The best time of the day to work out may depend completely upon your schedule and your preference. The availability of time may vary for each individual, and so shall the time and duration of their respective workout routine.
Some find it extremely difficult to wake up earlier that usual, just for exercising. Those who are not morning people, should avoid opting for early morning workouts, as they would not be able to give their complete concentration and willpower into the exercises. Which would be a sheer waste of time and purpose.
There doesn't seem to be any perfect time for working out and this pursuit depends completely on our discretion and feasibility.
Advantages of Morning Workout
Following are some reasons why morning exercises provide good results and is considered as a suitable time by many people.
- Even though our metabolism may be slightly lower in the morning, once we begin with cardiovascular exercises, it's the stored fats which are targeted and not the extra carbohydrates.
- However, this phenomenon works only after you have cleared your bowels. Once that is done, you must warm-up your body with certain stretching exercises.
- Even though you may begin with your exercises on an empty stomach, there is no harm in munching on a fat-free snack before initiating with the workout. This will provide your body with adequate glucose and will avert the feeling of exhaustion.
- The fact that you have not eaten anything before exercising, leaves the body no other option but to burn the stored fats, in order to gain energy and thereby lose excess weight. Since you have not consumed anything in the last 8 hours or so, your meal has been digested and stored as fats etc. It is this excess fat that you will shed through exercising regularly.
- However, if you're exercising with the intention of shedding some serious weight, then you will need to combine muscle toning and tightening exercises, through a combination of lifting weights and cardio exercises.
- Your early morning exercises could vary from running on the treadmill at home, skipping, running, jogging, hill sprints, to even yoga exercises which involve deep breathing and various types of exercises within its set.
- Another reason why most fitness experts consider early mornings as an appropriate time for working out is, because it's usually the only part of the day when people can find adequate time to exercise. Secondly, starting the day with working out, keep you feeling active and energetic throughout the day. It also allows you to relax when you return from office and pursue other leisurely activities.
Circadian Rhythm and Afternoon Workout
We all have an inbuilt clock, which experts call the circadian rhythm. It is this clock which dictates whether we are morning people or not. Everyone of us prefers a particular time for working out, because that is when we feel the most energetic and purposeful. Which is why, some people prefer exercising during the afternoon, between 2-4 pm. The biggest advantage for such people would be, that the body will be warmer and more supple and thus less prone to injury and cramping. As we mentioned earlier, a light meal helps in losing more calories while exercising.
Advantages of Evening Workout
It's not always possible for everyone to work out in the morning, but it is possible to make the best of the time that is available at hand. Research shows that exercising during the evenings is also considered as a suitable time, provided you exercise 4 hours after your meal. Working out during the evenings or nights, has its own advantages. The reasons are as follows:
- The body takes an average of 4 hours to digest food, therefore, allowing you to burn calories from your stored fats, which in turn promotes weight loss.
- Most people tend to feel rejuvenated after exercising and are able to sleep better.
- Some people prefer nights for exercising, because they are used to a different lifestyle and are thus more active and energetic during the nights.
- Those who eat a very light dinner and are done with their meal by 7 in the evening, can reap wonderful benefits from exercising. The reason being, that there isn't much consumed to be digested and thus the process is carried out faster. Secondly, the stomach feels lighter with a small meal and does not feel burdened while exercising.
- Late night workouts are a blessing for those who wake up late in the morning, have odd job hours or work from home.
If you cannot find the time to work out specifically during the mornings or late evenings, then you may exercise as and when it's convenient for you. All you need to care about while selecting an appropriate time, is that you give a four-hour gap between your meal and the time of your exercise.