Finding the Best Time to ExerciseSeptember 9th, 2011
Finding time each day for a workout is easier said than done. Schedules are busier than ever and commutes just keep getting longer. But, if you do manage to pencil in some workout time, what is the ideal time of day to do so? Are there any advantages to working out in the morning as compared to the evening? Well we hope to provide some answers to these questions so that you can get more out of each workout and discover some new ways to make time for your routines.
Morning: Some say the morning is the best time to exercise as people who are routinely able to workout tend to do so in the morning. In the early morning hours, ideally around 6:00AM, there are fewer distractions and fewer chances for interference allowing you to focus on the workout. Also, the physical benefits of the workout will be felt for the entire day. However, because the body’s temperature is lower in the morning and because you have more than likely just gotten out of bed, it is important to do extra warm-ups and stretches prior to exercising.
Mid-Day: If you can find time for them, mid-day or noon-time workouts are excellent. Working out around this time of day opens up a lot of options for workout locations and even workout partners. Taking a break from work and going on a short walk, or even making a quick trip to a local gym can be convenient options. Keep in mind finding a consistent workout time during the mid-day hours can be difficult. There are a number of distractions and interruptions that could interfere with your workouts.
Afternoon-Evening: By the afternoon body temperature is up and hormone levels are at their optimum point. Also muscles will require less stretching and warm up. Some say they feel their strongest during afternoon and evening workouts. However, it is important to consider what time you plan to go to bed post workout as you may find difficulty sleeping if you don’t give your body at least 3 hours to wind down.
The human body works on circadian rhythms. These rhythms are daily sleep and wake cycles that the body follows in order to regulate optimal physiological functions depending on event cues such as sleep, wake, work, and even exercise. If you exercise consistently at the same time each day your body will eventually recognize this schedule and you will start feeling more physical prepared prior to each workout. For example, if you start working out in the morning and feel as though you have very low energy levels, stick with it and your body will eventually adapt to the change in its schedule.
There is not one workout time that will work perfectly for everyone. It is important that you explore what times work with your current lifestyle and try your workouts at those times. Overall you want to find a routine workout time that will have the potential of turning into a consistent habit.