One of the biggest challenges to working out is finding the time.
While you may not always have time for a two-hour workout, the reality is that we all have the time to fit in the recommended 30 minutes per day (or 150 minutes per week).
The real issue is not that we don’t have time, it’s that we don’t always want to work out during the time we have. Too often, we leave exercising for after work, and then when the time comes many other things demand our attention and tap our energy by the evening.
To succeed with your health and fitness goals, you have to find a time that you can consistently workout, which begs the question: what time is the right time of day to train?
Potential Training Times
Everyone’s schedule is different, but most people can consider the following training time:
Reasons to Workout in the Morning
Is it better to exercise in the morning or at night? Now comes the time for the answer most people will not want to hear. There’s a lot of evidence backing the benefits of morning workouts. Here are some reasons for exercising in the morning:
Exercise has a different effect in the morning. One study from the University of Copenhagen found that exercise may have different effects based on the time of day it’s performed. The study found that mice that exercised in the morning had an increased metabolic response, which suggests it can facilitate greater weight loss.
Healthier food choices. Early morning workouts set the stage for healthier days, including healthier eating. A 2018 study found that college students who exercised in the morning made healthier food choices on their own. This may be because morning workouts help control appetite.
Increase energy. Exercise will increase energy and lessen fatigue. Starting your day with exercise can help you feel more energized and focused all day.
Better temperature. If you live in a hot climate, morning workouts allow you to beat the heat.
Limited distractions. Morning workouts contain fewer distractions. You haven’t been bombarded with 1,000 to-do tasks and are less likely to face interruptions from texts and emails.
When you work out in the morning, you start your day with a good habit that has powerful effects on the mind and body. You won’t have to worry about squeezing in your workout all day, and you’ll jumpstart your metabolism and energy.
What About Afternoon Workouts?
Morning workouts have a lot of incredible benefits, but they aren’t the only option. For some people, a lunchtime workout may fit better. Fortunately, afternoon workouts are pretty good as well.
To burn fat and lose weight, you’ll want a morning workout, but by the time you hit an afternoon workout you’ve had more food. This means your blood sugar will be higher, which is important for high-intensity workouts.
With an afternoon workout, you can still avoid the evening slump. You can also use an afternoon workout to refocus and refresh your mind before the last few hours of work.
Should I Avoid Nighttime Workouts?
A lot of people just think it’s easier to exercise after work. Leaving your workout to the evening definitively comes with a risk of falling off because you’re tired, busy, stressed, and less motivated, but nighttime workouts aren’t all bad.
There’s a claim that nighttime workouts interfere with sleep patterns, but a 2019 study from Experimental Physiology found that night workouts don’t disrupt sleep and can reduce ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).
The same study by the University of Copenhagen that found morning exercise boosts metabolization of sugar and fat also found that evening exercise increases energy expenditure for more hours after exercise.
According to Gas Asher, a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science, “Human exercise performance is better in the evening compared to the morning, as [athletes] consume less oxygen, that is, they use less energy, for the same intensity of exercise in the evening versus the morning.”
Is it Better to Exercise in the Morning or at Night?
The science for the best time of day to exercise is complicated, with benefits and tradeoffs for each time. Morning workouts set the day up for healthy choices, and it may be hard to find the motivation for nighttime workouts. Yet, nighttime workouts boost energy expenditure for hours after and use less oxygen during the workout.
The bottom line is that you have to find a time to workout that you can stick to. Consider the type of training you’re doing, the other obligations you have, and how you feel during/after workouts at different times of the day. The team at JOC coaching is here to help you find the right time to work out and meet all of your body transformation goals. We set you up for success with mindset, nutrition, and exercise. Join the JOC Body Academy today HERE.