Most people believe there’s no better way to jumpstart their day with a workout in the morning. Some people also like to wind down at the gym after a long day. Is there an optimal time to work out, though? When are the best hours of the day for your fitness needs?
According to experts, the ideal time for working out is late afternoon to early evening, which, for most people, is from 4pm to 7pm. However, working out in the mornings has its own health advantages, giving you energy and motivation throughout the rest of your day.
Overall, the decision lies in your lifestyle. Schedule exercise depending on your schedule and learn what habits you can form to make exercise seem less of a chore. This will allow you to stay committed to your routine. If you’re exercising in preparation for an event, such as a sports competition or a marathon, your workout time should coincide with that activity. If you have an early morning marathon, work out in the early morning. If you have a football match in the evening, train during the evening. This should help your body suitably prepare for the big day.
There are many advantages to working out at night, physically and mentally. Regular physical activity is a mindful and productive way to release your stresses of the day. There’s also less stress when it comes to time pressure and, if you’re a gym-goer, the crowds. When you’re working out in the evening, most of your day is done and you don’t need to keep checking the clock. Many gyms are open 24 hours, so by the time you arrive, the crowds have cleared out and you won’t be wasting your time waiting for your turn on the treadmill. If you’re an outdoor exerciser, running in the evening means worrying less about vehicles and other road-users.
Strength and flexibility have also been shown to be greatest during this time of the day. Experts have also noted that perceived exertion or how hard your body feels it is working is at its lowest in the closing hours of the day. This can be scientifically attributed to the body’s circadian rhythm or our 24-hour body clock, which causes body temperature to rise slightly throughout the day and peak in the late afternoon. Normally, exercise would get your adrenaline going, but some studies have shown that people who exercise in the evening can actually sleep better.
For some people, it’s easier to stick to an early morning workout schedule. You may be too tired at the end of the day to even consider putting on your trainers. Evenings are also usually more booked, like dinners, commuting, or late nights at the office.
Depending on your gym, you can avoid crowds in the early morning. Most people may not be early risers (or have just discovered the advantages of working out in the evening) and will head to the gym between 5pm to 8pm.
Morning exercise can indeed be a great start to your day. Your commitment to your fitness can motivate you to be as productive and health-conscious throughout the day, whether it’s choosing nutritious meals or being more driven at work.