One of the most common questions when it comes to fitness is when is the best time of day to workout?
There are plenty of people up pre-sunrise burning off calories from last night’s dinner with a 5:30am CrossFit class. The argument? Get in early before our bodies wake up to what we’re doing!
Others are keener to get the day out of the way, then charge off the stress of work with an afternoon or evening lift session.
For some professionals the option of a midday workout at lunch is appealing as it fits into a busy time schedule and doesn’t interfere with family time.
So, what are the benefits of working out at different times of day? Is there a better option to boost fitness or an ideal time of day to engage in a fitness routine?
Research shows that all calories burned are the same and there is really no “peak calorie burning time” where doing the same exercise is more effective in the number of calories burnt off.
Each person has their own circadian rhythm. That means we all have time, set by our individual and internal body clocks, where we will enjoy our workout more. When we enjoy exercising, we put more into the workout and reap greater rewards like increased lean muscle and decrease of overall bodyfat.
What is really important is consistency, fitting in time to workout into our own individual schedules is the key more so than stressing about training at a set time of day.
So long as we are engaging in consistent, challenging and varying training programs the benefits will come.
It is also important that we all find a time to workout that is easy to stick to so that we continue the healthy habit of working out!
AM: The Early Bird Gets the WOD
One of the most popular times to train is early morning. Whether it is a quick HIIT workout involving some sprints to get psyched up for the day or a motiving Group class before work.
Morning people – love or hate them – are more ready to workout at the beginning of the day due to factors like body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate all being at ideal levels to engage in exercise.
For others, working out in the morning is more about making fitness a priority before the business of the day gets in the way. There will always be a reason not to workout later such as a change of schedule at work or a sick kid needing to be picked up from school. If we’ve already got a training session into our day, then these things become less of a hassle.
Benefit: AM exercise boosts our metabolism so we can continue to burn calories across the entire day boosting overall weight loss.
Warning: Eating a nutritious dinner the night before an early morning workout is crucial to have the energy to hit it hard pre-breakfast.
Remember: Take the time to warm up a little longer first if working out early morning to boost body temperature and decrease the risk of injury.
Midday: Lunch Breaks are for Breaking a Sweat
Being time poor is one of the biggest factors preventing people from sticking to a consistent workout routine.
The fix? Multitask by using half an hour out of an hour lunchbreak to break a sweat at the gym. Gathering together co-workers to do the same can help with motivation too.
Benefit: Our sleep is not interrupted with a midday workout as we are not rising earlier or going to bed later to accommodate our training time.
Warning: There is the temptation to “get back to work” straight after a lunchtime workout and miss out on the cool down. Taking the time after the training session to stretch is very important.
Remember: Eat after working out, not before, so our blood can reach our hard-working muscles instead of digesting food.
PM: Night Night, Our Buns are Tight!
Late afternoon or early evening training sessions are often the busiest at the gym as fitness friends get together to pump out a big workout before calling it a day.
Working out with others in a Group Class is one of the best motivators so, if this time of day works best for the people we enjoy exercising with, then it can be of a huge benefit to everyone to stick to a PM timeslot.
Our bodies have been awake for a while by this time and there’s less risk of hurting ourselves as we are not fighting our bodies to warm up.
Benefit: Burns off the stress of the day and is a good time for motivating Group classes.
Warning: Don’t exercise too hard too close bedtime as an increase in heart rate and body temperature can interfere with sleep patterns.
Remember: Planning our daily meals around the evening workout is essential so we can fuel our bodies right throughout the whole day.
Check out our Group Class Schedule now to see our full range of sessions from 5:30am – 6pm (Mon to Fri) and 8am (Sat & Sun)!