When do you like to exercise? I prefer to get a workout in first up before my day gets ahead of me and risk skipping a workout because of motivation. Studies suggest that if you’re able to workout in the morning, there are slightly more benefits to a morning routine versus an evening one. However, simply finding time during your day to workout is most important no matter the time.
Based on studies that are sighted in a TIME article called This Is the Best Time of Day to Work Out, According to Science, one slight advantage to working out in the morning is, that it’s the ideal time for burning body fat. Especially if you are working out on an empty stomach. Our body is set up in a way that growth hormones and Cortisol are both elevated in the morning. Both of these contribute to a higher metabolism which in turn can draw more energy from stored fat.
Working out in the morning can give you a boost of energy and help maintain focus throughout the day. As we all know exercise has stress reducing properties. For a task that may seem daunting studies reveal that you can actually train your brain’s alarm clock to become a morning-workout-person. By making getting up early a routine, you’ll start noticing an influx of energy at the beginning of the day and in turn, become more tired earlier in the evening to conserve energy for the morning ahead. Working out in the morning can help to curb your appetite and research suggests that morning routines are easier to follow.
Lunchtime or late afternoon routines have benefits especially for longer or more intense workouts. By afternoon people typically have eaten a meal or two and eating contributes to a rise in blood sugar levels. Blood sugar helps maintain high intensity workouts for a longer period of time. Working out in the afternoon can help avoid the “midday slump.” Moving our bodies between 1pm and 4pm can also shift our bodies clock forward to provide more energy in the middle of the day. Even just a quick walk or a little cardio burst can give you a boost of energy that can help you refocus to finish your day strong. Studies show that our bodies burn 10% more calories in the late afternoon, so it has been suggested that working out during that time could contribute to even more calories burned.
Evening workouts have misconceptions about making it more difficult to fall asleep. But according to Hackney, the scientist cited in the article, this is not true. He says unless you are working out and then jumping into bed right after, working out in the evening can maybe even be beneficial to a good night’s sleep. Especially if you are doing an activity like Yoga. Yoga can be stress relieving and does not disrupt sleep patterns. Working out in the evening can reduce levels of our hunger stimulating hormone which can contribute to eating less the next day.
Finding time in your day to workout might be a challenge, but no matter what time of day you choose, there are benefits to all. Just getting a workout in is the key.