June 10, 2019
What time of day should you exercise?
Morning, lunchtime and afternoon exercise sessions all have their pros and cons, but it’s a good idea to be consistent with your workout times.
Fitting exercise into a daily routine can be difficult, but it’s important to take opportunities when they arise. It’s also not just about when you have the time to do that workout, but also how it will make you feel and whether you will be up to it.
Everybody is different and has their own preferences in terms of exercise times, but each one has its benefits. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider when planning a new exercise schedule.
One of the biggest advantages of getting your workout or training done first thing is that you then don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. People often have more commitments in the evenings, making it hard to get into a good exercise routine and sometimes the best laid plans can be interrupted by last-minute schedule clashes.
A difficult day at work can also lead to a loss of willpower and, even if a gym session or run would be beneficial, many stressed out workers often don’t feel up to it by the evening. Going in the morning means you don’t have enough time after getting out of bed to talk yourself out of it.
Since exercise increases blood flow to the brain and gets the heart pumping, you may also find it sets you up well for the day. It can make you more productive and boost energy levels, which might mean that stressful day is easier to cope with.
If one of your exercise goals is to lose weight, then doing it on an empty stomach will facilitate this. It’s much more difficult to not have eaten in the morning than in the evening, making a gym session first thing a bit of a no-brainer for some.
As heart rate and body temperature rise with exercise, some people find trying to sleep too soon afterwards is a problem. Exercising in the morning, on the other hand has been proven to help people get a good night’s rest.
Getting out of the office and doing some exercise at lunchtime works really well for some workers. Midday is supposed to be the optimum time to workout according to the body’s circadian rhythms, meaning you may get better results than at any other time of the day.
It’s also really effective for targeting boredom, lethargy and non-productive behaviour. Having some exercise halfway through the day can reset your brain and leave you ready to take on new challenges in the afternoon.
The body tends to warm up throughout the day and higher body temperature means you’re less likely to be susceptible to sprains or other injuries. Your muscles will be more flexible after a day of moving around and this may enable you to do more in your workout.
Add to this the fact that your reaction time tends to peak in the afternoon, as well as blood pressure and heart rate being at their lowest and you have the recipe for good results. Hormones come into line in the afternoon too, with the body producing more testosterone at this time of day and less cortisol, which causes stress.
It’s worth taking all of these factors into consideration when planning your exercise regime, but the main takeaway is to try and be consistent. Your body will adapt to perform well at a certain time if you train regularly then, so pick a time slot and stick to it.