Choosing the Right Time of Day to Exercise

The exercise schedule you choose depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to lose weight, you can't workout at the same time as someone who is looking to build muscle mass.
Choosing the Right Time of Day to Exercise

Last update: 19 February, 2019

Working out is one of the healthiest things you can do. However, choosing the best time of day to exercise depends on your individual goals.

Those who want to lose weight, for example, can’t work out at the same time as someone who’s working to gain muscle mass or increase their anaerobic resistance. The results will never be the same.

Although many people work their exercise schedule around their availability, it isn’t always the right thing to do.

There are many parameters that help you figure out when you should or shouldn’t subject your body to physical activity. Just as there are sleep and hormone cycles, there are also cycles for exercise.

As many experts have confirmed, the biological rhythm of sleep and being awake (our internal clock) is determined by the sun, also controls our capabilities with physical activity.

Because of this, athletes should first take a look at their internal clock and how it affects their performance, speed ,and strength.

What’s the best time of day to exercise?

woman stretching

Those who usually do light to moderate exercise can do so at any time of the day, as long as they’re in good health and are not doing anything in excess. However, it’s important to keep the following things in mind.

Pros and cons of exercising in the morning

In the morning, our body temperature is at its lowest, so our energy and blood flow are slowed. The cold, along with the tightness of our muscles, increases the risk of fractures or injuries.

Recent studies indicate that morning workout sessions compromise our immune system, increasing the possibility of bacterial or viral infections.

On the other hand, working out at the beginning of the day creates consistency and forces you to rest properly. However, you need to warm up more intensely due to the hours of inactivity while you were asleep.

Benefits of exercising in the afternoon

Between 4:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon, our lungs function the best. Our muscles become more flexible, the intensity is greater, our performance in better, and we can free ourselves of stress more easily.

Our body temperature and hormones reach their highest peak at 6:00 in the afternoon. So, at this time, our body responds better to demanding exercise. Also, exercising between 3:00 and 7:00 in the afternoon helps to regulate food digestion.

Caution to exercising late at night

Exercise generates adrenaline. Doing it at night could result in insomnia and difficulty controlling the cardiac rhythm. Ideally, you should exercise 2 hours before going to bed.

Why should you choose one time of day to exercise?

woman running at the best time of day to exercise

In order to achieve the goals that you have made for yourself, you have to know how to choose the time of day to exercise. Depending on what you are hoping to achieve, you can choose the following ways.

Burn calories

For those who want to burn calories and want to lose weight should train in the afternoon. This is when your metabolism starts to decrease. The colder the environment in which you are working out, the more calories you can burn.

Increase aerobic resistance

Do you want to increase your aerobic resistance? This is the biologic ability to make an extensive effort at a medium or low intensity. Your performance will be the same, regardless of what time you choose to train. 

Increase anaerobic resistance

Increasing anaerobic resistance, is, in other words, becoming more flexible, stronger, more powerful, and faster. This means doing short-duration, high-intensity activities. 

It’s best to exercise after 6:00 in the afternoon, and even into the nighttime hours for these resistance exercises.

Athletes tend to train at the same times as their competitions to monitor their performance.

Build muscle mass

If you’re looking to build muscle mass, your hormones will be the most helpful in gaining muscle if you train first thing in the morning, or later in the evening.

Each body is different

Although there are many general suggestions, it’s important to remember that each and every body is different and that stimuli responses are not all the same.

Calculating your body temperature, in accordance with your circadian cycles, is one way to determine what the best time of day to exercise is for you.

To do this, you have to keep it under watch for five or six consecutive days (with measurements every hour) to establish an average. You can exercise three hours before or three hours after the time when your temperature is the highest.

If this is too complicated, and what you’re looking to do is keep your body healthy, there are other options.

In addition to subjecting yourself to strict routines and making sacrifices, working out for just 30 minutes a day is enough.

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