When Is The Best Time Of The Day To Exercise?

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Even though we know that working exercise is essential to our health and wellbeing, finding the best time of the day to exercise to fit it in between a demanding job, a social life, and binge-watching the newest Netflix marathon may be challenging.But maybe it would lighten our already heavy schedules to know that going to the gym at specific times might help us reach our fitness objectives to the fullest.

The majority of experts will advise you that the best time of day to work out is “whenever you’ll actually do it.”

Furthermore, research indicates that while working out at any time of day is still preferable to not working out at all, there are specific times of the day that are better for getting in a workout. Here’s what you need know to get the most out of your exercise regimen.

What Time of Day Is Ideal for Exercise?

The FITT principle—a framework that specifies the parameters that ought to be used in a fitness plan—states that frequency, intensity, time, and type should all be taken into account when organizing a successful exercise.

Considering the temporal aspect of the FITT concept, keep in mind that people are cyclical creatures. Our circadian rhythm aids in the regulation of hormones that impact our body’s ability to breathe, manage our energy storage, appetite, sleep/wake cycle, and energy levels.

By scheduling your exercise according to your circadian cycle, you may enhance your energy metabolism, improve your coordination, and get better sleep. Consider it this way: Your body may feel a little lethargic, slow to react, and weaker than if you workout at a later hour if you wake up before sunrise to work out but aren’t usually an early riser.

In the end, though, it boils down to personal choice or your daily routine. While some choose to work out in the morning, others visit the gym following work and still reap many benefits.

Morning Workout Benefits

Exercise in the morning can help you be more productive all day long, according to Mark Brisby, a sports medicine chiropractor and proprietor of The Training Room in Santa Barbara, California.

In a research involving fifty-one healthy teenagers, those who ran for thirty minutes three times a week reported better sleep, better mood, better focus throughout the day, and less daytime drowsiness than the control group (who did not exercise).

Studies examining the impact of circadian cortisol—the regular fluctuations in your body’s cortisol levels—on the formation of habits reveal that cortisol is a key and established factor in the establishment and upkeep of good habits.

Exercise in the morning might strengthen your workout habit because cortisol levels are typically higher in the morning. In fact, a 2017 study published in Health Psychology found that people who worked out in the mornings became consistent with their stretching regimen about 50 days earlier than those who worked out in the evenings.

Exercise in the morning may help reduce hunger throughout the day, according to research. In a short study, 35 women’s food consumption and their brain’s reaction to food imagery were examined at Brigham Young University. A reduced reaction to food pictures was observed in those who engaged in 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise in the morning, and they also did not eat more calories during the day to offset the calories expended during exercise.

The Drawbacks of Morning Exercise

Sleep deprivation is one of the main disadvantages of early exercise. Sleep debt, or the discrepancy between how much quality sleep you really receive and how much you truly need, is linked to a rise in the hormones that tear down muscle (catabolic hormones) and a fall in the hormones that create muscle (anabolic hormones). This has a deleterious impact on post-exercise muscle repair and adaptation.

Brisby disagrees with the theory that it’s a good idea to work out first thing in the morning, before you can talk yourself out of it. According to him, it’s crucial to have a neurological system primed and ready to go, especially while engaging in complex exercises like powerlifting and agility drills.

Brisby advises delaying high-intensity, neurologically taxing activity until mid-morning or an hour or two after waking up. This time facilitates a modest lunch before exercise, as well as increased alertness and neurological readiness for a strenuous workout, which improves attention, coordination, and, ultimately, the quality of your workout.

The Advantages of Night Exercise

The main advantage of working out in the evenings for most individuals is that they have more time. If you work out with friends or attend an exercise class, this can result in increased attention, longer sessions, and improved exercise adherence. Exercise in the evening may also be a fantastic way to release endorphins, reduce tension, and forget about the workday.

New research on men and high-intensity exercise and sleep reveals that, contrary to common opinion, high-intensity exercise, when done in the early evening, has no effect on hunger or sleep. Additionally, there is evidence that low-intensity exercise performed in the evening might enhance older persons’ quality of sleep, suggesting that this could be a useful non-pharmacological method of improving sleep.

You may improve the effectiveness of your exercises by working out in the evenings. There is evidence from certain studies that anaerobic output metrics, such peak power and jump performance, respond better to nighttime workouts. 44 papers that looked at the effects of different times of day on short-duration maximum exercise were reviewed in a 2020 review. Better performance results were obtained in the afternoon for all but two of them. This might be a result of superior talent to focus, increased energy stores from eating during the day, and/or more time to warm up before working out.

Consequences of Night Exercises

Vigorous exercise soon before bed may cause issues if you have trouble falling asleep. Exercising excessively less than an hour before bed can raise arousal, delay sleep, and disrupt the quality of sleep, according to a 2019 study. Try to exercise in the early evening to allow your body enough time to relax before going to bed to prevent this reaction.

All of it ultimately boils down to how well you function both physically and cognitively in the evenings, as well as what time you go to bed. Delaying going to bed and pushing yourself to work out in the evenings might not be effective for someone who is naturally a morning person.If exercising at that time helps you stay consistent, it’s far better than not exercising at all. However, some people may discover that they can only work out after their small children go to bed. Even if working out in the evenings has certain disadvantages, the ideal exercise for you is whatever you regularly do.

Last words on the best time of the day to exercise:

Experts concur that working out at any time is preferable than not exercising at all, and there are advantages to both morning and evening workouts. If you’re wanting to boost your performance, nighttime exercise could be preferable. Morning exercise may offer an advantage when it comes to advantages like less distractions, higher productivity throughout the day, and habit building.

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