Choosing the right time of day to work out can have a huge impact on the success of your fitness regimen.
While there is no right or wrong time of day to train that works for everyone, there is definitely a time of day that works best for each of us as individuals.
Whether it is morning, noon or evening, each time of day has specific advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at each time and how it can benefit you.
Early Morning Workouts
Our cavemen ancestors scheduled the majority of their work in the morning. Their meals depended on their labor and so it made sense for them to get up and get started early.
Getting up early works for many people today as well. Studies show that morning exercisers are better at burning fat during exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight than those who exercise later in the day.
Morning exercisers are also more likely to be consistent in their training. Those who schedule workouts later in the day often find that something comes up during the day which can interfere with their training plans.
Noon Hour Workouts
Working out at lunch time can also be an effective time of day for people in certain circumstances. For those who have access to company fitness facilities, lunch time is a great time of day to train.
More and more businesses these days are realizing that promoting physical fitness among employees is an excellent way to curb employee’s lost time due to illness or injury, and physical fit workers are more likely to be mentally sharp as well.
For those with busy family lives, a 30- to 60-minute lunch time workout may be the best time to realistically fit an exercise program into their day.
The remaining option is to work out in the evening. One area where evening trainers have an advantage involves the body’s circadian rhythms. For thousands of years, humans have evolved to follow certain daily patterns in their body’s physiological responses.
For example, we are programmed to be asleep during the night time hours between midnight and 6am. At this time, our blood pressure is lower, we have higher levels of sleep hormones and neurotransmitters, such as melatonin, that promote sleepiness in our systems. We also have lower levels of adrenaline and other hormones which keep us awake and alert.
As a result of these daily rhythms, the time of day when we are most capable of intense physical activity is between 4-6pm. Exercising at this time allows you to do tougher workouts, and therefore reap greater benefits than you could at any other time of day.
So which is best?
When it comes down to it, the best time of day to exercise is whatever time allows you to be the most consistent. As we’ve seen, there are benefits specific to each time of day, and each time also has drawbacks. Your challenge is to find what works best with your particular set of circumstances.
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