The Importance of Timing Your Workouts According to Your Body Rhythm
Are you wondering what’s the best time of day to exercise? Some people hop into their running shoes at the crack of dawn while some can’t even imagine how it’s possible to do a workout before noon. If you’re from the second group, a night owl for whom noon is still morning, don’t stress about not getting up early and doing your workouts. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to exercising – your personal timing plan depends on physiology, your lifestyle, and a lot of other factors. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of morning and afternoon workouts.
For many people, it’s easier to maintain a consistent workout routine in the mornings. This is true not only for people who are used to getting up early but for those who have families and other responsibilities that get in the way of a workout as the day progresses. Also, a lot of things depend on your work environment – for some, exercising before work makes the most sense because it’s just too strenuous after a day of work.
Another advantage of morning workouts is that they help you sleep better at night. Your body gets enough exercise during the day and is ready to rest when it’s time for you to go to bed.
If the main purpose of your gym membership is to lose weight, then morning workouts are for you. Studies show that exercising on an empty stomach results in up to 20% more burnt calories. That’s why planning your workout before a healthy breakfast will help you to burn fat quicker.
However, the main disadvantage of morning workouts is that some people complain that their body feels stiff in the mornings. If that’s the case with you, don’t force yourself to go to the gym in the early hours because it may do more damage than good.
If you can’t bring yourself to exercising every morning, don’t fret. It’s perfectly OK to get an afternoon workout as long as it feels good and doesn’t disrupt your sleep. Your body adapts to a schedule, so if you visit the gym at 3 p.m. every day, your body will get used to that time and eventually perform at its best during that hour.
However, finding the best time to exercise is not as simple as choosing an hour that suits your schedule. One of the important factors to consider is your body temperature. Typically, our body temperature increases during the day. Exercising when your body is cold leaves the muscles stiff and increases the risk of sprains. So, if you feel stiff in the mornings, that’s because your body temperature hasn’t reached its comfort level yet.
On the other hand, the body temperature rises slightly in the afternoon. In other words, you’re warmed up enough to have an effective workout because your muscle strength is at its peak. The same applies to your reaction time.
Another important factor to consider is that your blood pressure is at its lowest in the afternoon. If you have problems with your blood pressure, then afternoon workouts are your best bet.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t simply copy your neighbor’s jogging routine or your colleague’s gym schedule. Listen to your body, consult a personal trainer, and even ask your physician about the best time for you to exercise. In the end, it’s important to get results and not follow the crowd.