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Morning, Afternoon, Evening: When Is The Best Time To Workout?

An active physical activity such as doing exercise is a must in order to maintain a healthy well-being. However, finding time to exercise can be challenging, especially if you have a very busy schedule. So if you are juggling your career, social life, and self-time, then it can really be indeed hard to insert a few minutes or hours of workouts even though it is vital to your health. With that, the most important thing is to squeeze in any amount of it whenever you can.

Perhaps it would help your overwhelming schedules to know that when it comes to hitting the gym, exercising at certain times can help maximize your fitness goals. Hence, if you want to optimize your workouts to get the widest range of health benefits, you might actually want to try exercising in a specific time of the day. With that, if you want to learn about when is the best time to workout, you should definitely continue on reading through this article.

The Body Clock

The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock. This significantly determines whether you are a night owl or an early bird. Because, just like everything else in the body, the circadian rhythm is governed by genetics, there is not much you can do to alter it.

The 24-hour pattern of the Earth’s rotation is responsible for controlling the body’s circadian rhythm. These rhythms significantly regulate several functions of the body which includes blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate, all of which play a role in your body’s readiness for exercise. With that, utilizing your body clock as a guide to when to go for a walk or hit the gym might seem like a logical idea. However, it is important to note that there are other vital factors that need consideration, such as family and work schedules, and other activities of daily life.

Working Out In The Morning

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You might have heard that the best time to exercise is early in the morning. Many people say that in order to get your metabolism going or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your workout, it is best to do your exercise routine in the morning. But if you are one of those people who are definitely not a morning person, it may not work for you to try to get up at dawn to work out.

Working out in the morning definitely has many advantages compared to working out in different hours of the day. It is good to workout first thing of the day because you will get your workout done and over with before you even start your day. This means that you will begin your day through promoting the production of good hormones in your body such as endorphins. Thus, you will definitely have a good feeling knowing you accomplished something in the day before even starting your other daily hectic activities. Psychologically, this helps you to look forward to having a good day because you already have an early ego boost. In addition to that, you do not have to worry anymore about needing to exercise later in the afternoon or evening. This can be a relative relief because it will leave you more time to do other things such as cooking dinner, socializing with friends and family, and other personal errands that you want to do.

The Benefits of Working Out In The Morning

The key in achieving your fitness goal is to do what is most likely to work for you consistently. According to many experts, if you have trouble with consistency, morning may be your best time to exercise. Research suggests that in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better. Hence, there are definitely many studies that support the notion of working out in the morning hours.

According to the Journal in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, several women actually responded to food after working out first thing in the morning. Researchers have observed that when the participants such as those of healthy body weights, and those who were obese walked briskly for 45 minutes, they become less distracted by appetizing looking food photos compared to when they did not perform any physical activity at all. Furthermore, building upon this morning activity, on days the participants exercised in the morning, they also relatively increased their physical activity throughout the day more so than days they did not exercise in the morning. In addition to that, studies have shown that the benefits of performing exercise in the morning include an increased metabolism. This means that you will continue to burn calories throughout the day as you consume them rather than at night while you are sleeping. With that, both of these observations significantly help you burn more calories if your fitness goal is to lose weight.

Furthermore, studies suggest that revving up your fitness regime in the evening could compromise your sleep. Thus, morning workouts might also be a good option for stress-free snoozing. According to studies, late night sweat sessions could be hindering your ability to get some shut-eye. Working out too late in the evening, generally after 8 p.m., may disrupt sleep since exercise increases heart rate and body temperature. In fact, studies have shown that working out at 7 a.m., compared to later in the afternoon or evening, may aid individuals in getting more quality sleep at night.

Another benefit that is good to note, especially to those who wish to lose more fat, is that exercising in the morning on an empty stomach could burn more fat compared to exercising in later hours of the day with a full stomach. According to studies, people who exercise in the morning with an empty stomach can significantly burn approximately up to 20 percent more body fat. Hence, most experts recommend that if you want to lose that extra weight you should definitely do exercise in the morning, because this is a much more attainable feat in the morning, before breakfast, than after a full day during which you should eat regularly to prevent any health risks.

Lastly, most experts recommend that if you exercise in the morning, when body temperature is lower, you should really devote more time for warm ups to allow your body to properly adjust, especially that unlike to the later hours of the day where the body has already adjusted, the body in the morning tend to be in a more resting than active state.

