Confused about when you should exercise? In general, exercising keeps you healthy and fit. But when it boils down to the schedule, it is actually you who will be able to determine it.
The first thing that you need to understand is how your body responds to early morning, to afternoon and to evening training. Secondly, your workout schedules should be aligned with your goals. With this, you can maximize the efficiency of your exercises, be it for weight loss or bodybuilding goals.
A lot of fitness enthusiasts consider working out early in the morning as the best way to go. For one, there are not a lot of people in the gym during this time, which means that you wouldn’t have to rush or compete in the use of the machines. There is also less interruption in your training since you can continue using the equipment after your intervals.
And if you have a hectic day ahead of you, you can already get it out of your way. You won’t have to be bothered anymore since you have already taken care of it in the morning.
Aside from the convenience that morning workout brings, there is also a scientific motivation behind it. The hormonal profile of an individual is at its peak in the morning. This means that when you exercise at this time, your body will be producing higher levels of testosterone compared to other times of the day.
Testosterone helps the body to better metabolize macronutrients that the muscles will feed on. Aside from that, an increase in serotonin levels, which happens during exercise, can do well for your emotional and psychological well-being. If you have elevated serotonin at the earlier part of the day, this will continue during the rest of the day, giving you a physiological boost to a more positive mood.
Another reason why you would want to exercise in the morning is associated with the idea of the afterburn effect. People who do fed cardio before breakfast are found to have an increased fat-burning capacity all throughout the day. So even when you are already at work, your body is still metabolizing nutrients and burning fats that will fuel your activities. This means that morning workouts are great for your weight loss goals.
Morning workouts are also found to have significantly positive effects when it comes to having better sleep and in managing blood pressure. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, it was observed that participants who partook in early morning exercises had lower blood pressures all throughout the day.
The said participants were also able to improve the quality of their sleep. With this study, one can see that morning workout can aid in better cardiovascular health and prevent stress and anxiety, as a result.
Proponents of afternoon workouts believe that this is the best time to exercise when you take the circadian rhythm into account. During this time, the body has a higher temperature compared to the morning. Body temperature plays a role in the efficiency of the workout, as it provides the muscles with a more conducive environment for growth and performance.
Pain tolerance is also at its peak in the afternoon. This means that you might have better capacity in performing strenuous exercises during this time compared in the morning and in late evenings. At the same time, the body also has a better level of alertness in the afternoon.
You will tend to have more focus in your workout, be it in observing proper form or in pushing yourself to do challenging activities. With the body more prepped for physical activity, you are more capable of performing intense workouts and have lesser chance of being injured.
After lunch, when you feel sleepy or bored, exercise can also help you get over it. In a 2012 study published in the Journal of Physiology, it was found that working out in the middle of the day can have profound positive effects in regulating a person’s circadian rhythms. So if you feel like you’re hitting the wall in the middle of the day, go for a run, a swim or half an hour in the cycling track to improve your performance for the rest of the day.
After a busy day at work, stop yourself from diving on your couch. Instead, head over to the gym for some quality workout session. Evening exercises are found to have significant effects when it comes to weight loss, especially among female fitness enthusiasts.
According to research, women who train in the evenings will observe an improvement in their dietary habits. It was found that they tend to eat more during breakfast, which helps in preventing obesity, regulated blood sugar levels and natural appetite suppression.
Another great reason why you should consider working out in the evenings is when you are building your muscles in both size and strength. According to research, muscles have better strength, coordination and stamina in the early evening. Because of this, the intensity of the workout can be greatly affected on which time of the day you are training.
Of course, with better muscle strength, you can expect to be able to lift heavier and better. When it comes to numbers, one study showed that men who exercised in the early evenings were able to gain 3.5 per cent more compared to those who worked out in the mornings who were only able to increase in strength and size by 2.7 percent.
Nutrition also plays a big part for building muscles. As a bodybuilder, you are consuming macronutrients all throughout the day. Evening workout plays a big part here since this the time when you have fully prepped your muscles for heavy physical activity.
However, avoid exercising past 9 in the evening. Around this time, your body is starting to produce melatonin and your system starts to slow down to prep yourself for sleep and maximum recovery. Since muscle recovery increases when you are receiving enough sleep, it would be best not to disturb your body’s cycle for better muscular gains.