Much has been said about the physical, emotional, and mental benefits of having a consistent workout routine. No one disputes all the good it does for the body, mind, and disposition. Despite this, obesity and lifestyle diseases that can be easily avoided still plague a lot of the population. The truth of the matter is, people, don’t always act in their best interest, especially when it comes to working out. For something as simple as exercising, a person can find a million excuses not to do it, even though they know its benefit. Some may say they don’t have the time. Others may say they don’t have the extra money to spare for a gym membership. Both reasons may be valid but, when it comes down to it, what people genuinely lack is motivation. True, not everyone has the time nor the resources for a professional athlete-grade fitness regimen. But not everyone needs to train like they are about to join a triathlon either. You don’t have to go hard or go too intense if your current state of health doesn’t permit it. When it comes to cultivating an effective workout regimen, consistency is vital. Anyone can carve out a small amount of time every day or even three days a week for regular exercise if it is just something as simple as brisk walking or some other moderate exercise or physical activity.
When is the best time to exercise?
With twenty-four hours in a day, you might wonder, what is the best time to exercise? This is a valid question. First of all, you want an optimal fitness regimen that will improve your conditioning and not wear you down. In short, you want your workout to count. Some people believe in waking up early to pump out a sweat in an early morning workout, a run or aerobic exercise. Other people can’t imagine straining themselves too much physically first thing in the morning. How will they get through the rest of the day if they have already expended all their energy in the morning? Some people prefer hitting the gym after work. They can take out all the stress from their workday out on some high-intensity interval training. Still, others will say that they can’t imagine having any energy left to do anything but go home and rest after a punishing workday.
The truth is, there is no scientific evidence to support that one time is better than the other. Calories will get burned at the same rate no matter what time of day. However, the time of day may influence how you feel about your exercise. If you are a morning person, you will naturally have more energy and be more cheerful when you roll out of bed. You can go right into a series of stretches, and your yoga poses without missing a beat. For someone who isn’t a morning person, that same activity in that same time early in the morning can feel like punishment. The most important consideration is choosing a consistent time to exercise.
If you are a night owl, don’t fight it. That’s your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and it’s better to work with it than against it. Enjoy your unhurried mornings and save your workouts in the evenings after work. (A word of advice to those who have sleep disorders like insomnia, working out before bedtime will come with its own set of issues.)
Working out before bed, the pros and cons.
Choosing to work out in the evenings before going to bed has its pros and cons. This is something you might want to consult with your physician if you have sleep troubles. They may have specific recommendations for you. Treatments for something as tricky as sleep problems, which might have both physiological and psychological components, are always on a case to case basis. Those people who don’t suffer from any sleep problems and work out at nights report no bad side effects on their sleep. If you are wondering what the impact an evening workout might have on your sleep in particular are, then keep reading.
1. An evening workout requires less, and you can get right into it. With an early morning workout, you will have a lower body temperature, and it will take a lot more to warm up your cold, “just-out-of-bed” muscles.
2. Your body is naturally more flexible at the end of the day than at the beginning, and you will be less prone to any injuries.
3. An evening workout will let you blow off steam after a day in the office. This will help you relax better and is beneficial for your mental health.
4. Those who work out in the evenings tend to do so harder and more intensely, and you will have a higher degree of fitness.
5. Working with weights, especially so close to bedtime can give you a good — a better night’s sleep.
6. The lungs are at peak performance in the evenings, which means you will perform better in endurance workouts.
7. Protein synthesis, which helps repair any damage the muscles may have incurred, happens in the evening, which makes it the best time.
8. Exercising at before bedtime will also save you from the tendency to overeat at night, which is never a good idea.
9. You can sleep in in the mornings. This is especially important for those who have trouble sleeping at nights. Every minute of sleep in the morning feels extra precious. You don’t want to keep snoozing your alarm or getting out of bed before you are ready to work out.
1. Those who workout in the mornings often find it easier to be consistent. There is the potential for a lot more possible interruptions at night, such as working overtime, a late night dinner, or exhaustion from the workday that will make you too tired to workout.
2. Some people believe that an early work out is better for weight loss because kicking start your metabolism early will mean you will burn more throughout the day. The cortisol levels, a hormone that helps aid the metabolism, is highest in the morning.
3. Sleep will allow your body to recover and repair tired muscles, which mean that during morning workouts, your body is fresher and better prepared compared to evening workouts. But this also means it’ll take more than a few stretches to warm up your body in the morning.
4. Raising your body temperature after an evening workout can cause issues with your sleep.
5. With the adrenaline high, heart rate racing, and a very active brain, it’s very difficult to fall asleep.
There are good arguments for working out in the evening and the morning. Opinions vary when it comes to ideas regarding how working out before bedtime affects the quality of your sleep. Some say expending energy will help. Some think that overstimulation, as in a workout, will make it harder to fall asleep. Whether working out close to your bedtime is good or bad seems to be only anecdotal, as no hard science unequivocally supports or refutes its benefit. We can only conclude with, the most optimal time for exercise is when you do it and do it right. It’s more important to do it consistently and regularly than it is to pick any particular time of the day. Consistency helps cement it into your routine. Generally, those who exercise regularly, no matter what time of day, also sleep better compared to those who didn’t exercise at all. Those who don’t exercise regularly are also reported to be more at risk for sleep disturbances like sleep apnea.
All human bodies need the bare minimum proper nutrition, adequate rest, and regular exercise to stay in tip-top shape. However, our bodies are also incredibly unique. Considering our genetics, lifestyle, and a myriad of other factors, no two bodies will react or behave exactly the same way. The key is knowing how to listen to what our bodies are telling us and to adapt accordingly, whether it’s when to work out or what type of workout we should be doing, to what we should be eating and what we should stop eating, and what time we should be sleeping. Hardly any expert advice is “one size fits all” when it comes to health and wellness.