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OL Time To Work Out

Is there a better time of day to work out?

Some people find it easier to work out in the morning as that is when their energy levels are highest, others prefer to train in the evening as this fits in better with their daily commitments.

Which time of day we choose to exercise depends on many factors – ultimately it needs to fit in with everything else in our lives. It needs to suit our work, studies family and other commitments. We also need to choose times that are best suited to our bodies and our natural energy levels. Aside from all of this, the best time to exercise is essentially whenever we can and whenever we can do so consistently.

There are some proven benefits to exercising at certain times of the day. Is there, according to the science, a better time to do those workouts?

The benefits of morning workouts:
• Exercising first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach has been shown to burn more fat than after eating a meal. Your body will tend to use up fat stores for fuel rather than using energy from the meal you just ate.
• Enhance your mood throughout the day – starting your day with endorphins – those “feel-good, happy hormones” can have a sustained effect on your mood for the rest of the day.
• Be more productive throughout the day – exercising in the morning can help to improve your energy and concentration levels – making you more alert and ultimately better and quicker at doing tasks.
• Improve your circadian rhythm over time by making you more energetic in the mornings and more sleepy at night – therefore able to fall asleep more quickly and enjoy better quality of sleep.

An important note about exercising in the morning is that warming up sufficiently is essential as your muscles and joints tend to be “colder” when you have just woken up and more prone to injury.

The benefits of afternoon/evening workouts:
• Studies have shown that most people tend to perform physically better later in the day – power, muscle strength and flexibility are generally better in the evening than the morning.
• Your body will be warmer as your core temperature increases as the day progresses, meaning you will feel more flexible and move more easily than earlier in the day.
• Exercising at the end of a busy day may help relieve stress. Endorphins produced during exercise may also help you wind down before bed, particularly as exercising in the evenings may replace other habits such as watching television, drinking alcohol or excessive snacking.
• Some research has suggested that testosterone production may be higher in the evening – this hormone is important for building muscle in men and women.

Although we may find it easier to move in the afternoons or evenings than we do early in the morning, it is still very important to ensure we warm up sufficiently – regardless of the time of day we exercise.

To experience the biggest benefit of all - try to find a time to work out that suits your life - taking all aspects into consideration - but most importantly, a time that you will consistently be able to stick with in the long run.


Disclaimer: The content of this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. References are available on request.