The Case for Working Out in the Morning
It can be difficult to find the time to exercise with our hectic schedules. Between juggling a career, a social life, and binge-watching the latest Netflix marathon, it can be difficult to fit in workouts, even though we know they're important for our health and well-being. However, knowing that when it comes to hitting the gym, exercising at certain times can help us maximize our fitness goals may help.
Morning exercise is beneficial in studies. Women's responses to eating after working out first thing in the morning were examined in a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and ExerciseTrusted Source. The participants were less distracted by delicious-looking food photographs when they walked briskly for 45 minutes compared to when they did not exercise at all.
On days when participants exercised in the morning, they increased their physical activity throughout the day more than they did on days when they did not exercise in the morning. An accelerated metabolism, which means you'll burn calories throughout the day when you eat them rather than at night while you sleep, is another advantage of going to the gym first thing in the morning.
Other reasons to exercise first thing in the morning? According to studies, increasing your physical routine in the evening may interfere with your sleep. Your heart rate and body temperature rise while you exercise.
That indicates late-night sweat sessions may be interfering with your capacity to sleep. Working out at 7 a.m., rather than later in the afternoon or evening, has been demonstrated in studies to help people achieve better sleep at night.
Another rationale for working out early thing in the morning is that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat. When going to the gym on an empty stomach, exercisers might burn up to 20% more body fat. This is a far more achievable goal in the morning, before breakfast, than it is after a full day of eating regularly!
The Case for Sweating in the Afternoon, or Night
While it certainly seems like the morning is an ideal time to work out, fitting in exercise in the afternoon or after hours has its proven perks. Planning on an evening workout may mean you get some extra shuteye in the morning. But there are other benefits, too!
While it may appear that working out in the morning is the best time, doing so in the afternoon or after hours has demonstrated benefits. If you work out in the evening, you might get some extra sleep in the morning. But there are other advantages as well!
The ability of your body to perform peaks in the afternoon, according to one study. Throughout the day, your body temperature rises, improving muscle function and strength, enzyme activity, and endurance for performance. Your body temperature is at its maximum between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. This means you'll be exercising when your body is at its most prepared, perhaps making it the most effective time of day to exercise. Additionally, oxygen uptake kinetics are faster in the evening, meaning you'll use your resources more slowly and effectively than in the morning. Working out first thing in the morning may necessitate an additional warm-up, which may detract from the concentration of your workout.
The argument for exercising in the afternoon and evening persists. Your reaction time is fastest in the afternoon and evening, which is helpful for activities like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or treadmill speed work. While some may warn against working out at night because it can disrupt sleep, one study found that those who lifted weights in the evening slept better and slept longer than those who did the same workout in the morning.
So, when is the greatest time? While the research and studies appear to contradict each other, one thing is clear: working exercise is vital, regardless of when you do it. What matters most is that you select a time that works for you and suits your schedule, and then stick to it. You could make more training gains if you stick to the same workout routine every day at the same time. Isn't that the most important thing?
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