Finding the best time to exercise is far from being an exact science. What it comes down to, of course, is that it’s a matter of personal preference. But just because finding the right time is a personal experience, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t considerations you could and should take into account, or that testing new times of the day for your routine exercise is a bad idea. In fact, especially if you haven’t tried it before, it can be a very good idea to switch things around a bit and see if you can find something that works for you even better.
Having said that, what are those considerations about exercise times we mentioned? Well, let’s take a look:
Morning is one of the most popular times of the day to exercise, and for a good reason. Perhaps the best one of all is that, for most people, mornings represent distraction free and energetic times of day. After work, some people just find it difficult to muster the energy and drive to get themselves into the gym. Sometimes they can, and sometimes they can’t, which gets in the way of establishing a routine. That’s the single biggest reason why it’s a good idea to try out morning exercise, since the single biggest thing that matters the most about exercise is consistency. And if it takes waking up a little earlier to get the exercising done, then that’s what we would recommend.
Going to the gym, especially, earlier in the morning, will help you avoid the crowds – research shows that gyms are at their most crowded between 5PM and 8PM. Morning exercise can also help you sleep, because one of the reasons why late evening exercise isn’t always recommendable is that it may throw off your melatonin (“the sleep hormone”) levels as well as cause you to lose too much glycogen during sleep.
And speaking of glycogen (that mainly comes from carbs), the biggest negative to exercising in the morning, especially on an empty stomach, is that you may not have enough glycogen left for an efficient workout in the morning. This is particularly likely if you’re on a diet, your morning exercises are tough and you’re in general training hard. For lighter exercise, training on an empty stomach in the morning can be great for fat loss, but you might want to think twice about hard anaerobic exercises unless you’ve fueled up.
Late to Bed…
Some of us just aren’t morning people. If waking up early to exercise becomes the worst part of your day, then maybe you should consider evening exercise instead. Especially since you’re not likely to get the most out of yourself if you’re exercising in a miserable, tired state. For many people it’s also easier to time their eating right if they’ve had the whole day to prepare for the fact that they’re planning to exercise hard in the evening.
Also, if exercise is a part of how you control and handle stress, then evening exercise can have the added benefit of helping you forget the stress of a work day. And if you’re a group class kind of an exercise enthusiast, there’s a much better variety of classes available in the evenings. Remember, though (as we mentioned before), that exercising right before bed causes sleeping difficulties in most people. That’s particularly important since you need sleep to let your body relax, to help you with your weight-loss goals or just to feel ready for another day of exercise.
Well, that’s the basics of it as far as best time of the day goes. Now, if you’re also looking for the best compression clothing to help you exercise injury-free or to recover from injuries, you’ve come to the right place. SWEAT IT OUT® can help you, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!