What is the best time of the day to workout?
Updated: May 21, 2021
If you are wondering when is the best time to work out to get maximum results, then here is what you should know. Many studies have been done however, none of them have proved that working out at a particular time has exercise benefits.
May it be a morning, afternoon or evening workout, you need to judge your body, your personal preferences and lifestyle to establish your own time. Various exercise scientists say that working out at different timings offer various health benefits. For example, working out in the morning will help one sleep better at night, whereas working out in the evening may help ease out anxiety.
More than half of Indian population that works out, opt for a morning workout as it helps them to stay disciplined, doesn’t interfere with their daily busy schedule and also as they are able to sleep better.
Main benefits of a morning workout – brisk walking, cycling, aerobics, gym training, body weight exercises or any other HIIT training are as follows:
1. Sleep Better – A study showed that those who work out in the morning reported a deeper sleep on average, when compared to working out in the afternoon or at night.
2. Kickstart the day positive – Exercise helps release endorphins, which are also known as ‘feel good hormones’. This helps you to have a sense of accomplishment and start your day in a calmer and positive way.
3. Lower blood pressure – A study published in USA, found that working out in the morning helped reduce blood pressure more than those who worked out later in the day. Ones who exercised on treadmill at 7 am versus those who worked out at 1 pm, showed 16 % lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure reduces the risk for stroke or heart disease.
4. Weight loss – Morning cardio helps to burn fat more than working out at any other time of the day. Hence if you are looking for weight loss, a morning walk or run should be your choice.
Many are not the morning person, and they give their best in the afternoon workout. The benefits of an afternoon workout are as follows:
1. More Strength – You may notice that you are able to run faster or lift more weights as well as break your own personal records while working out in the afternoon. The reason is because your metabolism is active. Also, hormones- testosterone and cortisol are more in the afternoon, adding up to your strength while working out.
2. Utilization of fuel – your morning meal as well as lunch gets digested and help one to push harder while working out.
3. Ideal for those who sleep late- Not all individuals are early risers, and many of their profession demands late night working hours. For such people, they need to rest and sleep and set their body clock in such a way, that they get optimum strength while working out. Hence an afternoon workout I best for them.
Working out in the evening may be a good choice, who are late risers. The benefits of evening workouts are as follows:
1. More endurance: Evenings our reaction time is the quickest, so this is the best time to do HIIT exercises or group sessions at home. However, be cautious that those who lifted weights or ran threadmill just before sleep, may find it difficult to fall asleep. Hence choose the time based on your body clock.
2. Better sleep: Yoga asanas, pilates or breathing exercises can help alleviate anxiety and mental tiredness, hence enabling a person to sleep better. So, gauge your mental health and decide what kind of workout would you like to choose for yourself while working out in the evenings.
Working out is important, there is no fixed rule as to when should an individual actually workout to get benefits of the exercise program. What really matters is that one should be consistent in their workout regime and follow a fixed routine so as to set your body’s circadian rhythm (body clock).
So, find out what time suits your routine the best where you can exercise regularly as well as recover and reap the benefits of an exercise program.