What's the best time of day to work out?

The body is simple, if you treat it well and learn to understand it. The time of day you exercise, what you eat during the day and the amount of sleep you need, all influence your workout. Knowing how your body works accordingly can make you better and brighter, but unfortunately there is no definitive answer. Instead there are a number of rationales for working out at each time in the day to get the best results. Nevertheless, whether you prefer rise and run, midday action or a post-work drill, anything is better than nothing! The most important thing is that you sweat, isn’t it?

According to the time of day

There isn’t any clear-cut scientific evidence to suggest that a certain time of day is best to exercise, but the time of day can definitely influence how you feel when exercising. This is something to consider because what you want to do is create a daily habit. If you feel physically and mentally ready to take it on, you're more likely to stick to it.

One of the most reliable ways to determine when it's best to work out, according to your body, is to understand your body clock, or your circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is governed by the 24-hour pattern of the earth’s rotation. These rhythms influence body functions such as blood pressure, body temperature, hormone levels, and heart rate, all of which play a role in your body's readiness for exercise. If your body clock is telling you to exercise at a time that conflicts with your schedule, then you're going to have to be disciplined and push through. If you have trouble with consistency, then exercising in the morning is best. It's helpful to get it out of the way before your day derails you.  But some prefer to work out later because fighting your body early in the morning becomes too unreliable. Basically listen to your body clock, even if you embark on a period of trial and error to figure out what works for you.

According to your sleep

A good workout does make you sleep better, there’s no doubt about that. But what if exercising too late can sabotage your body’s urge to sleep? We're sure you’ve heard a substantial amount about how not exercising three hours before bedtime is best so that you can wind down, making your body temperature and heart rate neutral. But a growing body of research is changing this tune. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that people who participated in vigorous late-night exercise had no measurable or subjective effects on sleep quality. Another found that men who rode stationary bikes for three hours, and stopped just 30 minutes before bedtime, also had no trouble dozing off. The best way to handle this issue is to be consistent with your time for exercise, whenever it’s best for you.

According to your meal

Understanding the connection between eating and exercise is beneficial for optimum body function. Firstly, one should not exercise immediately following a meal. This is because the blood that needs to go to your muscles goes to your digestive tract instead, which can make you feel sluggish and cause stomach discomfort. It is recommended to wait 90 minutes before exercising after eating. Portion size is also important because if you eat too much you will feel heavy during a workout, but if you eat too little you will not have enough energy. It's about striking the right balance. For instance, if you exercise in the morning, you should ideally eat breakfast before, because most of your energy would have been expended during the night. However, one should also eat after exercise to help muscles recover and to replace glycogen stores. And don’t forget lots of fluid, before, during and after!

Overall, let your experience guide you and listen to your body – it knows what you need long before you can actually translate what it’s saying.

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