We have all heard fitness professionals talk about the "best time to workout" yet do they really know when we should be hitting the gym? Finding that perfect time to workout is more of a personal preference than it is a science-backed and proven phenomenon.
Choosing the "Right" Time
Some individuals, including myself, prefer morning workouts, while others dread the thought of using that much energy before 8 am. But just because you don't welcome your day with a nice, sweaty workout session doesn't mean that you aren't seeing great benefits.
Physical activity has many advantages—including weight loss, improved mood, better health, longer life, and so much more. Thus, it shouldn't matter what time you workout, as long as you are staying active and staying consistent!
Also, research has proven that the body can adapt to your workout schedule to provide you with the highest performance and greatest results. So going to the gym every day at the same time will lead to higher performance regardless of the time of day.
Benefits of Morning Workouts
As I stated above, I love to get my morning sweat sessions in. Although it is not for everyone, I enjoy workouts before work because it gets my day started, leaving me energized and focused for the day ahead. Also, I know that afternoon workouts are easier to skip because life will end up getting in the way.
Similarly, it has been proven that morning workouts are a great way to boost metabolism, get your body temperature up after it has dropped during sleep, and burn more fat—especially when exercising on an empty stomach.
Morning workouts are my “me” time with very little distractions because, well, the majority of the world is still asleep. As an added bonus, the gym is typically less crowded in the morning!
Benefits of Afternoon Workouts
Mentioned prior, your body's internal temperature drops during sleep and works throughout the day to rise to the most optimal levels. In regards to exercise, your internal temperature will dictate the safety of your workout—cold muscles lead to stiff and strained muscles.
Similarly, hormone levels play an important role in muscle growth and the storage of fat. Testosterone levels rise throughout the day leaving you with optimal levels for muscle building and fat loss.
Finally, you may notice higher energy output in the afternoon because you have been moving all day. Thus, afternoon workouts have their benefits as well.
The Run Down
So the verdict? There is no "best" time for exercise—it depends on you and your schedule. Morning workouts may leave you feeling drained and that you aren't giving it your all because you are "still asleep". Whereas evening workouts may disrupt dinner time or your ability to fall asleep at night.
Therefore, choose whatever time works best for you because it doesn't matter as much about the time as it does the consistency!