Does It Matter When You Get Your Workout In?
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Each person is different and so are their exercise habits. Some people prefer working out in the morning while some like sweating it out after a tiring day at work. Exercising at any time of day is better than not doing it at all. Have you ever thought about what impact your time to exercise has on your body? Let’s have a detailed look at how it impacts health and fitness.
The time of day you should exercise depends on your circadian rhythm which is determined by the 24 hour rotation of Earth. We do not have control of it and it regulates our body temperature, heart rate, and hormone levels. Our bodies strictly follow this clock and following this clock is the best way to determine whether you are a night owl or an early bird.
Benefits of morning exercise: A study conducted at Appalachian State University found exercising in the morning works best for people who want a good night’s sleep, which has numerous benefits of its own. Exercising early in the morning also helps reduce blood pressure by up to 10% during the day and 25% at night. Experts suggest that changes in sleep patterns that take place from changing the time of exercise affect our health mentally and physically. Morning workout sessions lead to deeper sleep which enhances cardio health, reduces stress and anxiety, helps maintain a healthy body weight, and gives the body more time to repair itself. Many people find working out in the morning more comfortable because their body feels fresh and free from fatigue after sleep.
Afternoon exercise improves performance during workouts. During the study researchers analyzed the performance of a group of cyclists who exercised morning and evening and found that cyclists who exercised in the evening had higher power output than those who did the same thing in the morning.
Exercises that require high intensity are better performed during afternoon hours. It has been found that if we visit the gym during the evening, we are less likely to be injured because at that time our body’s temperature is higher than in the morning. A higher temperature relaxes muscles and joints making them more suitable for exercise. Evening is also more suitable for people who have weight loss goals. One study was conducted in which post-menopausal women were divided into two groups. One group walked in the evening while one walked in the morning. At the end of the study it was found that the evening group lost more weight.
The time you should exercise depends on your goals and lifestyle. The main point is that you should exercise daily, and whatever time you choose, its important to stick to that time and make exercise part of your daily lifestyle.