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The Best Times to Workout During the Day

Finding the best time to exercise is as much about personal preference as it is your body type, weight loss goals, and physiology. Exercise is supposed to feel good—but if muscles are tight in the morning or a late night gym run disrupts sleep, it can feel like a chore, and that’s not what you want from a workout. Research from Medicine & Science in Sports Medicine suggests that sticking to a specific workout time can result in better performance, higher oxygen consumption, and lower perceived exhaustion. So overall it’s better just to pick a time and go with it, but are there advantages to working out during certain times of the day? Let’s see…

Morning Glory

It’s sometimes easier to keep a morning workout routine on your calendar because there are less scheduling conflicts and errands that typically get in the way of any dedicated fitness plan. Since afternoon and evening workouts are more likely to conflict with other responsibilities as the day progresses, sometimes a morning workout is best. Your energy is a little higher and you don’t have the brain and body drain from a full day’s work taking a serious toll your willpower. 

 

Also, working out for at least 45 minutes in the morning has been shown to curb your appetite and result in more sound sleep than those people who work out in the evening. If you are working out in the morning, give your body some extra time to warm up since your body temperature will be a little lower and if you’re not warmed up and stretched out, you could risk injury or cramps.

Afternoon Run

Speaking of body temperature, our bodies typically increase their temperatures throughout the day, so muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon, when body temperature is highest. This is important if you are doing more high endurance workouts like running. Also, since your body is in a better “operating” state, you may perform better in the afternoon if you’re doing more complex workouts like swimming, aerobics classes, or biking as opposed to a simple workout like walking.

In addition, people find it easier to stick with afternoon or early evening routines because there’s often a social aspect if you’re meeting at a gym class or have a workout date scheduled with a friend. People are generally more motivated to commit to these workouts if they know that someone is waiting for them on the other end.

 

Don’t Have the Time?

Maybe none of these times works best for you, but it’s truly important that you fit some exercise in somewhere. The American Heart Association recommends even breaking up a 30 minute cardio session throughout the day to get some exercise. Try going on a brisk walk before breakfast, take another walk after lunch, and do some physical activity in the late afternoon to build in some workout time. Your body and mind will thank you!

In conclusion, it’s less about the best times to workout and more about the consistency that will result in overall health and weight loss. Spend a few weeks working out in the morning and then change to a p.m. workout and see how you feel afterwards. Then pick a time and stick with it. Pretty soon you’ll be feeling and looking better for the whole day!

 

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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