When it comes to exercising, consistency is key. But it’s not just about the number of days you hit the gym, it’s also about the time of day you do your workouts. “The most effective time to train is whatever time of day works best for your schedule and lifestyle,” Men’s Health fitness director Ebenzer Samuel, C.S.C.S, says. He adds that if you’re able to stick with your workout plan and make it part of your routine, no matter what time of day it is, then you’ll see results.
Morning workouts may be the best option for you if your goal is weight loss, as many studies show that working out on an empty stomach can boost fat burning by up to 50 percent. In addition, the endorphins you release during exercise can help keep your metabolism and energy levels high throughout the rest of the day.
Some people find it easier to stick with their workout plans in the morning, since they can get it out of the way and don’t have any other pressing obligations until later in the day. Others may struggle to find the motivation to get up so early, especially if they are already tired from a long day at work.
Evening workouts are another great option for those who want to stay lean. A study found that your body’s optimal training window is from about 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., meaning that your body is fully ready to perform—which could help you build strength and speed faster. Plus, the afternoon workout can be a good break from your office and give you a much-needed energy boost.
Just be sure to avoid any high-intensity training within 1-2 hours of going to bed, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead, opt for light exercises like yoga or stretching to wind down. It’s also important to make sure you’re eating a full meal and getting enough sleep before hitting the gym, as both of these factors will affect your performance.
The best time for you to exercise will also depend on your goals, your lifestyle, and your own preferences. For example, if you don’t have the flexibility to work out in the morning, then an evening workout might be better for you.
And no matter what the research says, it’s important to find a workout that you enjoy. That’s because if you dread the idea of going to the gym, it’s not likely that you will be consistent with your routine—and that will hurt your results. So, start by really thinking about what you enjoy doing, whether it’s being outdoors, a group setting, playing sports, or even just the challenge of a hard workout. Then, start searching for a workout that meets those criteria. Eventually, you’ll find that your workouts will feel less like chore and more like fun!
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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