So you hit the gym religiously every day. Somedays you may go to the gym early in the morning before you start your day. Similarly, on other days, you can only make time for workouts in the evening. The rationale here being, since you are exercising for the same duration – be it morning or evening, your workout session will yield the same benefits. But did you know that the time of the day has a bearing on the efficacy of exercise? Read on to know more-
Why does the Time of the Day Matter?
The time of the day matters because your body changes throughout the day. Your body has its own unique rhythm called the ‘circadian rhythm’. Your body temperature, temperature, metabolism rates, sleep patterns are all governed by your circadian clock. Similarly, the effect that exercise has on you always is influenced by your body’s natural rhythm. Exercising in the morning or the evening both has its own set of benefits. What works for others may not work for you. So with a little trial and error, you yourself will have to figure out which is the best time to work out for you.
Working out early in the morning –
You’ve been fasting all throughout the night and your body is starved of fats. Your muscles have very little sugar. That is why your body will be forced to tap into its fat reserves. That is why you will burn more fats if you work out in the morning before you’ve had breakfast.
So if your goal is to lose weight, cut down on the fats, then work out in the morning to maximize fat loss.
It also kick-starts your metabolism which stays elevated throughout the day. This means that not only do you burn fat throughout the day, but you also don’t have to worry about digestive problems.
But, if you are working out to improve your endurance or boost your strength or sculpt and build muscles, then you should definitely not be exercising in the morning. These exercises require a lot of energy, which your body does not possess the first thing in the morning.
If you are a diabetic, or if your blood sugar levels fluctuate frequently, never workout on an empty stomach. You can exercise in the morning, but remember to eat a small but healthy snack before you get going.
Working out during the late Afternoon –
Throughout the day you’ve had a meal and snacks. That means you have the energy to spare and your body is high on cortisol and adrenaline. Your body will be capable of going through the motions of the most rigorous exercises. So if you are strength training, of prepping yourself for a marathon or a trek, then this is the ideal time to exercise.
Moreover, an evening work out will help you distress. When you exercise, it triggers the secretion of happiness hormones such as endorphins and serotonin which relieve stress and prompt a feel-good factor.
Work out after Dinner –
This may sound unappealing because after a tiring day working out will be the last thing on your mind. But working out after your dinner will relax all your aching muscles. It will help you vent all the extra energy. This means that you will be able to get a sound night’s sleep. On top of that, there are the usual benefits of losing weight and staying fit.
Understand your body- its requirements and patterns. Based on that as well as a convenience should you decide when is the best time to exercise.