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THE IDEAL TIME TO WORK OUT

woman  holding weights  doing a lateral raise

 

WHEN’S THE IDEAL TIME TO WORK OUT?

Are you better off getting your exercise done at dawn, or should you exhaust yourself in the evening? It’s something even scientists can't agree on… So what should you do?

Over the years there have been numerous studies designed to unearth the ideal time to exercise, however there is no definitive answer and it's still very much up in the air.

If you want to get the best from your workout, simply work out whenever feels good and if  you still can’t establish the workout time that best suits you, here are a few standout findings to consider.

 

The benefits of exercise in the morning

When it comes to establishing a habit, many people argue that morning workouts are best. By exercising early in the day, you can tick off your physical activity before any competing priorities, disturbances or excuses come into play. As a result, there's more chance of consistency.

Morning exercise makes exercising on an empty stomach more feasible, and research shows you can burn more fat if you train in a fasted state. There’s also some evidence that the after-burn effects of exercise can last longer if you train in the morning.

Early morning exercise may help you cement a good sleep cycle. Research indicates it can shift your circadian rhythm so that you naturally feel more alert in the morning and tired at night.

Studies also show that exercising early in the day can bolster your productivity – making you more alert, focused and energized with greater decision-making ability.

Top tip

The secret to getting the most from early morning exercise is to wake refreshed, invigorated and ready to raise your heart rate. This makes a good bedtime routine essential. Working on your computer or eating late in the evening may sabotage your body's ability to sleep and make getting up that much harder.

 

The benefits of exercise later in the day

Exercising in the evening can be ideal for alleviating the day's stresses. If you've had plenty of opportunities to eat and fuel your body through the day, you're in a better position to push your limits and take your workout up a notch.

Physical performance, such as muscle strength, flexibility, power and endurance, can often be better in the evening, which is why some experts recommend doing strength training and HIIT workouts at night if you can.

Those who exercise in the evening can take up to 20 percent longer to reach the point of exhaustion, which suggests they can work out for longer and enjoy more fitness benefits.

Your core temperature is warmer later in the day, so you are more likely to accelerate your training without the need for a lengthy warm-up period. What's more, testosterone production (which is important for building muscle in both men and women) is shown to be greater during afternoon and evening workouts than during morning exercise.

When workouts are ticked off later in the day it may aid metabolic health by smoothing blood-sugar spikes and may also improve heart health and the control of type 2 diabetes. There’s also evidence that evening exercise has been shown to help lessen the impact of poor diet.

Lastly, there’s no credible evidence that evening exercise can disrupt sleeping patterns. In fact, if you choose wisely, your workout can promote good sleep

Top tip

You don't need to wait until the evening to exercise. Many find that escaping the office for a midday workout can be invigorating. It can arm you with more energy, aid productivity and even see you through that dreaded mid-afternoon slump.

 

The most important thing to know is that any exercise is good exercise. Doing exercise at a time that works for you is much better than doing no exercise at all.

Many of our venues are open from 6.30am until 10pm during the week making it even easier for you to work out at a time that suits you. So regardless of the time we hope to see you there.

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