Is there really a perfect time to work out? A specific time of the day when all your systems, and organs decided to burn more calories? Though some still argue that there is a specific time and an ideal time frame for working out—whether in the morning or late at night, the effects of exercising really varies on each person.
But, it is also worth noting that exercising during the day or night, have their own respective perks and benefits for your body and general well being.
“Research suggests in terms of performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. If you are the kind of person who usually has a hard time making routines stick, working out in the morning might be best for you. “The thinking is that they get their exercise in before other time pressures interfere,” Bryant says.
Exercising in the morning is also ideal for people who say they do not have enough time to squeeze in some work out in between their busy schedules. There are a lot of short exercises that can be done in the morning right after waking up that can jumpstart your energy all throughout the day.
The body’s temperature is normally lower during the AM, which requires more time in warming up.
The Benefits of Working Out at Night
Some people just can’t wake up early in the morning to include—not even short exercises during the day. Scientifically speaking, night owls really do exist.
In a recent study, scientists are looking up at the possible connection of late night work outs and the body’s more adaptable metabolic rate.
Lead researcher of the study Dr. Orfeu Buxton said that the volunteers’ low levels of cortisol and thyrotropin are “are signs that your metabolism is adapting well to regular exercise and suggests it may be better to train after work rather than first thing in the morning.”
Exercising at noon?
For some people, lunchtime is the best time to exercise, especially for those whose only free time is during lunch breaks. Experts say there is nothing wrong with doing so, but left a reminder to designate a resting time after eating before jumping into exercise mode.
“Don’t exercise immediately following a meal,” says Bryant. “The blood that needs to go to your muscles is going to your digestive tract. Give yourself 90 minutes after a heavy meal,” he added.
Some people are more motivated to work out during the day, some are more comfortable exercising at night. Though every person varies with their choice and preference, the experts say that it all boils down to consistency—whichever part of the day you want to do it.
Choose a time and stick with it. Let it become a habit.
Your body’s circadian rhythm, or more commonly known and referred to as the body clock, determines whether you’re a night owl or an early bird, and there’s not much you can do to alter it. Circadian rhythm is governed by the 24-hour pattern of the earth’s rotation. These rhythms influence body functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate, all of which play a role in your body’s readiness for exercise.
But, you don’t have to be an expert on circadian rhythms to determine and know which part of the day is the best time for you to exercise. Steven Aldana, PhD suggests trying different times of the day: work out in the morning for a few weeks, then try doing so at noon, then early evening. Only you can evaluate your performance and assess which time of the day is the most suitable for you in terms of comfort, schedule and effort.
“Most of all, find a time that helps you make your exercise a regular, consistent part of your life,” says Aldana, a professor of lifestyle medicine in the department of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. “This is more important than the time of day.”
Your goal should be establishing an exercise habit, regardless of which time of the day you do it.
“In an effort to stay regularly active, some people change the type of exercise they do and the time of day they do it,” says Aldana, author of The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide. “Keeping it fresh makes it more enjoyable and more likely to be continued.”