it’s all about the metabolism).
The Midday Motivator
Look, we’re not all ‘morning people’ and there’s no shame in that. Don’t feel guilty for not squeezing in a 6am sweat sesh; for some of us, it’s literally impossible between school runs, commutes, needy pets, last-minute deadlines, etc.
If you’re a fan of the power hour in the middle of the day, great news! Your muscle strength and endurance peak in the afternoon when your body is nicely warmed up from the day and not yet fatigued.
For the guys, testosterone levels and pain tolerance also peak in the afternoon, making it the prime time for your resistance training. If lunchtime or afternoon workouts are your jam, the best advice is to stick with it. Getting your body used to a regular workout time – whatever the time – should lead to better performance.
The Evening Enthusiast
Like we said earlier, the best time to exercise really depends on your preferences, which also means your personal fitness goals. Exercising in the evening is best for ‘gaining’, so if muscle mass is the objective, hitting the gym after hours is the way to go.
Your coordination, stamina and lungs are all working at optimum levels towards the later hours. Plus, hitting the gym at the end of a tense work day can do wonders for your stress relief.
If you do opt for the evening, however, just make sure you leave plenty of time to warm down and unwind before bedtime. And if you find you’re struggling in the sleep department, move your workout a wee bit earlier.