People tend to adamantly prefer working out during certain times of day; some swear by the benefits of morning workouts, while others say evening workouts are more beneficial. Both times of day offer pros and cons for exercising, so the best idea is to listen to your body and determine what time of day you have the most energy.
"Science Daily" recognizes that people have different brain functions depending on when they feel most awake. These functions cause you to lean more toward being a morning person or a night person. You're usually able to exercise most effectively when your body and mind are awake and energized. This time varies from person to person. Pay attention to your body's natural rhythm to decide the best time of day for your exercise; the important thing is to keep exercising, regardless of the time of day.
Morning workouts tend to give your metabolism a boost early, helping you burn calories more efficiently for the rest of the day. They can also help you sleep better and lower your blood pressure, according to a 2011 study by Appalachian State University. It's best to have a bite to eat before working out since you likely haven't eaten in at least eight hours before a morning workout. A big meal can lead to digestive issues as the blood flow shifts from digestion to your working muscles, so stick to something small and filled with protein such as peanut butter on toast or a few cubes of cheese. Try to eat at least 30 minutes before exercise to give your body the energy it needs to exercise without disrupting digestion. If you must have a big meal in the morning before exercise, eat one to two hours before the workout.
Night owls tend to feel stronger as the day progresses, and that's no accident. Your muscles have all day to get warmed up and ready to work out, and your joints become better lubricated as the day progresses. The synovial fluid in your joints thickens while your body is still during sleep, but movement throughout the day helps the fluid fill the crevices in your joints to help them work smoother. Give yourself a couple of hours after a meal before you exercise to keep the muscles from competing with your digestive tract for the necessary blood flow.
Strength training is usually most effective in the evening, after your muscles are warm and you have a higher core body temperature. You're likely to perform more repetitions with heavier weights in the evening than you can in the morning. However, revving up your muscles too close to bedtime can keep you awake longer by keeping your core temperature raised, not allowing you to get enough sleep.
- Fox News: A.M. vs. P.M. Workouts
- Self: What's The Best Time of Day to Work Out? Depends On Your Goal
- Science Daily: Morning People and Night Owls Show Different Brain Function
- Boston Globe: Is It Better to Exercise in the Morning or Evening?
- Appalachian State University: Early Morning Exercise is Best for Reducing Blood Pressure and Improving Sleep
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