Best Time to Work Out Research Findings

Best Time to Work Out Research Findings

The Best Time to Work Out: Morning or Afternoon?


Have you ever wondered whether there is an optimal time to work out? Do early morning exercisers have an edge over those who prefer an afternoon session? The truth is, the perfect time to exercise can depend on a variety of factors, including personal preference and physiology. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of working out at different times of the day, taking a closer look at the research to help you make an informed decision.

The Morning Advantage

When the alarm goes off and the thought of rolling out of bed for a workout seems impossible, consider the benefits of a morning sweat session.

Consistency and Time

Do you often find yourself pushing your workout to the evening hours, only to skip it altogether due to other commitments? Research suggests that morning workouts are more likely to be consistent because there are usually fewer social and work events scheduled during this time. Additionally, adding exercise to your morning routine can be relatively easy, as it integrates seamlessly with your existing habits.

Pain Management and Sleep

If you struggle with chronic pain or insomnia, an early morning workout might be worth considering. Studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning tend to experience less bodily pain and have better sleep quality compared to those who exercise later in the day.

Appetite Control and Fat Burning

Want to curb your hunger and burn fat more effectively? Research suggests that morning workouts can help with both. Exercise has been shown to reduce appetite and calorie intake, with one study indicating that women who worked out in the morning consumed fewer calories throughout the day. Moreover, exercising on an empty stomach, which is easier to achieve in the morning, has been found to promote increased fat burning.

The Afternoon Advantage

If morning workouts don’t fit your schedule or personal preferences, don’t worry. There are plenty of benefits to exercising in the afternoon as well.

Performance and Muscle Gain

Studies have consistently shown that people tend to perform better in short-duration maximal exercises during the evening hours. Additionally, research suggests that evening workouts can lead to greater muscle mass gains in the long term compared to morning workouts. Hormone levels, such as testosterone, which are crucial for muscle growth and strength, may be higher in the afternoon, contributing to these performance advantages.

Motivation and Consistency

For many individuals, motivation can be a significant barrier to regular exercise. While both morning and afternoon workouts have their challenges, research indicates that it may be more challenging to remain motivated for a morning training program in the long run. If staying committed to a consistent exercise routine is your primary concern, afternoon workouts might be the easier option.

Finding the Perfect Time for You

Ultimately, the best time to work out depends on your personal preferences and your body’s response. If you are a morning person and enjoy the early hours, continue enjoying your workouts then. On the other hand, if you are more inclined towards the evenings, stick to that time. The key is to find a realistic and consistent workout schedule that works for you and your lifestyle.

It’s worth noting that research suggests the body can adapt to regular exercise, meaning that your performance might improve at a specific time of day with consistent training. Additionally, if your current workout schedule isn’t working for you, it is possible to change it. The body has the ability to adjust to regular exercise by altering the circadian rhythm.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to working out, the most crucial aspect is that you are engaging in physical activity, regardless of the time. However, if you want to optimize your results, consistency is key. Studies have shown that individuals who work out consistently at the same time of day tend to see better results, regardless of whether they choose to exercise in the morning, afternoon, or evening.

If you prefer a morning workout, be sure to warm up your muscles, which may be cold and tight from sleep. For afternoon workouts, treat them as unbreakable appointments, enlist a workout buddy for accountability, and keep a gym bag in your car or office to minimize excuses.

In the end, listen to your body, find a time that works best for you, and make exercise a regular part of your daily routine. Your physical and mental well-being will thank you!


Article Source: Greatist