Schedules become more and more complex so it becomes difficult to find the time we need to exercise. We have to juggle social lives, careers, and have fun at the same time. So, it becomes quite difficult to squeeze in the time needed to work out, even if this is so important for health.
When thinking about the best time to work out, we naturally have an opinion. And this is true for most people out there. So, it is normal to have different opinions about when people should work out.
What is the right time?
The correct answer is “it depends”. The best time to work out for me is not necessarily the same for you. So, let’s take a look at all options. This is actually much easier than you might think.
Working Out In The Morning
Working out as early as possible has some very clear pros we do need to take into account.
For starters, you get to exercise and get this over before the day starts. You can thus start the day with a strong shot of endorphins. You will have a great feeling that you managed to do something important before 9 AM. In fact, you get to do something most people will not accomplish during a normal day. You will get an ego boots out of it.
Another thing you should remember is that you get to avoid having to worry about your workouts during evenings or afternoons, which is a great plus for many. When you get back home after a very tough day at work, it might be quite difficult to work out.
Several studies support working out during the morning. It was shown that it is much less likely you will be distracted by literally anything. This in itself is a huge advantage you should always take into account.
Another really interesting benefit of working out in the morning is that you will actually become more active throughout the day during dates when you do not exercise during mornings. Your metabolism will be increased so you keep burning calories right when consuming them, as opposed to during the night, when you sleep.
We should also take into account the fact that studies showed us that when you work out during the evening your sleep is compromised. This is because your body temperature goes up and your heart rate increases. The time you spend sweating during the evening will make it much more difficult to sleep. If you workout in the morning, you get to sleep better at night.
The last thing that should be mentioned is that you will burn more fat when you workout during the morning and your stomach is empty. The increase can be of up to 20%, which is quite a lot.
Working Out During Afternoons Or At Night
At first glance, working out in the morning is simply ideal. However, adding workout routines during the afternoon or late at night does have some very interesting perks. You will end up sleeping a little more in the morning, of course, but many other things can be highlighted.
One study showed that the ability of the body is higher to work out during afternoons. Body temperature goes up all throughout the day. Muscle strength and function are optimized, as endurance is increased and your enzyme activity is better for performance.
Body temperature is highest during 2 PM and 6 PM. You get to workout exactly when the body is ready for it. So, it might be the very best time to work out for many.
We can add that oxygen uptake kinetics become faster during evenings. This means the body’s resources are used more effectively and slowly than when you work out during mornings. Also, you will need extra warm ups when you workout during mornings, which might take some focus away from the workout.
During evenings or afternoons, reaction times are very fast. This is very important when talking about HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and speed workouts like on your treadmill. The heart rate is slowest during late afternoons. This decreases the possibility of being injured as performance can be improved.
It is true that when you work out during the night your sleep might be disrupted. However, there are situations when this does not actually happen and you might actually end up getting a better sleep if you work out during evenings. You might even sleep longer since everyone’s bodies are different.
Conclusions – When Should You Work Out?
So when should you work out? Is there any magical formula that dictates what you should do?
The big problem is that studies and science do seem contradictory right now. This is because of a very simple reason. Every single body is different. As already mentioned, the best time for you is not necessarily the best time for someone else.
What is particularly important is to find the best possible time of the day, the one that is perfect for you, the one that perfectly fits your schedule. After this, you need to stick to what you find. Basically, you need to keep the workout regime as consistent as possible and do it every day. This helps you to make the best possible training gains. At the end of the day, this is the one thing that matters the most.
Obviously, you might end up making mistakes. And there is always the possibility you will not feel great at the first attempt. Try every single option for some time. This is basically the best possible way to make sure you will find the best time of the day to work out.