Is there a better time of day to work out?
Are you a morning or evening person? Some people find it easier to exercise in the morning as their energy levels are at their highest, others prefer to wait until the evening as it fits better with their daily life.The time of day we choose to workout will depend on many things – ultimately it needs to fit in with everything in our lives. It needs to fit around work, studies, family and other commitments. We also need to choose times best suited to our bodies and our natural energy levels. The best time to exercise is down to us, working out whenever we can and being consistent.There are some benefits to exercising at certain times of the day, take a look below.
- Exercising first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach has been shown to burn more fat than after eating a meal. Your body tends to use up fat stores for fuel rather than using energy from the meal you just ate.
- Mood boosters – starting your day with endorphins – those “feel-good, happy hormones” can have a sustained effect on your mood for the remainder of the day.
- Being more productive – exercising in the morning can help to improve energy and concentration levels – helping you to be more alert and ultimately better and quicker at doing tasks.
- Improve your body clock over time, making you more energetic in the mornings and sleepier at night – helping you to fall asleep quickly and enjoy a better quality of sleep.
Important: if exercising in the morning don’t forget to sufficiently warm up. Your muscles and joints tend to be “colder” when you have just woken up and are more prone to injury.
- Studies have shown most people tend to perform physically better later in the day – power, muscle strength and flexibility are normally better in the evening than in the morning.
- Your body will be warmer as your core temperature increases as the day progresses, meaning you will feel more flexible and be able to move easier than earlier in the day.
- Afternoon or evening exercise, especially at the end of a busy day may help you to relieve stress. Endorphins produced during exercise can also help you wind down before bed, especially as exercising in the evenings could replace other habits such as watching television, drinking alcohol or excessive snacking.
- Some research has suggested that testosterone production may also be higher in the evening – this hormone is important for building muscle in men and women.
Regardless of the time of day we exercise, it is still very important to ensure we warm up sufficiently.
Try to find a time to work out that suits your lifestyle – taking all aspects into consideration – but most importantly, a time that you will consistently be able to stick with in the long run.