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This is the best time of day to practice, backed by science


For many people, early in the morning or late at night is the only time of day to exercise. Which is the best?

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Finding time to exercise is a real challenge for many people. Exercise is important, but everyone also has a life of jobs, families, significant others, friends, household chores, errands and, you know, the need for rest and sleep.

Where does exercise fit in, thereafter? Is it better to wake up at the crack of dawn (or sooner) to squeeze in a sweat session, or do you need to push yourself to extend your long day for another 30 to 60 minutes?

Both morning and evening exercise have health benefits and potential pitfalls, but for most people, it’s not about the right time to exercise how many calories you burn or how much weight you lift – it’s more about how you feel while exercising and how exercise fits into your daily schedule.

Read more: Losing fat and building muscle at the same time: yes you can

The best time to exercise is whenever you can


The best time of day to exercise is when you can do it consistently.

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Let’s get this out of the way first: The best time to exercise is whenever you can. Not all of us have schedules for a 90-minute workout, green smoothies collagen and a 20 minute session with a Theragun, unfortunately.

If your only time of day to exercise is before work, morning is best. If you reserve physical activity for busy evenings, chances are you will never get there.

Likewise, if only you can play squash 20 minutes of exercise in your day right in front of you Get ready for bed, that is the best time to train.

I want to add a note on consistency though: the best time to practice is when you can, but the best-best time of day to exercise is the time you can sustain for days, weeks, and months.

For example, if you’re the person who only has 20 minutes at night but you find yourself skipping it, ask yourself if there is some way you can fit it into your morning instead. Maybe you go to bed 20 minutes earlier and wake up 20 minutes earlier – now you still get 20 minutes of exercise; it has shifted your schedule a bit.

The fact is that people who exercise consistently see better weight loss and long-term fitness results. Research also suggests that your body can adjust to regular exercise schedules, so exercising every morning will likely get you a lot better in the morning, and the same with regard to night workouts.

That said, morning workouts and night workouts both have their pros and cons, as shown by decades of scientific research – let’s discuss.

Benefits of morning workouts


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Morning workouts really do have a benefit, according to multiple studies, offering a list of benefits that may even affect some night owls getting fit in the morning.

Can Help You Establish a Fitness Routine: People who exercise in the morning tend to be more consistent, simply because there is less room for it during the morning workouts excuses. If you train first in the morning, you can’t skip it in the evening because the tasks pile up.

Can Improve Your Sleep Cycle: Getting up early can be difficult at first, but research suggests that a habit of morning exercise can change your circadian rhythm so that your body is naturally more alert in the morning and more tired in the evening, so you fall asleep earlier and in the morning. tomorrow again. Morning exercise also seems to stimulate deep sleep more than evening exercise, according to some studies. In addition, sleep helps facilitate muscle growth, so you may see even more strength gains as your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle improve.

Could Burn More Fat: Exercising on an empty stomach – in the “fasted state” – has been shown to burn more fat than exercise after a meal (in the “fed state”). This happens because your body has to use fat reserves that already exist to stimulate your exercise, rather than using the food you just ate for fuel. Other research also shows that the “afterburning“lasts longer if you exercise in the morning, which can help you lose weight over time.

Can make you more productive: Research has shown that exercising in the morning has a beneficial effect on energy level, alertness, focus and decision-making, which can translate into a more productive working day.

Can boost your mood during the day: Morning workouts are a great way to do that start every day right – the endorphins or “happy chemicals” your body produces in response to exercise can keep your mood high after your hours of exercise. The sense of accomplishment you get after completing a workout can also prepare you for an optimistic day.

Disadvantages of morning workouts


You may feel drowsy during your morning workout if your alarm wakes you from deep sleep.

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While exercising in the morning can be a powerful part of a healthy lifestyle, early morning workouts have their downsides too. When you train first in the morning, a few things can make your workout a little shaky.

You may be running on low fuel consumption: If you haven’t eaten enough the night before, you may be seriously hungry mid-workout. If you wake up hungry most days, try eating a larger dinner or a small, high-protein snack before bed. You can also eat a small, carbohydrate-rich snack before your morning workout, such as a banana, to avoid hunger and hunger-related fatigue.

You can interrupt deep sleep: Depends on your sleep cycle, a morning alarm clock can pierce deep sleep. This can be sleep inertia (feeling drowsy a while after you wake up), as well as chronic fatigue if it is common.

Physical performance is not at its peak: Most people don’t roll out of bed quickly and excitedly. You may experience stiffness in your joints and temporary inflexibility. You need to loosen up a bit during the warm up, but studies actually show that certain strength markers, including peak power, are higher in the evening.

Takes longer to heat up: Speak about pre workout, there is a major reason why you may not feel as strong or vigorous during morning workouts: your core body temperature is lower. This makes warming up critical to morning workouts – jumping into a workout, rather than relaxing slowly, can lead to injury. This is true all the time, but especially when your body is cooler. Your heart rate is also slower in the morning (that’s the best time to start find your true resting heart rate), which also contributes to the need for a longer warm-up.

Advantages of afternoon and evening workouts


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I envy those who can fit in a workout between noon and 4pm. That would be my ideal time to exercise if I could do this consistently. I feel more ready to exercise in the afternoon: more flexible, more mobile, more physically energetic. I also feel stronger and faster.

For me, those feelings go away around 5 p.m., but I digress – most people experience these physiological adjustments during the day, making afternoon and evening the best time to exercise for many reasons.

Your physical performance can improve: Research shows that most people function better physically later in the day. Muscle strength, flexibility, power and endurance are all better in the evening than in the morning. In addition, people who exercise in the evening take up to 20% more time to reach the point of exhaustion.

Your body gets warmer as the day goes on: Because your core temperature is warmer later in the day, many people can get in the groove faster for afternoon and evening workouts. However, you still need to warm up!

Hormones are on your side: Testosterone is important for building muscle in men and women, and your body can produce more of it during afternoon workouts than during morning workouts, resulting in more strength and muscle growth.

Late-day exercise can relieve stress: Exercise is always a good way to start relieve stress, but exercising at night can really help you blow off some steam. The increase in endorphins you get during and after exercise can be a sweet nightcap that helps you relax before bed.

Can Help Replace Bad Habits: If you have evening or nighttime habits that you want to replace, such as snacking, drinking, smoking, or drinking watching too much TV – let the drill shoot in and take their place. Once you start exercising at night, you may be surprised that you don’t even miss your old habits.

Disadvantages of afternoon and evening workouts


If you wait until the evening before exercising, you may have a lack of motivation.

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The above benefits of afternoon and evening workouts may automatically tempt you to designate the last part of the day for exercise, but you should also consider some potential drawbacks.

Can disturb sleep: The general explanation that exercising at night is harmful to sleep is one myth. That’s not true for everyone – scientists have found that exercising at night has no effect on sleep at all, and that some even get a better night’s sleep – but some people can get jitters if they exercise too short before going to bed. This generally only applies to high-intensity exercise, such as CrossFit or HIIT, as yoga, stretching, and other gentle exercises can actually improve your sleep when performed before bed.

Can cause consistency issues: If you’re like a lot of people, exercising at night may not work for you simply because you’re too tired after a long day. Afternoon and evening workouts can disrupt daily responsibilities, especially if things pile up during the day. If that sounds like you, try adapting your daily routine to a short morning workout.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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