Working Out In The Afternoon Or Evening

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There are certainly a lot of people who reap the benefits of early morning sweat sessions, but if you are one of those who are not able to squeeze in a workout session in the morning, do not worry too much because there are also several number of reasons why exercising later in the day can be a logical choice. So while it certainly seems like the morning is such an ideal time to do some physical activity, fitting in exercise in the afternoon or after hours has its proven perks. Moreover, planning on an evening exercise session may mean you get some extra shuteye in the morning. But other than this, there are definitely a number of different benefits.

The Benefits Of Working Out In The Afternoon Or Evening

One of the reasons why people choose to work out in the afternoon or the evening is because of their bodies’ core temperatures. According to studies, the body temperature generally increases throughout the day. Furthermore, the body’s ability to perform peaks in the afternoon. Because the body temperature increases throughout the day, this aids in regulating your muscle function and strength, enzyme activity, and endurance for performance.With that, muscle strength, muscle flexibility, and muscle endurance usually may peak in the late afternoon or early evening. In fact, studies have shown that the body temperature is highest between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. This finding suggests that it is good for you to exercise during this window of time when your body is most ready, potentially making it the most effective time of day to work out.

Furthermore, in the evening, oxygen uptake kinetics are faster, which generally means that you use your resources more slowly and effectively than in the morning. people who usually do workouts in the morning need to give more time for workouts because their muscles are usually stiff and inefficient, which makes them more susceptible to sprains and other injuries. Moreover, because people who opt for morning exercise need more time for warm up, this could potentially distract you from focusing on your workout. However, for people who opt to exercise in the afternoon or in the evening, all of these are not an issue.

In addition to that, it is good to note that hormone levels also play a significant role in determining optimal workout time. In all genders, testosterone is vital for muscle growth and strength, and as well as stamina. According to studies, the body may produce higher levels of testosterone during late afternoon resistance training than it does during morning exercise sessions. Moreover, cortisol, or the stress hormone, which helps in the storage of fat and reduction of muscle tissue, peaks in the morning and decreases throughout the day and during exercise.

It is also important to note that in the afternoon and evening, your reaction time is at its quickest, which is vital for intensive exercises like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or speed work on the treadmill. Furthermore, the heart rate and blood pressure are at its lowest in the late afternoon, this basically means that there is a significant reduction in your chance of injury while improving performance.

Lastly, while there are studies that warn individuals about how working out at night can disrupt sleep, there are also studies that have shown that those who lifted weights in the evening got better quality sleep and slept for longer than those who did the same workout in the morning. With that, it is important to recognize that there are really contraindicating studies regarding this matter.

So When Is The Best Time?

While there are a lot of contradictions between science and research findings, one thing is definitely clear – working out is important, no matter what time of day you do it.

When your priority is just to fit in some exercise, looking for the perfect time can be as much about personal preference as it is physiology. But if you wonder whether one time of the day is better than another for reaching your peak time on the treadmill or making gains at the weight bench, the truth is, it is all personal. Exercise is supposed to make you feel good. So if your muscles are tight in the earling morning or working out too late disrupts your sleep, it can feel counterproductive so adjust to what your body is telling you. Trying to find the best time of exercise depends greatly on when is the best time for you, because the benefits of physical activity depend upon how consistent you are.

It is important to remember that you do not have to be an expert on circadian rhythms in order to determine the best time to exercise. Work out in the morning for a few weeks, then try noon, then early evening. Assess yourself on what makes you feel best afterward. Also, take note of your daily schedule. If your schedule is not that predictable, you may need to be a little flexible and have a plan for different times of day. In the end, what really matters is that you find a time of day that works best for you and that fits your schedule, and then stick to it religiously. By keeping your workout regime consistent at the same time every day, you could be producing greater workout gains which leads you to achieve your body goals faster. After all, is not that what really matters?

References:
1. Erin Kelly. Healthline. 2018. What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/best-time-to-workout. Retrieved on 1 October 2020.
2. Heart Organization. 2019. When is the best time of day to work out?. Retrieved from: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/when-is-the-best-time-of-day-to-work-out. Retrieved on 1 October 2020.
3. Morgan, C. and Lebow, H. Greatist. 2020. When’s the Best Time to Work Out?. Retrieved from: https://greatist.com/fitness/whats-best-time-work-out#afternoon. Retrieved on 1 October 2020.
4. WebMD. 2020. What’s the Best Time to Exercise?. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/whats-the-best-time-to-exercise#2. Retrieved on 1 October 2020.

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