Have you ever wondered if there’s a particular time of the day for working out? If you have, you are on the right path to ensuring you get the best and the most out of your workout sessions.
The most appropriate time to work out is one which allows you to align your fitness goals with other aspects of your life like school, work or family obligations. If, for example, you are a morning person, morning sessions could work for you if your schedule allows than working out in the evening, which may slow you down in the morning.
This post takes a critical look at the best time to exercise by discussing the following options:
- Morning workout sessions
- Afternoon workout sessions
- Evening workout sessions
Morning Workout Sessions
Morning workouts are a common preference for most people because you not only have extra time to stretch your workout session, but you can do so with fewer distractions compared to other gym workout session timings.
Morning workouts can benefit you in the following ways:
- Boost your energy: You can opt to hit the gym in the morning if you are a morning person and like to accomplish your most demanding tasks early in the day. A morning workout may be needed if you wish to boost your energy levels for a particular job later in the day.
- Burn more calories for faster weight loss: A study comparing different workout timings with burning calories shows that you are likely to burn up to 20% more calories when you exercise on an empty stomach. In addition, you are more likely to manage exercising on an empty stomach early in the morning before using your leftover energy from a night of resting on other tasks.
- Improve mood & focus: Working out in the morning may help your body release endorphins or happy hormones, which can boost your mood for the day ahead. Early morning workouts also help to declutter your mind and increase your focus.
- Better sleep: When you work out, your heart rate increases and your body temperature rises to accommodate the extra energy requirements for the exercise. Morning gym workouts allow your heart and muscles enough time during the body to recover from these excesses and ready up for quality rest later at night.
- Discipline and exercise consistency: Morning workout sessions allow you to exercise with less noise or human distractions and give you enough time to concentrate on other aspects of your life. You are more likely to stick to a morning workout schedule than afternoon or evening because you have more time flexibility and fewer reasons or excuses to skip working out.
Afternoon Workout Sessions
Afternoon exercises work best if you have a flexible work or school schedule and tend to have higher energy surges than mornings or afternoons. You may have more energy to allow for an intensive workout in the afternoon than other times, as you have breakfast and a snack during the morning.
Benefits of working out in the afternoon include:
- Better performance: Afternoon workouts allow you to exert more strength into the exercise because you have more energy. You are also likely to endure more intensive gym workouts using machines than any other time in the day.
- Easier body preparation: Your body temperature is at its peak in the afternoons. This natural rise in temperature adapts your body to the weather condition in the environment. Therefore, if you choose to exercise in the morning, you will not necessarily need to warm your body in preparation for the exercise as you would other times when your body temperature is low.
- More recovery time: Exercising in the afternoon allows you enough recovery time for your muscles before sleeping. It also allows enough time for your heart rate to decrease after an intensive workout.
- Boosting your mood and energy: Exercising boosts your mood and energy levels irrespective of when or where you do them. For example, if you tend to slow down at work or school in the afternoon, you can consider scheduling a workout session before or after lunch to help pick up your mood and energy levels.
Evening Workout Sessions
Evening workouts are best done in moderation. Although you can achieve most of your workout goals by exercising in the evening, you risk disrupting your circadian rhythm altogether if you are doing intensive workouts. However, if your workout regime involves relaxing exercises like yoga, then evening workouts are appropriate for you.
However, you can opt to exercise in the evenings if your work or family schedule demands so. For example, if you have to pull an all-nighter at work or for night-time events or functions, you can schedule gym workouts for the evening. Working out raises your heart rate and body temperature, waking your brain and body muscles up for extended periods.
The advantages of working out in the evenings include:
- Helps to wind up: You can choose to work out in the evenings if you need to release mental stress and muscle tension accumulated during the day. You may take up evening exercises that allow you to stretch your muscles and quiet your brain to wind up the day without interfering with your sleep cycle.
- Helps acclimate to new environments: Working out in the evening can help you adapt to changes in weather conditions, especially if you are an athlete. Evening workouts can also help you change your circadian cycle if you wish to start working night shifts and need to adapt to the new sleeping hours.
- Improved sex drive: Working out improves the production of hormones in the body. One of these hormones is testosterone, which is responsible for high sex drive in men. Exercising in the evenings can improve your body’s production of testosterone and, subsequently, your sex life.
Scheduling your workout sessions is crucial as it allows you to achieve your fitness goals without interrupting your work, school or family schedules. It also provides for consistency and guaranteed results from your workout sessions.
Having a well-structured working out routine is instrumental for fitness and overall body health. Decide which session aligns best with your lifestyle, and start your fitness journey on the right foot today.