Best time to work out

Early Bird? Night Owl? The Best Time to Work Out, According to Science

September 04, 2018


Ever notice that when you work out at a different time than normal, you feel different afterward? Maybe more tired? More energetic? It’s not a fluke. According to science, there are true advantages to workouts that take place at different times of the day.

Whether you’re looking for the best time to fit workouts into your schedule, or just wondering if you could optimize your existing routine; you might want to pay attention to the clock.

To find out more about the advantages that come with working out in the morning, or after your daily grind, read on. You might be surprised.

best time to workout to lose weight

Morning Warriors

Burn more more fat

For many people – maybe you’re one of them – working out in the morning just makes the most sense. It’s a time that you’re less likely to have a time conflict (anything else going on at 5 am?) and less likely to face distractions and frustrations that come from over-crowded gym spaces. Morning work outs can even help you remain consistent with your fitness plan while on vacation

Other benefits of early morning workouts include a better night’s sleep; that’s right, working out in the morning allows the extra hormones released during the workout to wear off by night time, leading to better sleep patterns.

Additionally, studies have demonstrated that working out on an empty stomach burns up to 20% more fat than after a meal. While it’s best to do a little research to see if fasted workouts are right for your situation, it’s easier to ignore hunger when you’ve first woken up than after a long day at work. Extra bonus? Early morning workouts tend to curb hunger throughout the day.

If weight loss is one of your workout priorities, an early morning routine could be worth some consideration.

afternoon workout

Afternoon Adventurers

Easier warm ups

Maybe the only time you can fathom adding anything into your busy schedule is during a lunch break or right after you clock out for the day. That’s okay – afternoon workouts come with their own set of advantages.

It’s clear that morning is a great time to work out. But, research has shown that a solid routine also matters. This means if you work out every day around the same time, your body will adapt, leading to better performance in the form of less exhaustion and a higher level of oxygen consumption.

Another plus? The higher your core temperature, the more flexible and primed to workout you are. Because for most people, body temperature peaks in the late afternoon, you may require less of a warm up to lower your risk of injury. Plus, your blood pressure and heart rate are lowest while your reaction time is at its fastest in the afternoon – these are all positives for an intense sweat session.

If you’re prone to injury, setting a schedule and sticking to it and focusing on afternoon workouts might be in your best interest.

working out at night

Night Owls

More stamina

Does the idea of hitting the gym while it’s still dark out – in the morning – seem worse than waking up with the flu? You’re not alone.

While night time workouts don’t come with the same benefits as early morning and afternoon workouts, there are still some perks. Some have nothing to do with science whatsoever: fewer crowds, better alternative to clubbing or eating out late and more flexibility as far as gym rules are concerned are just a few of them.

However, there are a few scientific advantages to the practice. Some research has shown that muscular function and overall strength increase as the day goes on. This means you may be able to go harder or longer in the evening than in the morning. Beware though: an increased heart rate and blood pressure could make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Remember, scheduling workouts is personal and any activity is better than none. To make your workouts most effective, try sticking to a schedule as much as possible, warming up and cooling down sufficiently and listening to your body.

Rock the best gear - morning, noon, and night

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