Morning, Afternoon And Evening: A Comparative Discussion On The Best Time To Workout (Exercise To Keep Fit)

”Sometimes a workout is all the therapy you need, my dear”

~ Gym Work Out Quotes
A man riding a bicycle (working out).

INTRO

Advice on when to fit a workout into your packed schedule is all over the map. Some people swear the best time to work out is first thing in the morning, while others will entertain only the idea of exercising after work. Between work, family obligations, chores and going out with friends, wedging an hour of structured physical activity into your day may feel nearly impossible.

When no time feels like a good time, is it better to squeeze in a sweat session right after waking up, or should you push yourself to extend your long day by another 30 to 60 minutes?

Both morning and evening exercise have health benefits and potential pitfalls, but for most people, the right time to exercise isn’t about how many calories you burn or how much weight you lift, it’s more about how you feel when exercising and how exercise fits into your daily schedule.

Weight loss is continuous progress that requires regular practice and determination. Activities with weight loss could be daily, weekly, or monthly. Be it a diet plan, exercises, or small activities one does to make a difference in body weight. Deciding on a time to exercise can be hectic, but it is prudent for one to make time for exercise.

Most people get often confused about the best time to exercise. While some people find exercising in the morning as a calming, stress-relieving, and healthy way to start their day, others prefer to work out in the evening to relieve their exhausting day.

ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES OF MORNING, AFTERNOON AND EVENING WORKOUT (EXERCISE)

An example of working out (exercise)

Morning Exercise Advantages

Exercising in the morning improves metabolism, which means it will aid in burning calories throughout the day. Factually, workout in the morning can help one sleep better compared to exercising in the evening.

A morning workout on an empty stomach is the best way to burn stored fat, making it ideal for weight loss. Anthony Hackney, a professor in the department of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, surmised that people naturally have elevated levels of cortisol and growth in hormone in the morning; both of which are involved in metabolism.

Research published by the University of New South Wales found that working out in the morning is the most effective time for cardio exercises respectably for weight loss.

Aside from the Forgoing, research also proves that morning exercisers may have less of an appetite throughout the day, which could also help protect them from putting on pounds of weight.

The endorphins released during morning exercise will make one start his/her day with positivity and excitement. Morning exercise can also boost a person’s mood more than evening exercise. It will increase your mental alertness throughout the day.

Morning Exercise Disadvantages

Though a morning exercise habit can be a powerful part of a healthy lifestyle, early morning workouts have their drawbacks, too. When you exercise first thing in the morning, a few things can make your workout a little wonky.

Possibility of running on low fuel: If you didn’t eat enough in the evening before, you might battle serious hunger mid-workout. If you wake up hungry most days, try eating a larger dinner or a small, protein-dense snack before bed. You can also eat a small, carb-heavy snack before your morning workout, such as a banana, to help avoid hunger and hunger-related fatigue.

Sleep Interruption: Depending on your sleep cycle, an early morning alarm might puncture deep sleep. This can cause sleep inertia (feeling groggy for a while after you wake up), as well as chronic fatigue if it happens often.

Physical performance isn’t at its peak: Most people don’t roll out of bed feeling nimble and fired up. You might experience stiffness in your joints and temporary inflexibility. You should loosen up as you warm up, but studies show that certain strength markers, including peak power, are higher in the evening.

 Longer warmup time: Speaking of warm-ups, there’s a key reason you might not feel as strong during morning workouts: Your core body temperature is lower. This makes warming up crucial for morning workouts. Jumping into a workout, rather than slowly easing in, can cause injury. This is true all the time, but especially when your body is cooler. Your heart rate is also slower in the morning (that’s the best time to find your true resting heart rate), which also contributes to needing a longer warm-up.

Afternoon Exercise Advantages

Helps release stress: Working out midday is a great way to relieve stress, says certified personal trainer Kira McLendon. “Working out on your lunch [break] helps relieve stress so you can go back to work and handle everything in a stress-free manner.” She also shares that lunchtime workouts break up the workday and help you return to your desk invigorated and refreshed.

