What’s the best time to hit the gym? Is there a difference between morning, afternoon, and evening workouts? Let’s take a look at how working out at different times of the day can affect your body.
Exercising in the morning is the best way to burn fat. Your body is primed to use up its glycogen stores and resort to fat-burning. To get the best results, start your day with a glass of water, a bowel movement if possible, and no food until after your gym session. Research has shown that hitting the gym in the morning is a great way to adjust your sleep schedule and become an early riser. But make sure that you’re still exercising at high intensity. Otherwise, it won’t be enough for you to reap any of the fat-burning benefits.
After a long day of sitting at your desk, it’s good to get up and move around. Afternoon workouts give you a chance to break-up the monotonous rhythm of a workday, and help you reset your brain for evening activities. Since you’ve already eaten two meals by the time you start exercising, you’ll notice better performance. Activities such as rock-climbing, boxing, and high-intensity circuit training are great for afternoon workouts. They’ll help you de-stress from the day, and burn off any jitters from your caffeine-fueled hours at the office.
Evening workouts are great for night owls who can’t be bothered to exercise in the morning. Some people say that evening workouts can interfere with your sleep cycle, but that’s just a myth. If you exercise, shower, and give yourself enough time to get back to resting mode (about an hour or so), you’ll sleep like a baby. Studies also show that evening workouts can help reduce appetite in the long-run.
While morning workouts have an edge compared to the others, the fact is that exercise is good for you no matter when you do it. It’s the intensity level that matters most. So if you skip your morning run, or don’t have time just after work, don’t sweat it. You can always make it up some other time. Getting up and moving around benefits your health no matter what time of day.