Hold on! I know what you’re thinking – “There’s a good time and a bad time to workout?” “Isn’t it already enough that I am working out?”
Well, the science behind exercise says that THERE IS a good time to workout. And since you already are working out, wouldn’t you want to actually reap all its benefits? Yes, you do! Today, let’s understand why choosing the right time to workout will take you one more step closer to your goals.
What is the right time to workout?
With plethora of information out there, it is easy to get all confused and carried away with what anyone and everyone says.
But here is the truth – IT IS PERSONAL.
That’s right. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – ‘THERE ISN’T ONE SIZE THAT FITS ALL’
Your body is yours and is a result of what you do throughout the day. And to think someone else’s routine could work for you, would be foolish.
However, that said, it is best to follow guidelines and align those with your personal goals to chalk out a plan that is solely your own.
How do I select the right time?
Here are a few tips that can help you get started –
- Understand you Circadian Rhythm – Everybody has their respective body clock. While some are night owl others are early birds, and there is nothing much you can do about it. Forcing your body to do the opposite will only lead you to insufficient sleep and we do not want that.
- Determine when you have the most energy – Every body responds differently at different time. Determine what works best for you by working out at different times initially (at least for 2-3 weeks at one particular timings, to notice changes.
- Take into consideration your schedule and see when you have a decent window for workout. You want your workouts to be relaxed and not rushed.
- Determine your lifestyle goals – Are you trying to be a morning person? Or are you trying to get enough sleep for the day and then stretch till late evening?
- Consider the location of your gym/fitness studio and take into account the time of commute between home-office-gym.
- When do you have the least distractions and can commit to a schedule.
- Be mentally present – It is just as important to bring your mental body as it is to bring your physical body for the workouts. If you’re not mentally present with your exercises, it is of no use.
Here are a few pros and cons to working out in the morning and evening –
- An early morning, empty stomach workout (Cardio) is the best to lose the belly fat. After a night’s fast, body tends to burn up stored fats (especially visceral fat) instead of carbs.
- Morning workouts fire up your metabolism and rev up your body for the whole day.
- It is done and dusted in the morning and you can carry on with your day as you like, without the constant tension of squeezing in a workout if your schedule is erratic.
- Less distractions in the morning hence, this leads to more consistency.
- Fewer people at the gym in the morning. Therefore, more focus on yourself, where you can try a variety of workouts without compromising on the use of needed equipment.
- After a good workout, you tend to eat a healthier breakfast and hence, set the ball rolling for good food for the whole day.
- Your body clock may initially not allow you to wake up early and you may struggle.
- You could have slept really late the previous night and may end up compromising on your sleep.
- Sleep and morning dullness may interfere with the workouts for the initially few minutes.
- A pre-planned long day at work may scare you out of waking up early and working out.
- It might be difficult to find a workout partner for 6 am in the morning.
- A study has shown that evening workouts, over a period of 12 weeks, have led to better muscle gains.
- You are fueled up throughout the day and your body is already warmed up.
- It can be a good de-stressor after a hectic day at work.
- Your alertness levels are higher.
- You can get more shut-eye in the morning.
- The dopamine levels boost up after a good workout. There are high chances of evening workouts leading to staying up late night. Post workout insomnia actually is a thing.
- Your pre-workouts (usually loaded with caffeine) will also disrupt your sleeping pattern greatly.
- The gyms are usually crowded in the evenings.
- You may not be as consistent as something or the other commitment would have come up during the day.
- Your last meal and meal timing could interfere with workouts.
With this established, there is one thing that you need to keep in mind – WHAT YOU DO IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHEN YOU DO IT. Any activity done with focus and consistency will yield desired results. Follow the guidelines to determine what time works for you best and when you’re better rested. And always remember to listen to your body. It will tell you what exactly you need.
Should you have any other doubts, drop a comment below and I’ll help you determine the best workout time for you.