If you get low energy and lethargic in the afternoon, you may push your workout to after lunch for a late afternoon workout. A study in the Journal of Physiology found that exercising between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. can help re-energize and help improve focus.4 “Let’s just say a midday workout is better than a cup of coffee. It wakes up your brain and your body, which makes you a little more productive.”

They Offer a Happy Medium: afternoon workouts split the difference between the extremes of morning and evening workouts. “These sessions are great because you are a little more alert so you have this boost of energy to help push you during your workout,” says McLendon of the benefit of afternoon sessions over morning ones. She notes that you often have optimal energy levels because you’re able to digest lunch beforehand, and you’re not yet starving for dinner. “If you’re not a morning person, it’s a great way to knock out your workout and not have to worry about hitting the gym later on,” notes McLendon.

Afternoon Exercise Disadvantages

Unrealistic for Most: If you work a 9-5 job, you may find it difficult to stick to your plan to work out, even if you intentionally carved out time (or if you work from home). Inevitably, the day might get away from you and it’s easy to prioritize your work over your workout. If you felt like the day slips away from you quickly, afternoon workout sessions might not be for you.

Evening Exercise Advantages

Evening exercise gets seen to have better performance. An article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology opined that maximal anaerobic leg exercises are better in the evening. Evening workout is the best hour for building muscle, high-intensity workout and power-based exercise, including weight training and high-intensity aerobics. Body temperature is usually warm in the late afternoon, which is possibly the best time to build your muscles.

A study by Chronobiology International reveals that afternoon exercise releases higher levels of testosterone, which plays a key role in gaining muscles.

The benefits of exercising in the evening, typically between 4 and 7 pm, include your body requiring minimal time to warm up, unlike morning workouts. Your reaction time is the quickest in the evenings. Therefore, a high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) may be more effective in the evening at reducing subcutaneous abdominal body fat than at any other time of the day.

The heart rate and blood pressure are lowest during evenings, making one less prone to health complications during strenuous workouts.

Study shows that those who are physically active and carry out resistance training exercises such as lifting weights in the late afternoons or evenings enjoy better sleep than those who work out in the mornings. Even practising Yoga or Taichi in the evening helps reduce stress and sleep faster and better than ever.

Another study suggests that a late evening workout reduces the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin in the body and helps in better weight management.

Evening Exercise Disadvantages

Working out consistently in the evening may be an issue, and one may miss out on them more often.

Evening workouts may not favour those who like to retire early to bed. They may feel drained out in the evenings, which may negatively impact their workout performance.

Now that you know the benefits and side-effects of different workout schedules, let us learn about the verdict of fitness experts.

Conclusion

“If you will do it in the morning, do it. If you will do it in the evening, do it,” Hackney says. Hence, there are varied benefits to both morning and evening workouts. But the most essential thing is exercising, no matter what time of day. Depending on what one wants to achieve and with convenience. But the best way of losing weight is regular exercise.

After evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of working out (exercising) during different times of the day, we can conclude that the perfect time for exercise largely depends on your individual preference as long as you do it with consistency. It also depends on an individual’s sleep-wake cycle, which impacts their stamina to exercise.

However, many experts agree that morning is the best time for a workout, considering its many benefits. It helps set the tone for the entire day, and people are more likely to make healthier food choices subconsciously and consciously. It is easier to make a realistic and consistent exercise schedule during the mornings.

Exercise is of utmost importance regardless of whether you do it in the morning, noon or evening. Try to find out the time of day that easily fits with your schedule and physiology, then do it every day at the same time.

Learn to enjoy the workout rather than following the drill. It is also essential to self-monitor your progress regularly by keeping your workout sessions’ real-time records to keep yourself motivated.

However, seeking professional help from experts can help you set realistic fitness goals, find a sustainable action plan, and enjoy the best results.

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