What’s the best time for a workout?
While some people can’t wait to lace up their running shoes in the morning, others can barely motivate themselves before evening comes. Finding the perfect time for a workout is absolutely a personal choice. Working out is supposed to be good for you, but if your muscles are too stiff in the morning or an evening workout ruins your sleep, it can mean the opposite.
Advantages in the morning
Sometimes it’s easier to maintain a workout routine in the morning. Working out in the afternoon or evening, can often gnaw at your discipline, so you tend to prefer the couch to getting your workout in. Workouts in the morning can also provide restful, stress-free sleep. Every workout increases heart rate and body temperature, so many people have a hard time falling asleep or dozing off sensibly in the evening. Studies show that a workout in the morning can improve sleep quality. Last but not least, one study found that 45 minutes of moderate exercise in the morning (for example, a walk) increased the burning of body fat by up to 20% over the year.
Benefits workout in the evening
Some people swear by the benefits of early morning workouts. But don’t worry if you can’t make it to your workout before evening. Studies show that the body can adjust to regular gym hours. So if we do the workout at 5 p.m. every day, we may perform better than at any other time during the day. These findings are consistent with previous studies, that say doing a workout at the same time every day results in better performance and less fatigue. Scheduling a workout, however, is more difficult than just picking the time of day.
Your body temperature is an important factor when it comes to the quality of your workout. A body that is not warmed up makes muscles feel stiff and inefficient, while an elevated temperature increases blood flow and makes muscles feel “softer.” Body temperature increases throughout the day, so muscle strength and endurance usually increase the later in the afternoon or evening you work out. Early evening is also known to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, increase responsiveness, and improve performance.
In addition to this, the risk of injury is reduced. In addition to the above benefits, don’t forget about hormones. Testosterone is important for muscle strength and growth, in both men and women. The body produces more testosterone during an afternoon workout than in the morning. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is at its highest point in the morning and decreases throughout the day and during a training session. But, early birds: a morning workout can be successful, too.
In the end, the most important thing is to set yourself a realistic and, above all, constant program, week after week, day after day. If you train in the morning, just make sure you warm up properly to be perfectly prepared for the workout. The same goes for an evening workout, of course. Make your workout an appointment, find a workout buddy, and leave your gym bag in the car to reduce the possibility of “excuses” not to go to the gym.
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