There’s an ongoing debate surrounding the question of the best time to exercise. Well, I know that the best time to exercise is anytime. Of course, I am joking. There’s a lot of science backing early morning exercise, but there’s also other studies that say no matter what time of day you do it, if you’re consistent, your body become more efficient and perform better at that time. There are a few misconceptions about the best time to work out and some definite facts that will make your workout better.
Always drink water and avoid exercising on a full stomach.
Studies focusing on whether exercise could counteract the effects of a poor diet actually found something quite different. One group in the study had sports drinks during exercise and ate before their workout. The second group waited until after working out and drank only water. The third group didn’t exercise at all. All three consumed the same number of calories, but the group that worked out before eating and only drank water, fared better. The group that didn’t exercise gained six pounds in just six weeks. Those that ate first gained three pounds. Both the non exercise group and the eat and exercise group developed insulin resistance. The take away here is not only should you exercise on an empty stomach—at least two to three hours after eating—but avoid sugary sports drinks, too.
Is exercising at night a big no-no?
That is normally the conventional wisdom, but one study showed something quite different. While the studies normally focus on the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, this study focused on the quality of sleep. It showed that people who lifted weights at night had a longer duration and high quality of sleep than those who worked out in the morning. Other studies show that your peak muscular functioning may be later in the evening, rather than early in the morning.
It’s all about you and your body.
The core temperature of the body plays a role in how well you’ll recover from the workout. The colder the core, the stiffer the muscles. If your core temperature is higher, you’re more flexible and less susceptible to injury. As the day wears on, the core temperature normally rises, with the afternoon being its peak, with the corresponding blood pressure and heart rate its lowest. The body also produces testosterone, which is important for a good workout whether you’re a man or a woman. That would indicate that late afternoon workouts are best. But then didn’t other studies show that mornings were and evenings were also good.
- The best time to workout is based on each individual. Almost all studies show that when you pick a specific time to workout and stick with it, your body adjusts to make it the best workout time.
- Even if you have to vary from your normal workout time, don’t worry. You’ll still get benefits from working out. Any time you can get moving more and exercise, is a good time to do it.
- Some people use intermittent fasting with exercise to get lean muscle gain. Hugh Jackman did it to get ready for Wolverine. It boosts the HGH and insulin sensitivity. The fast is simply eating all meals in an 8 hour window and fasting the other 16 hours. That makes a morning workout followed by a meal perfect.
- Even if you workout regularly at the gym, try to fit in other types of exercise and make them part of your schedule. Walking during your lunch hour, playing with the kids or taking the stairs all get your heart pumping and burn off calories.