What is the Best Time of Day (or Night) to Work Out?
If you are seeking advice about preferred workout schedules from your peers, it’s likely that you will get a different answer from each one of them. The reason for this should be obvious: everyone has a life of their own and therefore must design their workout routine to fit their particular timetable that is completely unique to themselves. Some people’s work schedules allow them the flexibility to go the gym in the afternoon. Others don’t. Some people have kids and can’t go in the morning because they have to get their kids off to school before anything else. Now, all of these (and other) calendar disparities aside, there are some universal facts that apply to everyone regardless because they are physiologically founded. We’ll discuss some of these as well as some other bits of information that will help you in creating your own workout schedule.
Working Out in the Morning
It’s no secret that overall the easiest workout schedule to stay faithful to is the morning, before the events of the day take over. Many people have cited that working out in the morning gives them a much more restful sleep at night and also helps them fall asleep faster. Also, it’s a biological truth that working out in the morning on an empty stomach helps to curb hunger pangs throughout the day, assisting you with weight loss. However, muscles tend be tighter and have less blood flow in the morning because of the cold weather (if you’re running or training outside, of course), so make sure and stretch out and get your blood flowing first.
Working Out in the Afternoon
Even though the morning (before work, usually) tends to be the most common time for people to get their exercise in, there are a whole lot of people that just aren’t morning people and can’t imagine waking up early and breaking a sweat as their first order of daily business, and others who’s work begins so early that waking up even earlier is unrealistic. If you’re not a morning person, you’ll be glad to know that there are some real, biological benefits to working out in the afternoon. Your core body temperature, heart rate, and hormones both reach their most desirable points in the middle of the day (for some in the late afternoon), some studies show, which will optimize muscle strength and flexibility, perfect for exercising.
Working Out in the Evening
A long day at work can be exhausting in and of itself, and if you don’t go to the gym right after work – meaning if you go home first, for example – it makes it that much harder to just get out the door and go. Also, some studies suggest that working out in the evening can disrupt sleep. Other studies, however, suggest that working out in the evening helps you fall asleep faster. As you can see, the time of day that you plan your workout schedule around seems less and less important as this article progresses.
The truth is that the human body is very good at adapting to habitual behavior, so if 1:47pm is for whatever reason your daily workout schedule start time, and you go at that time every day for months, then over time you will get the best results sticking to that time. The body will begin to take in oxygen at more efficient levels and you’ll find that you can go longer before becoming exhausted. That’s the power of habit. You’re body will respond positively if you simply pick a time and stick to it for an extended period of time. Stay consistent and you’ll reap the rewards no matter what time of the day or night is the most convenient for you to work out.