This is a frequently asked question by most gym goers. However, no one seems to have an answer. Many people claim that working out in the morning burns the most calories and gets your metabolism going; while others claim that working out first thing in the morning can cause more injury. Read the new research below and decide for yourself!
“Research on the Best Time to Exercise
While there is specific research being conducted on this topic, unfortunately the answer to the question, “What is the best time for exercise?” varies based upon the specific question you ask, your training goals, and your exercise adherence. Here are some of the latest specific research findings:
- Late Afternoon is Best for Exercise
Research shows that the optimal time to exercise is when our body temperature is at its highest, which, for most people is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (body temperature is at its lowest just before waking).
- Strength is Greater in the Afternoon
Dr. Hill reported that strength output is 5% higher at around mid-day; anaerobic performance, such as sprinting, improves by 5% in the late afternoon.
- Endurance is Greater in the Afternoon
Aerobic capacity (endurance) is approximately 4% higher in the afternoon.
- Injuries Are Less Likely in the Afternoon
Afternoon exercise is the best if you want to avoid injuries for many reasons. We are most alert; our body temperature is the highest so our muscles are warm and flexible; and our muscle strength is at its greatest. These three factors make it less likely that we will get injured.
- Morning Exercisers Are More Consistent
Even though afternoon exercise might be optimal from a physiological standpoint, research also shows that morning exercisers are more likely to stick to it that late-day athletes. help prevent injury be a good way to prevent injury and get maximum performance, but he said that the most important thing is a consistent exercise regimen.
- Evening Exercise and Sleep
Most research supports the idea that exercise can improve sleep quality. But does exercising too late in the evening keep you up? Studies have shown improvements in sleep from both morning and afternoon exercise, so it’s not yet clear if evening exercise keeps you up. One study even showed that vigorous exercise half an hour before bedtime did not affect sleep. One thing that is agreed upon is that sleep deprivation can hinder sports performance.
The Bottom Line
The good news is that you get to decide the best time for you to exercise based upon your personal goals, schedule and lifestyle. Ideally, you will pick a time that you are able to stick with consistently and make part of your daily or weekly schedule. If you are training for competition, it’s wise to modify your training to accommodate the event start time, and it’s always wise to warm up before any workout (credit).
Personally, I work out in the middle of the day. I find that it increases my energy for the second half of my day. Whenever it is that YOU workout… just stick with it. If life seems to be messing up your routine; change it to a time when you can stay motivated and consistent. Remember … Exercise DOESN’T take time out of your life .. it puts life into your time!