There are many different factors that contribute to when people are the most motivated or the most physically ready to exercise. This article will examine some of these factors in order to help you figure out which is the best time of day for you to work out, maximizing results and minimizing chances of injury.
Some people just do not have the luxury to work out during the day. A busy job, family, friends, extracurricular activities, and many other factors can often leave a person with two choices for exercise: morning or night.
A third option could allow for a lunch time workout, which can be an attractive option, but the downside is that it can also be time restrictive. Most people get an hour for lunch, and once you factor in the time it takes to change clothes, shower, and other grooming necessities, the time frame decreases even further. For many people this might not be long enough to achieve the desired workout.
Another time problem is that people actually have to eat lunch too! If you are going to have a lunch time workout make sure you eat immediately after the workout. Eating makes the body put energy into the digestive system instead of the lungs and muscles. This means you could feel tired and could even experience cramps. If do you have to eat before exercising, try to allow 90 minutes for the body to process your meal.
Working Out in the Morning
Some people enjoy working out in the morning. This is because it has not yet become a burden on the rest of the day’s schedule. When people don’t work out in the morning and try to find time in the rest of the day, there will inevitably be something else that will come up, and the time set aside to workout will vanish.
Before working out in the morning, make sure to take extra time to warm up. The body will be coming out of a resting, or ‘cold’ state after a long period of rest. Making sure the blood is flowing to the muscles is essential to avoiding injury.
If you are a morning person then this is perhaps the best time to exercise. Generally speaking, the best time to exercise is when you are feeling your best. Getting psyched and energized to find the motivation to start an exercise is one of the hardest parts, and can become infinitely more difficult if it is not the right time of day for you.
There are a few other advantages to working out in the morning:
- The Most Important Meal of the Day – When going for a workout in the morning you are going to burn many calories and are therefore going to need to replace them to have energy for the rest of the day. A healthy breakfast after a good workout starts you out on the right track to eat healthy for the rest of the day.
- Convenience – Instead of having to change clothes, makeup, hair, deodorant, etc. more than once a day, you can roll out of bed, go for a workout, and then change once for the rest of the day.
- Routine – Most people who work out in the morning can more easily develop a routine to stick with than people who work out at other times in the day. Since there are less personal and professional distractions in the morning, it is easier to get into a rhythm.
- Afterburn – The afterburn of a morning workout will follow you throughout the day. This means that your body will be ready and willing to burn calories for any other activities you do throughout the day.
Working Out in the Evening
The rest of the people who do not work out in the morning, use the evening to exercise. Some people are just not morning people and the best time of day to work out is when you feel most motivated. If you are not a morning person, dragging yourself out of bed is not going to get the best results in your exercises.
Here are some advantages of working out in the late afternoon or evening;
- Relieving Stress – Increases in stress levels have been scientifically linked to gaining weight and inhibiting the body to burn fat. Working out at the end of a stressful day can be a great way to get rid of the stress hormones that will stop you from losing weight.
- Friends – Most people do not want to go for a jog at 5 am. Having friends or colleagues to exercise with provides motivation and support when trying to keep to an exercise schedule.
- You Are Awake – If you are not a morning person there is very little point to trudging along on a treadmill. At the end of the day, the body is fully awake and ready to go. The key is to exercise while you are still on the day high and before you crash for the night.
People who work out in the mornings have the benefit of “afterburning”. This means your body will be burning calories for the rest of the day after a morning workout. While working out at night will technically burn the same amount of calories, it can also disrupt your sleep pattern. After working out at night, the body will be in “sleep” mode. This means the afterburning phase of exercising and will be less effective at burning calories.
For most people, working out in the morning makes the most sense. By starting a workout routine in the morning, you will be able to burn calories in the morning and then use that energy for the rest of the day. Having the afterburn for the rest of the day means you will burn more calories and body fat.
The final scientific conclusion for the best time of day to work out is this: find the best time that
works for you. Some people jump out of bed in the morning and are ready to get energized. Some people need 4 hours to wake up and feel like themselves at 8 o’clock at night.
Whichever time is best make sure that you can keep up a consistent regimen because consistency is the key to any effective exercise schedule.