Is there a right time to exercise?
Ever wondered about the best time of day to exercise? You’re not alone. But you may be surprised that the easiest answer is: whenever you exercise. That’s right—the most important thing is that you’re exercising.
Morning, afternoon, or night, whatever time works for your schedule is the best time for you. If you’re a morning person, then an early alarm won’t be a problem. Night owls stay up late anyway, so why not fit in a workout before bed?
The time of day you exercise is a personal preference. You can burn the same amount of calories in 30 minutes of exercise whether it’s at 6 a.m. or 10 p.m. The difference is how you feel when you exercise. You may have a lot more energy in the afternoon than you do in the morning and therefore get a more effective workout.
That said, there are certain perks to hitting the gym with your trainer at specific hours of the day. Here’s what you can expect the clock to affect your routine.
First thing in the morning is a popular time to exercise. One reason is because there’s nothing else on your schedule. You don’t have meetings, appointments, or family commitments interfering with your morning workout. If your workout is in the afternoon, who knows what other scheduling conflicts will pop up before then? Mornings make it easy to stay consistent with your exercise habit.
A morning workout is ideal for early risers. If hitting the snooze button is a constant temptation, then mornings aren’t your ideal workout time. Trying to make it to the gym first thing will only frustrate you.
For those who get to the gym in the morning, one of the major perks is that the workout won’t interfere with sleep. Since exercise increases your body temperature and heart rate, sometimes working out late in the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Tired of having your routine slowed down by other people? Gyms are often least crowded in the early mornings. No more waiting in line for a dumbbell if you’re the first one there.
Some folks also like to start the day with a shower? By working out first thing and then showering, you don’t have to shower twice in one day. And once you get refreshed from your workout and shower, you’ll be health-conscious the rest of the day. That means you’ll finally have the will power to skip the donuts and go with a bowl of oatmeal instead.
If you’re not a morning person, that’s okay. There are plenty of other great times to exercise. After your body’s had time to wake up, the afternoon may be the time of day you feel most energized and motivated to workout. If so, take advantage of this and get to the gym!
One benefit of working out in the afternoon is that your muscles are warmed up and your body temperature is higher. This means you’re more flexible and less susceptible to workout injuries from the moment you walk into the gym. Additionally, your reflexes are at their fastest and you feel stronger. For this reason, many people see their peak performance in the afternoons.
After a long, busy day, an evening workout is one of the healthiest ways to relieve stress. Instead of binging on comfort foods, heading to the bar, or vegging in front of a screen, manage your stress with an intense workout.
An evening workout can keep you from laying on the couch all evening, watching television, and snacking. Find a friend or coworker to meet at the gym after work for accountability and to make your workouts more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, the evening hours are typically the most crowded time of day at the gym, but that’s okay, because most classes are offered in the evening. So if you like the idea of joining others in a group exercise session, the evening is the prime time to do just that.
Finally, you may feel strongest later in the day. You’re been fueled by healthy food all day, and your body’s had plenty of time to wake up, making the evening your ideal time to exercise.
Regardless of when you get to the gym, just make sure you get there. Your body—and your personal trainer— will thank you!
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